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  1. #1
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    TR: Fruita, Salida, Westcliffe w/ lotsa Pix

    The family summer vacation consisted of going to Westcliffe, Colorado to spend a week at our friends cabin situated at 8400 feet with front porch views of almost the entire Sangre de Cristo mountain range. While my wife and daughter opted to fly I selflessly volunteered to drive the bikes and bike trailer out all by myself. Since I'd need to stop and rest somewhere Fruita seemed like a logical choice.

    I awoke at 5:30am the morning of my Fruita ride to the sound of thunder, lightening, and a heavy downpour of rain. Shiite! I didn't drive 800 miles the day before for nothing so out I went. By the time I reached the Kokopelli Trailhead for a quick run through Horsethief Bench and Mary's Loop the rain had stopped, the rocks were dry, the tacky, moist soil offered gobs of braking traction, and the air was cool and clear. Perfect!

    Since the this was a solo run there are no action shots of me. However, for those of you going to the Turner Convention I've included some good beta shots of the entry to Horsethief Bench as well as a couple from Mary's Loop. For those of you making your first trek to the area (as I did), if you're not stoked by these landscapes there's something wrong with you.

    The entry to Horsethief Bench. Its the diagonal line of choss left of center. Right of center you can see the "Y" of the trail junction and trail marker. I rode it clockwise.



    From about the middle looking up to the entry. The first 3/4 is pretty straightforward. The ledges get progressively taller while the boulders get bigger and more intimidating. I hit my bashring a couple times near the bottom.



    Same position looking down. I can't say I cleaned it. I gave it two attempts and both times ended up on an off-camber ledge staring at a steep 3 feet roll-in with a huge diagonal slab of rock in front of me. While I was doing a brief trackstand working up the courage to roll in and thread a couple of jagged rocks to exit I accidentally ejected down the trail. I was fine, the bike was fine, but I felt I was being a bit stupid on a solo ride so I walked the last twenty feet. You can see the slab leaning up against a ledge below (EDIT: from the photo looking up, two photos down) above the center of the photo.



    From the very bottom looking up. Yes, it is intimidating.



    A Colorado river overlook.



    A view from Mary's Loop. The first half of Mary's Loop is fun singletrack with lots of good flow. Once you turn away from the Colorado river it turns into a rather a pedestrian fireroad. Good for access to other trails.



    Another from Mary's Loop. This area is a lot like parts of Moab, but with far fewer people.



    A view of some Salida singletrack. It just crisscrosses everywhere with what seems to be abundant possibilities.



    A shot of me negotiating some sharp volcanic rocks.



    My friend Ron on a fun, loose section of trail.



    You can see what an ugly day it was. Here's Ron on his first full suspension ride, a rental from the good folks at Absolutes Bikes, just out of view below in old town Salida.



    Westcliffe isn't exactly a mountain bike destination but that didn't stop me from having fun. Here's the frontside of a nice rock climb.



    The back side. It really wasn't as flat as a sidewalk, but it wasn't super steep either.



    Proof that a Five Spot has other uses. This is what happens when you run out of singletrack.



  2. #2
    Leash Law Enforcer
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    Ah . . . Colorado!

    The Motherland! Why did I ever leave? Still trying to figure that one out, but I hope to return one day. My parents actually had land in Westcliffe for a few years but ended up selling it. Nice pix Clyde!

  3. #3
    rr
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    Wow, great pics Clyde, funny how the trailers put the kids to sleep, my daughter almost always fell asleep. The horsethief dropin should provide for some good homer carnage come Oct!, hopefully the Turner crew brings a box of der hangers for that ride

  4. #4
    striker!
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    Incredible terrain. Can't believe you (almost) rode that on a Spot! That looks to be Highline territory to me.

    Thanks for sharing the pics! I'll have to get out there sometime.

    S

  5. #5
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    Nice view of beautiful Salida.

    Hmmm....I can't seem to make out the whole town in the picture....something's in the way.....maybe......um....could you maybe get Ron to hike up his shorts a bit? OK, that's better, thanks.

    Sorry, just being a jackass. Great pics dude. I really gotta haul myself down there some day. Good on you for not letting the initial rain stop you.
    FWIW I also think you made the right call not riding the sketchy stuff solo.

  6. #6
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    wow! what a nice day for ride pics this has turned out to be! thanx csd. lookin fwd to it. well, save for the climbin. and the altitude. oh, and keepin up with you yahoos.
    Last edited by cactuscorn; 08-24-2006 at 01:37 PM.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  7. #7
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    Sweet home Colorado! Nice pics Clyde. Fruita is kind of almost in my back yard these days (about 1hr 20mins if you obey the speed limit). That drop into Horsethief is a freeking abomination! It just gets progressively, steeper, bigger, sandier, loosier, droppier and more exposed as you get sucked down into the final calamity. I give it shot everytime I ride it, but I have only managed to get about half way down before the bail out or ejection, depending on the weather - glad you had fun.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  8. #8
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_olly
    could you maybe get Ron to hike up his shorts a bit? OK, that's better, thanks.
    ive only seen 1 other man in a more immediate need of a pair of relaxed fit baggies. and not by very much! this thread deserves some kinda warning. now pardon me while i paint the toilet bowl with my lunch, or if it suits ya better, make a call on the big white telephone.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  9. #9
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    I saw a woman on a Yeti 575 ride that.

    Quote Originally Posted by superstock
    Incredible terrain. Can't believe you (almost) rode that on a Spot! That looks to be Highline territory to me.

    Thanks for sharing the pics! I'll have to get out there sometime.

    S
    Not sure if you've seen it in person, but it's WAY nastier than it looks in pictures.

    She went down that thing like it was nothing. Amazing. Of course, it turns out that she's a pro downhiller

  10. #10
    Just another FOCer
    Reputation: Winston's Avatar
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    Sweet post.
    "I hope your gravity droppers all seize up....BASTIDS." - Aquaholic

    NLZ
    The Path Bike Shop
    Winston presents - Socal Videos

  11. #11
    Team Sanchez
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    I'm diggin Ron's European bike wear. Know where I can score some?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chingon
    I'm diggin Ron's European bike wear. Know where I can score some?
    Please God - no more! Make it stop.
    Edit - And I thought Camel Toe was exclusively a female affliction.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  13. #13
    SASQUATCH!
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    Heh.
    El C, you were the first person I thought of when I saw those shorts. And I don't even know you. That is so wrong on so many levels.

    Bye for now folks, I'm off to therapy after a quick stop to pray at the porcelain altar.

  14. #14
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    I wish I had the balls to wear nuthuggers

    Nice pics though you must have know that your buddy's attire would attract comments

    I wish I could ride open country like that right now.

  15. #15
    truth seeker
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    That drop into Horsethief is a freeking abomination! It just gets progressively, steeper, bigger, sandier, loosier, droppier and more exposed as you get sucked down into the final calamity. I give it shot everytime I ride it, but I have only managed to get about half way down before the bail out or ejection, depending on the weather - glad you had fun.

    You gotta roll down the middle... http://singletrack.home.bresnan.net/ht.wmv

    [video courtesy of GJ local, "singletrack"]

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reptile
    You gotta roll down the middle... http://singletrack.home.bresnan.net/ht.wmv

    [video courtesy of GJ local, "singletrack"]
    Man that guy makes it look easy - in real life it's just scary. I think the dog has the better line though
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  17. #17
    rr
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    Man that guy makes it look easy - in real life it's just scary. I think the dog has the better line though
    Yeah, he makes a lot of things look easy from what I hear, the closest I came was the same line the dog took, stay right and dropin after the slab, stuffed the front wheel right after the dropin, damn!!

  18. #18
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    There's a saying in the Marines: "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast" - this guy epitomzes that. The farthest I've ever made it is right about where the film footage starts at the really big hole in the middle - I tried the exposed left line along the edge and promptly flailed in the loose sand and peeled over the side into the shrubbery. Maybe a Highline would improve my luck (not likely). We'll see in October
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  19. #19
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reptile
    You gotta roll down the middle... http://singletrack.home.bresnan.net/ht.wmv

    [video courtesy of GJ local, "singletrack"]
    Thanks for posting that vid. I think right where the person with the camera was shooting is where I stopped. I can see the two boulders I wanted to thread, but couldn't. THE move is right where the rider's back comes into view as the dog jumps up and right. If you look closely you can see his rear tire pops up and he's momentarily on the front wheel. Everything that comes before and after is no so bad. Its that one damn move that's scary.

    And as for everyone's comments about Ron's attire, I couldn't stop laughing. I honestly never noticed what he was wearing. I guess that's a good thing. I still think El C's Speedo and Aqua's skort take top billing for a Hunks of the Turner Forum 2007 calendar. But I won't be buying it.

    After next week I hope to see pics of some you guys cleaning Horsethief (on 'Spots, no less, if anyone rides such a passe steed anymore ). I wish I could make it out again, but I can't.

    EDIT: I just realized the Turner gethering is a month away not next week. Maybe I'll get another shot at Horsethief after all.
    Last edited by Clyde S Dale; 08-25-2006 at 12:21 PM.


  20. #20
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    I have not seen the other pics you mention but how could you not notice Ron's nuthuggers?

    They are Heather Grey and practically non-existent. I bet you noticed them and are pretending to have not


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