passion for doorstep rides-
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    passion for doorstep rides

    What a cold, cold Winter it has been for Western
    Colorado and Eastern Utah. The trails have been
    getting a much needed break, which will make them that
    much better this Spring. In fact, with responsible
    locals setting first tracks into the freeze-lifted
    dirt, the trails should be regaining some of their
    classic narrow Fruitian singletrack lines.

    Monday I found myself awakening in a strange land,
    surrounded by miles and miles of various types of
    sandstone. The Sun was peeking in and out of mostly
    overcast skies in the direction where we really wanted
    to ride. Even so, my local friend and I headed that
    way just to check things out. Driving out, we could
    see the obvious line of demarcation in the cloudiness
    and decided upon arrival in the target area that
    riding in the Sun would be better.

    It turned out to be a doorstep ride. Doorstep rides
    in this area are not as plentiful as they should be,
    but can connect up with miles and miles of varying
    routes. The standard access is by bike path and a bit
    of a paved climb after that to some sandstone. It may
    as well all be paved, except the sandstone is devoid
    of most vehicle traffic, has better grip and many cool
    natural features to ride on a mountain bike.

    The great things about the cold, wet Winter in this
    particular area is that the sandstone is "cleaned" off
    and the by-product of that sandstone is hardpacked,
    making it all easier to ride. We topped out and were
    greeted by a cool breeze, so dropping into a low spot
    for a short break seemed like the intelligent thing to
    do. Sitting on a hunk of sandstone and admiring the
    surroundings, my friend pointed out a pristine clump
    of cryptogamic soil with a huge Claretcup cactus clump
    in the middle of it. He made a mental note to return
    to photograph it when they start to bloom this Spring.

    Break time over, it was time to get riding. The
    undulating nature of the route and varying surfaces
    made it fast and slow all at once. Riding the
    sandstone lines was like playing a jazz tune, just
    jamming and playing our own riffs over the slabs. On
    the climbs, I kept to the steepest lines because I
    felt like it and could. The drops were the same,
    though most were approached with caution before
    throwing that notion to the wind after ensuring the
    runout was not too nasty.

    The best thing about sandstone is the grip it can have
    with the right tires. Any decent tread with climbing
    shoe rubber on the knobs is just the ticket for this
    kind of riding. They are probably the slowest rolling
    tires you can imagine, but they rule completely on the
    sandstone, especially on off-camber slopes. This
    became even more evident when connecting up our
    original route to another. It was a kind of sandstone
    slab hop-scotch, the connection well known to us and
    obviously not used by anyone else. It features a few
    ledge moves and is mostly off-camber, but all on the
    rock when ridden correctly. After having ridden that
    section with less than grippy tires, the climbing shoe
    rubber tires made it very easy.

    The last part on the trail found my compadre taking
    the low road, while I decided on the high one. I
    really felt the need for a few more steep pitches and
    wanted to see how my middle-ring climbing was faring.
    At the top of the second pitch, there were a couple of
    other people on mountain bikes (the first we had
    seen). They seemed to know the etiquette for yielding
    to the uphill rider, or were taking the view because
    they decided let me pass. Of course I bade them a
    good day and thanked them for the yield as I scooted
    over the top and jammed down the other side.

    After meeting up near the trailhead, we jammed back
    down to town at mach speeds on the road previously
    climbed. It sure was much easier on the return
    flight. The bike path back to the doorstep was a
    little more crowded with pedestrians, but we were in
    no hurry and mostly coasted back to my friend's casa.
    Once back, it was beer:30 and we broke into his
    private beer stash to celebrate the first ride from
    his new house and (his) first ride of the year. It
    doesn't get much better than that.

  2. #2
    Reputation: Monte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Cool. nm

  3. #3
    More Chasmism
    Reputation: hfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Thanks JD

    That sounds pretty much like one of my my morning after-work rides in a nutshell, minus the route via which you returned to town.

    Sprained my ankle two days ago on our maiden ride around Wildstyle, so I'm off the bike for awhile. Your bit of prose was thus even more appreciated.


  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pacman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    I was almost riding along.

    Nice description. Cryptogamic? whoa, I had to look it up


    A large division of the vegetable kingdom, being the last class in the Linnĉan Sexual system, and comprising those plants which have no stamens or pistils, and therefore no proper flowers; including Ferns, Mosses, Algĉ, Lichens, and Fungi.

    No flowers there!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    What tires are you running T?

    Quote Originally Posted by hfly
    That sounds pretty much like one of my my morning after-work rides in a nutshell, minus the route via which you returned to town.

    Sprained my ankle two days ago on our maiden ride around Wildstyle, so I'm off the bike for awhile. Your bit of prose was thus even more appreciated.

    I saw Motoraptor 2.4 and IRC Kujo tracks up there. I'll be poppin' in and out of town a bit to guide this Spring, so we'll at least have to meet for a (Colorado) beer.

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