Monday, October 20, 2014

Bonus Time

A bit of a surprise that I read in the local paper that the Park Service decided to open up Fall River Road to hikers and bikers. There has been repair work going on all summer, post flood, that has kept it closed. Kudos and thanks to the Park Service for opening it up for this short window before winter sets in. It would have been pretty easy for them to just say "heck with it" and keep it closed up until next spring/summer.

So with the can I possibly pass it up??

Here we go!

Every cyclist dream.....a closed to vehicles but OK for cyclist road block!!
Up and Up we go!
Fall River road is a pretty steep affair, gaining a good amount of elevation over its ten miles or so route to the top ending at the Alpine Visitor Center.
I had a nice day working here, sun was in and out, about 58 degrees starting out.
Plenty of places to stop and enjoy the sun and Fall River, get a drink.........just be happy I am out!!

A future S'Mores roasting opportunity
I seemed to have most of the road to myself. There was a young guy who zoomed by me going up and a gal that was starting as I was unloading my bike. I never caught her until she was coming down as I reached the top. There was a group of two families that were riding down from the top. They had young kids on bikes that were having fun with the downhill run from AVC. Otherwise, a quiet and peaceful ride today!!
Fall River road is pretty relentless in an uphill grind, not any flat places to gear up your bike and stretch out, you earn every mile!!

Switching back and forth!!
Always cool things to look at if you keep your head up!!
Some rock formations going up the flank of Mt. Chapin
There is still a bit of perma-snow in the ski-able chute coming off Sundance. a little fresh snow on it that makes it look better than the rock fest it actually would be on some skis!! Early summer is the time for tackling this because you can just about ski right up to the road. I am a big talker here....I have not skied Sundance for many, many years.

But....First tracks here!!! Just for you Mike Monroney!!

Note to self.....Remember that this is here for the trip down and slow down!!

I got up above treeline and just enjoyed the view. Three weeks ago after our trip up and over Rollins pass I really figured that my time above treeline on a bike was over for the season. Yet here I am. 19th of October and still enjoying. This has been an exceptional fall season for getting these late high elevation rides in.
I decided to not ride all the way up to AVC. Put on a couple of layers and gloves and my helmet for the downhill run. As expected, a bit different weather up here, my little bike computer tells me 42 degrees. It was a nice cruise back down. The road is in fantastic shape because no car traffic on it except the occasional Ranger in his patrol truck. You have to ride the brakes a bit because you can not just open it up like you can on the pavement on Trail Ridge, but still pretty nice riding. I tried my hand at a video, but not very successful, plus then I have to figure out how I get it moved around on my computer to attach it. Maybe the next post.

Hey! Thanks for following along and reading!!

Everybody have a great week!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Clean it Up!

Third week in a row that I got out for a ride with Kyle. We are cleaning up rides that we have talked about but have not found the time to do until one just makes the time and get out and do the rides!

This week we are going to ride from the Devil's Backbone area that is just west of Loveland following the hogback north and popping out at the south marina at Hoesetooth Rez. It was a cool day with rain predicted so we get a nice morning start at nine after I drive up and pick up Kyle at his house in Ft Collins.

Off we go. First part of the trail you come up on an interesting geologic formation called Devil's Backbone. Cool rocks protruding up above the ridgeline.
You climb up some switchbacks the east side of the valley onto a ridge and have a nice view looking back at the  Backbone.
Ogre approves of the view!!

The trail then tracks up and down along the top of the ridge. It is a rocky trail so slow going for me with some hike-a-bike tossed in.
I have the strength and power to ride these trails, just not the mountain bike skills. The rocks and sudden curves and finding the right gear at the right time is something I need to get more experience. For now it is, fall off the bike or hike-a-bike.

I hike it up over the top of the ridge again and it is back down the west side into the valley and onto the Blue Sky Trail that takes us north to Horsetooth.

The youth and strength that is Kyle rides way for me.....pretty good drop off here in the no crash zone!!
We then rolled up that valley on some nice flowing single track that really made the ride for me. I sure like that kind of riding vs the challenge of the rock garden riding. I equate it to skiing the steep bumps. I can do it but I sure would rather ski the big flowing GS turns down the hill.
We have one more climb up the hogback ridge out of the valley to a trail junction that can take you east to the Coyote Ridge trails that drop you out on Taft road between Ft Collins and Loveland.

Trail coming up. So much nicer......Steep but not as rocky....ridable!!
Here is Kyle with his new helmet and Go Pro looking fresh as a daisy. He has some video that I will post up.

And of course our cycling hero looking a little less than fresh.
We finish out the ride getting to Horsetooth and then some road riding back into Ft. Collins to Kyle's place.
What did we learn from this ride????? Well about a fourth of the ride I was in over my head cycling-wise. I had a few crashes, one that I sprained up my foot pretty good. Ironic that I rode in this morning and it feels great to ride with it but I am limping about for walking. I also had to shave my calf so I could pick the cactus barbs out of my leg. I am feeling pretty good that it was my leg instead of my ass that took on the prickly pear cactus!! This was a great time of year for this ride. Anytime in the summer would have been hot, plus it is perfect rattlesnake habitat.
Three great weekends of rides that Kyle and I have wanted to do, plus just getting to spend time with one of your kids is so much fun!!
He is busy next weekend so I'll probably be back on a road ride by myself which is OK, at least I won't be falling into any cactus!!

Thanks for reading along!
Everybody have a great week!!