Monday, August 31, 2015


It seems that I have been focusing on road rides for the last two months. Fun rides up into the Park and the tour I went on.
I decided for this Sunday to get the Night Train out and go for a little ride up the Rollins Pass road.

Lets Go!!
Last year Kyle and I rode this up and over the top and on down to Winter Park. Debbie and Lea dropped us off and drove over to pick us up. Today I am flying solo so it was going to be an up and back affair. Since we went all the way over we drove up to the Moffit Tunnel and started there. Today I decided to start riding from Rollinsville where the dirt road starts, about a five or six mile ride up a pretty nice dirt road to get to the start of Rollins Pass Road. I am still getting the feel of my fat bike and some ride time on a good dirt surface was good for me and fattie to get to know each other better.

Many people have remarked that it will be an early fall. Yes, it is August 30th and some Aspen are changing. I like the fall season as much as anybody except for what follows.
It was a beautiful morning except for a pretty stiff headwind coming out of the west, but, that is OK because I will get it rolling back to the truck. Yes, don't be cynical, it will still be blowing out of the west for the return!!
A few old summer cabins strung up and down this road. I am sure most of these are hand-me-downs through generations of families.

I am not sure of the history behind this building. It is all boarded up but the current owner has it painted up this bright, pretty Yellow.
I make the turn-off on Rollins Pass Road and the surface changes. From nice dirt road to a rock garden bouncing on up. Fattie does roll over the rocks much better than last years ride on Ogre. I am pleased with that. Cyclist share this road with ATV's and motorcycles and Jeeps and that tends to make for a rocky track.

I like imagining the places where there are rock cuts the old trains chugging up through the cuts.
This has become more of a road in places than an old RR bed. There are a few switchbacks that are rocky and steep that no way could a train either make the turn or the grade. I think there are private land issues in places that the true RR bed is not followed.
I rode up to just short of Yankee Doodle Lake and decided to turn around. I had been on the bike for about 3 hours of climbing and frankly was tired of the dust kicked up by the dirt bikers and 4WD'ers.

Despite my complaining, in my opinion, the Aspen are prettiest when they first start to turn and you have a mix of yellow and greens.

I tried to take one of Richard's artsy pictures of holding the bike and pretty scenery. I am not the photographer that he is.
Heading down the last stretch you can see where somewhere out there in the distance the train track and road come together!!

When I got back down to the main road I decided to ride that last mile up to the east portal of the Tunnel. An 85 year old piece of Civil Engineering that is still in use today!!
All that is left now is the cruise back down to my truck and WOW!! It was so much fun to have the wind at my back cruising down hill!! The fat bike really was a smooth rolling comfort ride for this.

Everybody have a great week!!


  1. For me, Fatbikes are all about the comfort factor. It's my first choice now on gravel rides. I may not keep up with the guys on the fast 'cross bikes, but I'm not all beat up at the end either. The old yellow building probably used to be white and was a schoolhouse. It has the lines of one. I started my schooling in one of those and it looked just like that. Love the pictures of the road leading down to the train track. Fatties aren't the fastest climbers in the world, but with the low tractor gearing, they can climb almost anything. Glad to see you got the "Train" out on the railbed where it belongs .....

  2. Thanks for sharing your ride. Looks like such a neat area with the scenery and history. I also enjoyed checking out your route on Google Earth.

  3. Oh also...I guess I didn't know (or forgot?) that you got a fatbike.

  4. I can't help it.....MOFFAT tunnel...I have to play upon words. MOF is a Dutch nickname for a we got here a tunnel large enough for a Fat German. Yes, silly.

  5. Henk, I am not sure if David Moffat was German. He was a wealthy financier of the mid-1800's. Made a fortune as the one of the main founders of the Union and Pacific RR company, but he blew his fortune building his dream of a western Connection RR out of Denver. He developed The Rollins pass rail route at a for then expensive $75,000 per mile expense. He was labeled as a silly dreamer at the time but was really a visionary

  6. You got a Fat bike!? COOL! You certainly have the terrain for it in your back yard. I salute you for really milking the summer with all the rides you've done. My very limited riding has been to and from the Farmers market on Sundays on my relatively skinny 700x47c tires ;-) but I have been reading lately about this years Paris Brest Paris Rando ride and it has me dreaming of doing longer rides again. Anyway chapeau on the addition to your quiver.

    1. Thanks Ryan, I thing the jury is still out on the fattie. We will see after this winter and if it allows me to keep commuting into sketchy road conditions (snow and packed snow/ice). I took it to Ft. Collins last Sunday to meet up with Kyle and his fiance and rode down city trail to Old Town for a couple of beers at O'Dell's brewery taproom. It is slower on paved trail and I will not ride it again for that, I just like the better ride of my pavement better bikes. I don't know, I just do not ride as much dirt and single track as I used to and this has not really enticed me to ride it more. Might be a real specialty bike for me and not the do all bike that some people use their fattie's for. W e will have to just keep trying it on different rides.

      Thanks, for coming by!!

    2. Man, a year goes by like nothing. I'm sorry to have been neglecting my friends and their Boogers for so long. It isn't easy to explain, so I won't try. But Sunday the old stuff came back and I pedaled a pedaling after being awake way too long and of course, a blog post exploded onto the keyboards.

      I'm riding around on two-inch tires and you can feel it. A lot of my heros ride fat bikes everywhere but let's face it: these are world-class touring cyclists who ride continents in the same way I ride to the liquor store. You FEEL the extra tire don't misunderstand, I absolutely love the two inch cushion. But I feel it.

      Meanwhile, Coach, has it really been seven months since your last post? All this is my fault. I went away. I told you guys I couldn't explain it, and I still can't. But I seem to have woke up and I'm ready to write again. I'll be re-populating my blog list and you'll be on it. Post up. I'm particularly interested in hearing about not-riding and not-writing. For me it was like I was Rip Van Winkling or something, like I was zombiefied. I wanted to reach out but somehow or another I just couldn't do it. Then, a few days ago I went for what was supposed to be a one mile ride and it turned into a life-or-death struggle that snapped me straight out of my stasis and back into OUR world.

      Plus I just gotta get in a few words about our wacky political year...anyway, the Park is open again and come on by.

      yer pal tj

    3. And just like that, Tim-Joe is back!! Yeah, this seems like a different time zone when I was on this ride. Well it was, before the winter. I have been riding, a lot actually for a winter time gig. I really committed to my commute and rode up and through the start of practice in November. Then it got too dark and we had late practice so I did not roll out of the gym until eight, so back in my truck. Anyway this is my excuse for no blog posts, I just put up the occasional pictures on FB. Our season ended with a whimper (don't they always!!) and the regular job of selling sticks has been pretty busy so no real fun long rides with adventure attached to them have happened that are blog worthy. Just the same commute in the wind. I might be in a rut. I am heading for Santa Fe for the usual ride with all the fast fred's in May, maybe I'll get a post up about that. Thank you for posting and I am going to head over to the Park to see what you have up

  7. That yellow building has all the looks of an old country schoolhouse.