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!!



  1. So much fun exploring new territory. This looks like some pretty tough cycling. It also looks like a very pretty area to ride in. Glad to see you're getting some diversity in your riding to build up the skill level.

    1. Richard, you got it in the one sentence there, it was pretty and it was tough. Not sure if I can get those kind of skills or the courage to just bomb it on the rocky trails. I always think how a broken bone would foul things up!!

  2. As always looks like a beautiful place to ride. There is something really fun about riding single track and I enjoy it but not the technical kind.