RR: Because

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Jd, Aug 18, 2003.

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  1. Jd

    Jd Guest

    I had seen it on maps before, had read about it, had even been on part of it before, but had never
    ridden it. The popularity of the route with those who only venture out with what a good friend of
    mine calls their "internal combustion security blankets" makes it a more than safe solo excursion,
    so I decided that this Summer was time to just ride it. Besides, rides in the Colorado high country
    are anything but boring, even if they are not the most serene and empty singletrack.

    The drive out Sunday found me accompanied by an old friend who had happened into town the night
    before. They were aware that I would be MIA for a few hours on Monday, but they understood why and
    planned for a foot excursion of their own. We settled into a nice campsite, overlooking the second
    largest natural lake in the state. Though the site was excellent, I had forgotten my ground pad and
    because of this, got very little sleep. It was promising to be a long day Monday.

    Chirping birds and a growling belly finally woke me up from the last catnap of my fitful night. We
    were close enough to a town to run in and get some breakfast before the day's endeavors, so within a
    few minutes we were off. A hearty breakfast burrito and coffee later we were back at the campground,
    getting ready. Though it was early, the monsoon rains were already threatening. I made sure my
    friend had proper gear for a hike as I secured a goretex shell to my pack to ensure my own safety.
    When you venture above 12,000 ft msl, any kind of weather can happen and it usually does.

    Rolling out of the campground at 9AM sharp, the singlespeed definitely felt like the right choice.
    The lightly graveled surface had seen daily afternoon rains and was hardpacked where the vehicle
    tires ran on it, making a sort of doubletrack out of the wide dirt road. Tire pressure seemed a bit
    low at first, but as the miles began to click off underneath me, everything seemed just right.

    After a few miles of enjoying the scenery of the canyon I was gradually climbing up, I passed a
    tourer on a mountain bike with a BOB trailer. I think he was more surprised at me than I was he, as
    we exchanged brief greetings in passing. Very soon after that I happened upon one of the many mining
    ghost towns that dot the Rockies and found myself looking at the first real climb. Luckily it was
    still below treeline, so I had enough oxygen and warmed-up fresh legs to tackle the first real
    challenge of the ride. It was worth the effort as I quickly leveled out after a few hundred feet and
    found myself on a very precipitous ledge of a jeep trail above a deep gorge within the canyon.

    After exiting the gorge section, everything leveled out again and the view opened up to reveal
    several peaks, towering well above treeline. The route passed several side trails that accessed the
    area 14ers, as well as the Colorado Trail. There were also a few more ghost towns, as well as mining
    "garbifacts" strewn about in-between the dreary remnants of miner's shacks and cabins. It was here
    that I also spied my first apex of the day in the form of a far away pass. The hard part was
    obviously yet to come.

    http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303001.jpg

    As usual in the Colorado high country, the higher you climb, the steeper the terrain gets. It
    usually gets rougher as well and in this case did so almost all at once. Of course this was around
    11,000 ft msl, where lack of oxygen and a 2:1 gear ratio combined with the loose and steep surface
    to force a dismount and a bit of hoofing. This process was repeated a half-dozen times, riding what
    was rideable for the conditions that now included rain, sleet and even some small hailstones.

    http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303002.jpg

    I decided to not shell up until the pass because I would have gotten just as wet from sweat if I
    had. Some atvers passed me on one steep section just to stop and don their rain gear. While riding
    past them, I chided, "Why put it on now? It'll be sunny in a few minutes". They laughed and
    continued despite the known truth in my statement. Shortly after that a white Jeep Cherokee passed
    me and the driver asked me if I was having fun yet. I said that I will after about 500 more vertical
    feet. After the predicted slogging, the pass was had and it was time to shell-up and descend into a
    large historic ghost town.

    http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303014.jpg

    As I started off of a couple of jeeps passed me as a third noticed me and let me drop in front of
    him. Jeeps one and two readily gave way and I shot down the hill where the track takes those in
    passing through a large alpine meadow that lies in-between huge jagged peaks. I didn't see much of
    the surrounding terrain afte rthe pass though because all of my concentration was being placed on
    the rocky track in front of me. As the track took me around a corner on its traverse down the side
    of one of the mountains, I spied my buddy in the white Cherokee. He must have seen me at the same
    time because he pulled to the side a bit and slowed to let me pass. As I flew by his open window, I
    yelled, "Now this is fun!" and cut back in front of him just in time to hit a nice ledge
    dropoff...all show.

    I stopped at the intersection above the ghost town and saw two good reasons to not go there. Reason
    #1 was that it was crawling with people. How could I get a good photo or two with a bunch of bermuda
    shorts wearing Texans walking all over the place? Reason #2 was that it looked like a good four
    hundred feet of vertical that I would have to climb back up. Mr. white Cherokee pulled up as I
    mulled over the good reasons to not drop in and he gave me another hearty hello. He said that he
    thought I was greased lightning and crazy to boot, especially with only one gear. I told him that I
    was surprised that he had noticed the one gear thing. He asked me why I had a bike like that. I told
    him singlespeed was about simplicity and nostalgia for days gone by on old one speed balloon tire
    bikes, which he fully understood. He was pretty hip for a 60-something Texan. I bade he and his
    lovely wife a good day and then began the second ascent of the day.

    http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303022.jpg

    The second pass I was to ascend was a bit more popular than the first. The pass itself was at 12,800
    ft msl, but before going through it, the trail topped out at over 13,000 ft. The Sun came out here
    and there as I spun up the trail towards the apex of the day. There were quite a few more atvers as
    well and many didn't have the decency to even slow down a bit in passing. One in particular did the
    most ridiculous thing. When we were approaching towards each other, he was descending around a two
    foot ledge and when he saw me, he just stopped right in the middle of the line, effectively blocking
    the trail. There was only one way to handle this, so I gunned it, popped right up the ledge and
    watched that slack-jawed moron's eyes just about pop out of his empty head as I did so. Some
    people's kids.

    The last bit before topping out was torturous. I admittedly rode very little of the steep grade, but
    didn't waste much time in getting up
    it. In fact, I even gained ground on a couple of jeeps crawling up the rocky switchbacks at one
    point. It was here that break time was decided for me, so I sat down on the outside of one of
    the switchbacks near the top and proceeded to devour a packet of pop tarts and snap some pics.
    The panorama was amazing and can only really be appreciated by being there. It's definitely
    some "big country".

    http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303008.jpg

    There's not much like flying down a sunny trail above treeline and that's what I finally got to do.
    I turned the corner on the large ridge and got a great view of two 14ers and the pass below me.
    Before dropping in, I stopped to take a few more pics and chat with a couple of jeepers. They
    thought I was crazy as well when I told them where and when I had departed from, though they
    believed me when I said I would at my starting point in forty minutes from when the descent began in
    earnest. More nice folks just out enjoying a beautiful day and view.

    http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303009.jpg

    The drop in to the last pass was beyond picturesque and speed had to be reigned in to enjoy the
    views and avoid a terminal endo. The two fourteeners to the East came into view again as I finished
    the descent, though the tops were now obscured by clouds. There was a crowd at the pass, so an
    opportunity to be a show off after the short rest and refueling on the other side of the apex
    couldn't be resisted. Every rock became a jump and speed was all-important. Stopping had to be part
    of the show, so the finish featured a nose wheelie stop right at the sign, where I hopped off and
    planted the bike on the pass sign. There seemed to be a weird silence as almost all of the about
    thirty people in the pass were looking at me and the singlespeed like I was a dirty hippie wearing a
    Black Sabbath t-shirt and cutoff blue jeans in a mormon temple on a Sunday.

    http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303010.jpg

    I only spent enough time in the pass to snap a quick pic and take a look downhill to seewhat was in
    store. It looked pretty smooth in a straightaway a couple of turns from the top, so a continuation
    of the dirty hippie show was a must at this point. A conservative estimate of what I hit in that
    straightaway was forty, but the best part was a nice rock ledge near the following turn where I
    excecuted a rare (for
    iu) cross-up followed by a nice two wheel drift, inside leg down into the turn for a grand finale.

    Fast, smooth and downhill was a nice change and much appreciated payoff for the earlier endeavors of
    the day. This was impeded however, when a rented jeep appeared in front of me. They were going the
    same direction and obviously were not checking their mirrors. After about a minute, I yelled to get
    their attention. The driver finally saw me, but sped up, thinking he could outrun me. What a joke.
    After yelling "HEY!" a few more times and eating his dust for about a half of a mile, he finally
    decided to give me some room. I yelled a thank you in passing and quickly shot out of sight, down
    the curvy track.

    After passing a particualrly gaudy cabin that was previously owned by a poet, the flavor of the
    route became a bit different. First thing was the presence of trees and more oxygen again. The other
    was the surface, which had become covered with half-buried babyheads to form an excellent example of
    Rocky Mountain Cobblestone. This made for an interesting bout of intense concentration needed to
    weave the rigid bike into the path of least resistance at speed for about three miles or so. The
    jackhammering finally let up to smooth with patches of rocky surface that were much easier to
    navigate through.

    The miles started to zip by as the route became more and more used. Signage indicated trailheads to
    the fourteeners and various other points of interest were more frequent, as well as a blur in
    passing. Most motorized users were considerate, slowing down when passing opposite direction. Those
    going the same direction were also courteous enough to be checking their mirrors, though the jeep
    trail was now two lanes wide and passing was easy. The mining ruins also became more frequent and I
    could more easily play tourist and gawk a bit at them without worrying about getting thrown onto my
    head from hitting a big rock.

    Before I knew it, I was back in town and on the home stretch of three miles of pavement and another
    two in the dirt to the campground. Through town was good because the highway was wide and empty
    enough to ride no hands and sit up straight in the saddle. My neck had become a bit sore from
    looking up on the downhill and it was nice to stretch those muscles again. The climb out of town was
    a bit of a drag as predicted, but it went by quickly. The sight of the lake and campground on the
    far side was a welcome sight. Feeling rejuvenated, the undualting dirt road to the campground also
    passed quickly under my wheels and I rolled back in almost five and a half hours after starting.

    Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a singlespeed is
    always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high country is beyond welcome.

    JD
     
    Tags:


  2. Tj

    Tj Guest

    "JD" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... Snip
    There were
    > quite a few more atvers as well and many didn't have the decency to even slow down a bit in
    > passing. One in particular did the most ridiculous thing. When we were approaching towards each
    > other, he was descending around a two foot ledge and when he saw me, he just stopped right in the
    > middle of the line, effectively blocking the trail. There was only one way to handle this, so I
    > gunned it, popped right up the ledge and watched that slack-jawed moron's eyes just about pop out
    > of his empty head as I did so. Some people's kids.
    >

    > ride those miles in the Colorado high country is beyond welcome.
    >
    > JD

    What was the brand of the ATV? He he he.

    TJ the smart @$$

    Good RR
     
  3. Paladin

    Paladin Guest

    [email protected] (JD) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I had seen it on maps before, had read about it, had even been on part of it before, but had never
    > ridden it. The popularity of the route with those who only venture out with what a good friend of
    > mine calls their "internal combustion security blankets" makes it a more than safe solo excursion,
    > so I decided that this Summer was time to just ride it. Besides, rides in the Colorado high
    > country are anything but boring, even if they are not the most serene and empty singletrack.
    >
    >
    > The miles started to zip by as the route became more and more used. Signage indicated trailheads
    > to the fourteeners and various other points of interest were more frequent, as well as a blur in
    > passing. Most motorized users were considerate, slowing down when passing opposite direction.
    > Those going the same direction were also courteous enough to be checking their mirrors, though the
    > jeep trail was now two lanes wide and passing was easy. The mining ruins also became more frequent
    > and I could more easily play tourist and gawk a bit at them without worrying about getting thrown
    > onto my head from hitting a big rock.
    >
    > Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a singlespeed
    > is always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high country is beyond
    > welcome.
    >
    > JD

    Wow, You and the Tracksterman oughta get sponsored and put on a show for OLN or some such cable
    network to show the high country from a bike. Cushy sponsorship, paid to travel the world and ride.
    Not a bad life.

    Paladin
     
  4. Gabrielle

    Gabrielle Guest

    On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 10:57:00 -0700, JD wrote:

    > There seemed to be a weird silence as almost all of the about thirty people in the pass were
    > looking at me and the singlespeed like I was a dirty hippie wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt and
    > cutoff blue jeans in a mormon temple on a Sunday.

    Hee hee...

    Great photos, great RR.

    gabrielle
     
  5. Zilla

    Zilla Guest

    Now I really hate you! (Nice RR and pics!)

    --
    - Zilla Cary, NC (Remove XSPAM)

    "JD" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I had seen it on maps before, had read about it, had even been on part of it before, but had never
    > ridden it. The popularity of the route with those who only venture out with what a good friend of
    > mine calls their "internal combustion security blankets" makes it a more than safe solo excursion,
    > so I decided that this Summer was time to just ride it. Besides, rides in the Colorado high
    > country are anything but boring, even if they are not the most serene and empty singletrack.
    >
    > The drive out Sunday found me accompanied by an old friend who had happened into town the night
    > before. They were aware that I would be MIA for a few hours on Monday, but they understood why and
    > planned for a foot excursion of their own. We settled into a nice campsite, overlooking the second
    > largest natural lake in the state. Though the site was excellent, I had forgotten my ground pad
    > and because of this, got very little sleep. It was promising to be a long day Monday.
    >
    > Chirping birds and a growling belly finally woke me up from the last catnap of my fitful night. We
    > were close enough to a town to run in and get some breakfast before the day's endeavors, so within
    > a few minutes we were off. A hearty breakfast burrito and coffee later we were back at the
    > campground, getting ready. Though it was early, the monsoon rains were already threatening. I made
    > sure my friend had proper gear for a hike as I secured a goretex shell to my pack to ensure my own
    > safety. When you venture above 12,000 ft msl, any kind of weather can happen and it usually does.
    >
    > Rolling out of the campground at 9AM sharp, the singlespeed definitely felt like the right choice.
    > The lightly graveled surface had seen daily afternoon rains and was hardpacked where the vehicle
    > tires ran on it, making a sort of doubletrack out of the wide dirt road. Tire pressure seemed a
    > bit low at first, but as the miles began to click off underneath me, everything seemed just right.
    >
    > After a few miles of enjoying the scenery of the canyon I was gradually climbing up, I passed a
    > tourer on a mountain bike with a BOB trailer. I think he was more surprised at me than I was he,
    > as we exchanged brief greetings in passing. Very soon after that I happened upon one of the many
    > mining ghost towns that dot the Rockies and found myself looking at the first real climb.
    > Luckily it was still below treeline, so I had enough oxygen and warmed-up fresh legs to tackle
    > the first real challenge of the ride. It was worth the effort as I quickly leveled out after a
    > few hundred feet and found myself on a very precipitous ledge of a jeep trail above a deep gorge
    > within the canyon.
    >
    > After exiting the gorge section, everything leveled out again and the view opened up to reveal
    > several peaks, towering well above treeline. The route passed several side trails that accessed
    > the area 14ers, as well as the Colorado Trail. There were also a few more ghost towns, as well as
    > mining "garbifacts" strewn about in-between the dreary remnants of miner's shacks and cabins. It
    > was here that I also spied my first apex of the day in the form of a far away pass. The hard part
    > was obviously yet to come.
    >
    > http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303001.jpg
    >
    > As usual in the Colorado high country, the higher you climb, the steeper the terrain gets. It
    > usually gets rougher as well and in this case did so almost all at once. Of course this was around
    > 11,000 ft msl, where lack of oxygen and a 2:1 gear ratio combined with the loose and steep surface
    > to force a dismount and a bit of hoofing. This process was repeated a half-dozen times, riding
    > what was rideable for the conditions that now included rain, sleet and even some small hailstones.
    >
    > http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303002.jpg
    >
    > I decided to not shell up until the pass because I would have gotten just as wet from sweat if I
    > had. Some atvers passed me on one steep section just to stop and don their rain gear. While riding
    > past them, I chided, "Why put it on now? It'll be sunny in a few minutes". They laughed and
    > continued despite the known truth in my statement. Shortly after that a white Jeep Cherokee passed
    > me and the driver asked me if I was having fun yet. I said that I will after about 500 more
    > vertical feet. After the predicted slogging, the pass was had and it was time to shell-up and
    > descend into a large historic ghost town.
    >
    > http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303014.jpg
    >
    > As I started off of a couple of jeeps passed me as a third noticed me and let me drop in front of
    > him. Jeeps one and two readily gave way and I shot down the hill where the track takes those in
    > passing through a large alpine meadow that lies in-between huge jagged peaks. I didn't see much of
    > the surrounding terrain afte rthe pass though because all of my concentration was being placed on
    > the rocky track in front of me. As the track took me around a corner on its traverse down the side
    > of one of the mountains, I spied my buddy in the white Cherokee. He must have seen me at the same
    > time because he pulled to the side a bit and slowed to let me pass. As I flew by his open window,
    > I yelled, "Now this is fun!" and cut back in front of him just in time to hit a nice ledge
    > dropoff...all show.
    >
    > I stopped at the intersection above the ghost town and saw two good reasons to not go there.
    > Reason #1 was that it was crawling with people. How could I get a good photo or two with a bunch
    > of bermuda shorts wearing Texans walking all over the place? Reason #2 was that it looked like a
    > good four hundred feet of vertical that I would have to climb back up. Mr. white Cherokee pulled
    > up as I mulled over the good reasons to not drop in and he gave me another hearty hello. He said
    > that he thought I was greased lightning and crazy to boot, especially with only one gear. I told
    > him that I was surprised that he had noticed the one gear thing. He asked me why I had a bike like
    > that. I told him singlespeed was about simplicity and nostalgia for days gone by on old one speed
    > balloon tire bikes, which he fully understood. He was pretty hip for a 60-something Texan. I bade
    > he and his lovely wife a good day and then began the second ascent of the day.
    >
    > http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303022.jpg
    >
    > The second pass I was to ascend was a bit more popular than the first. The pass itself was at
    > 12,800 ft msl, but before going through it, the trail topped out at over 13,000 ft. The Sun came
    > out here and there as I spun up the trail towards the apex of the day. There were quite a few more
    > atvers as well and many didn't have the decency to even slow down a bit in passing. One in
    > particular did the most ridiculous thing. When we were approaching towards each other, he was
    > descending around a two foot ledge and when he saw me, he just stopped right in the middle of the
    > line, effectively blocking the trail. There was only one way to handle this, so I gunned it,
    > popped right up the ledge and watched that slack-jawed moron's eyes just about pop out of his
    > empty head as I did so. Some people's kids.
    >
    > The last bit before topping out was torturous. I admittedly rode very little of the steep grade,
    > but didn't waste much time in getting up
    > it. In fact, I even gained ground on a couple of jeeps crawling up the rocky switchbacks at one
    > point. It was here that break time was decided for me, so I sat down on the outside of one of
    > the switchbacks near the top and proceeded to devour a packet of pop tarts and snap some
    > pics. The panorama was amazing and can only really be appreciated by being there. It's
    > definitely some "big country".
    >
    > http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303008.jpg
    >
    > There's not much like flying down a sunny trail above treeline and that's what I finally got to
    > do. I turned the corner on the large ridge and got a great view of two 14ers and the pass below
    > me. Before dropping in, I stopped to take a few more pics and chat with a couple of jeepers. They
    > thought I was crazy as well when I told them where and when I had departed from, though they
    > believed me when I said I would at my starting point in forty minutes from when the descent began
    > in earnest. More nice folks just out enjoying a beautiful day and view.
    >
    > http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303009.jpg
    >
    > The drop in to the last pass was beyond picturesque and speed had to be reigned in to enjoy the
    > views and avoid a terminal endo. The two fourteeners to the East came into view again as I
    > finished the descent, though the tops were now obscured by clouds. There was a crowd at the pass,
    > so an opportunity to be a show off after the short rest and refueling on the other side of the
    > apex couldn't be resisted. Every rock became a jump and speed was all-important. Stopping had to
    > be part of the show, so the finish featured a nose wheelie stop right at the sign, where I hopped
    > off and planted the bike on the pass sign. There seemed to be a weird silence as almost all of the
    > about thirty people in the pass were looking at me and the singlespeed like I was a dirty hippie
    > wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt and cutoff blue jeans in a mormon temple on a Sunday.
    >
    > http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303010.jpg
    >
    > I only spent enough time in the pass to snap a quick pic and take a look downhill to seewhat was
    > in store. It looked pretty smooth in a straightaway a couple of turns from the top, so a
    > continuation of the dirty hippie show was a must at this point. A conservative estimate of what I
    > hit in that straightaway was forty, but the best part was a nice rock ledge near the following
    > turn where I excecuted a rare (for
    > me) cross-up followed by a nice two wheel drift, inside leg down into the turn for a grand finale.
    >
    > Fast, smooth and downhill was a nice change and much appreciated payoff for the earlier endeavors
    > of the day. This was impeded however, when a rented jeep appeared in front of me. They were going
    > the same direction and obviously were not checking their mirrors. After about a minute, I yelled
    > to get their attention. The driver finally saw me, but sped up, thinking he could outrun me. What
    > a joke. After yelling "HEY!" a few more times and eating his dust for about a half of a mile, he
    > finally decided to give me some room. I yelled a thank you in passing and quickly shot out of
    > sight, down the curvy track.
    >
    > After passing a particualrly gaudy cabin that was previously owned by a poet, the flavor of the
    > route became a bit different. First thing was the presence of trees and more oxygen again. The
    > other was the surface, which had become covered with half-buried babyheads to form an excellent
    > example of Rocky Mountain Cobblestone. This made for an interesting bout of intense concentration
    > needed to weave the rigid bike into the path of least resistance at speed for about three miles or
    > so. The jackhammering finally let up to smooth with patches of rocky surface that were much easier
    > to navigate through.
    >
    > The miles started to zip by as the route became more and more used. Signage indicated trailheads
    > to the fourteeners and various other points of interest were more frequent, as well as a blur in
    > passing. Most motorized users were considerate, slowing down when passing opposite direction.
    > Those going the same direction were also courteous enough to be checking their mirrors, though the
    > jeep trail was now two lanes wide and passing was easy. The mining ruins also became more frequent
    > and I could more easily play tourist and gawk a bit at them without worrying about getting thrown
    > onto my head from hitting a big rock.
    >
    > Before I knew it, I was back in town and on the home stretch of three miles of pavement and
    > another two in the dirt to the campground. Through town was good because the highway was wide and
    > empty enough to ride no hands and sit up straight in the saddle. My neck had become a bit sore
    > from looking up on the downhill and it was nice to stretch those muscles again. The climb out of
    > town was a bit of a drag as predicted, but it went by quickly. The sight of the lake and
    > campground on the far side was a welcome sight. Feeling rejuvenated, the undualting dirt road to
    > the campground also passed quickly under my wheels and I rolled back in almost five and a half
    > hours after starting.
    >
    > Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a singlespeed
    > is always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high country is beyond
    > welcome.
    >
    > JD
     
  6. ----------
    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (JD) wrote:

    >
    > Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a singlespeed
    > is always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high country is beyond
    > welcome.
    >
    > JD

    Life is good. You're fortunate.

    Paul
     
  7. Samian

    Samian Guest

  8. Fredzep

    Fredzep Guest

    > thirty people in the pass were looking at me and the singlespeed like I was a dirty hippie wearing
    > a Black Sabbath t-shirt and cutoff blue jeans in a mormon temple on a Sunday.

    Sabbath Rules!!! Nice RR.

    Fredzep
     
  9. JD wrote:
    > Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a singlespeed
    > is always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high country is beyond
    > welcome.

    Thanks JD. Out of curiosity, how long (in hours) were you out, how much water and food did you bring
    - it doesn't sound like there were any water stops, or am I wrong? My experience is getting
    dehydrated more quickly at altitude, even at altitudes lower than that. (And the potential for
    vicious sunburn, but that is another story.)
     
  10. Shaun Rimmer

    Shaun Rimmer Guest

    JD <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I had seen it on maps before, had read about it, had even been on part of it before, but had never
    > ridden it. The popularity of the route with those who only venture out with what a good friend of
    > mine calls their "internal combustion security blankets" makes it a more than safe solo excursion,
    > so I decided that this Summer was time to just ride it. Besides, rides in the Colorado high
    > country are anything but boring, even if they are not the most serene and empty singletrack.

    <snipped some>

    > Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a singlespeed
    > is always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high country is beyond
    > welcome.
    >
    > JD

    Cheers Jock - sounds like a nice little bimble.

    Shaun aRe
     
  11. Shaun Rimmer

    Shaun Rimmer Guest

    Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > JD wrote:
    > > Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a
    > > singlespeed is always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high country
    > > is beyond welcome.
    >
    > Thanks JD. Out of curiosity, how long (in hours) were you out,

    "I rolled back in almost five and a half hours after starting."

    Not bad going for a 63 miler, I suppose........................

    ',;~}~

    Shaun aRe
     
  12. Pete Jones

    Pete Jones Guest

    Looks good. I prefer open, barren landscapes to trees.

    I'd like to see the abandoned mining towns. You see something similar in Scotland - derelict stone
    buildings in remote valleys that used to be villages & crofts, abandoned after the clan chiefs
    forced their people off the land during the Clearances so they could use it for sheep farming. The
    displaced Highlanders made their way to the cities (factory fodder for a nascent Industrial
    Revolution) or scratched out a living on the coasts. Life was so hard for many of the latter that
    they ended up emigrating to the US and Canada.

    Pete

    >I had seen it on maps before, had read about it, had even been on part of it before, but had never
    >ridden it. The popularity of the route with those who only venture out with what a good friend of
    >mine calls their "internal combustion security blankets" makes it a more than safe solo excursion,
    >so I decided that this Summer was time to just ride it. Besides, rides in the Colorado high country
    >are anything but boring, even if they are not the most serene and empty singletrack.
    >
    >The drive out Sunday found me accompanied by an old friend who had happened into town the night
    >before. They were aware that I would be MIA for a few hours on Monday, but they understood why and
    >planned for a foot excursion of their own. We settled into a nice campsite, overlooking the second
    >largest natural lake in the state. Though the site was excellent, I had forgotten my ground pad and
    >because of this, got very little sleep. It was promising to be a long day Monday.
    >
    >Chirping birds and a growling belly finally woke me up from the last catnap of my fitful night. We
    >were close enough to a town to run in and get some breakfast before the day's endeavors, so within
    >a few minutes we were off. A hearty breakfast burrito and coffee later we were back at the
    >campground, getting ready. Though it was early, the monsoon rains were already threatening. I made
    >sure my friend had proper gear for a hike as I secured a goretex shell to my pack to ensure my own
    >safety. When you venture above 12,000 ft msl, any kind of weather can happen and it usually does.
    >
    >Rolling out of the campground at 9AM sharp, the singlespeed definitely felt like the right choice.
    >The lightly graveled surface had seen daily afternoon rains and was hardpacked where the vehicle
    >tires ran on it, making a sort of doubletrack out of the wide dirt road. Tire pressure seemed a bit
    >low at first, but as the miles began to click off underneath me, everything seemed just right.
    >
    >After a few miles of enjoying the scenery of the canyon I was gradually climbing up, I passed a
    >tourer on a mountain bike with a BOB trailer. I think he was more surprised at me than I was he,
    >as we exchanged brief greetings in passing. Very soon after that I happened upon one of the many
    >mining ghost towns that dot the Rockies and found myself looking at the first real climb.
    >Luckily it was still below treeline, so I had enough oxygen and warmed-up fresh legs to tackle
    >the first real challenge of the ride. It was worth the effort as I quickly leveled out after a
    >few hundred feet and found myself on a very precipitous ledge of a jeep trail above a deep gorge
    >within the canyon.
    >
    >After exiting the gorge section, everything leveled out again and the view opened up to reveal
    >several peaks, towering well above treeline. The route passed several side trails that accessed the
    >area 14ers, as well as the Colorado Trail. There were also a few more ghost towns, as well as
    >mining "garbifacts" strewn about in-between the dreary remnants of miner's shacks and cabins. It
    >was here that I also spied my first apex of the day in the form of a far away pass. The hard part
    >was obviously yet to come.
    >
    >http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303001.jpg
    >
    >As usual in the Colorado high country, the higher you climb, the steeper the terrain gets. It
    >usually gets rougher as well and in this case did so almost all at once. Of course this was around
    >11,000 ft msl, where lack of oxygen and a 2:1 gear ratio combined with the loose and steep surface
    >to force a dismount and a bit of hoofing. This process was repeated a half-dozen times, riding what
    >was rideable for the conditions that now included rain, sleet and even some small hailstones.
    >
    >http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303002.jpg
    >
    >I decided to not shell up until the pass because I would have gotten just as wet from sweat if I
    >had. Some atvers passed me on one steep section just to stop and don their rain gear. While riding
    >past them, I chided, "Why put it on now? It'll be sunny in a few minutes". They laughed and
    >continued despite the known truth in my statement. Shortly after that a white Jeep Cherokee passed
    >me and the driver asked me if I was having fun yet. I said that I will after about 500 more
    >vertical feet. After the predicted slogging, the pass was had and it was time to shell-up and
    >descend into a large historic ghost town.
    >
    >http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303014.jpg
    >
    >As I started off of a couple of jeeps passed me as a third noticed me and let me drop in front of
    >him. Jeeps one and two readily gave way and I shot down the hill where the track takes those in
    >passing through a large alpine meadow that lies in-between huge jagged peaks. I didn't see much of
    >the surrounding terrain afte rthe pass though because all of my concentration was being placed on
    >the rocky track in front of me. As the track took me around a corner on its traverse down the side
    >of one of the mountains, I spied my buddy in the white Cherokee. He must have seen me at the same
    >time because he pulled to the side a bit and slowed to let me pass. As I flew by his open window, I
    >yelled, "Now this is fun!" and cut back in front of him just in time to hit a nice ledge
    >dropoff...all show.
    >
    >I stopped at the intersection above the ghost town and saw two good reasons to not go there. Reason
    >#1 was that it was crawling with people. How could I get a good photo or two with a bunch of
    >bermuda shorts wearing Texans walking all over the place? Reason #2 was that it looked like a good
    >four hundred feet of vertical that I would have to climb back up. Mr. white Cherokee pulled up as I
    >mulled over the good reasons to not drop in and he gave me another hearty hello. He said that he
    >thought I was greased lightning and crazy to boot, especially with only one gear. I told him that I
    >was surprised that he had noticed the one gear thing. He asked me why I had a bike like that. I
    >told him singlespeed was about simplicity and nostalgia for days gone by on old one speed balloon
    >tire bikes, which he fully understood. He was pretty hip for a 60-something Texan. I bade he and
    >his lovely wife a good day and then began the second ascent of the day.
    >
    >http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303022.jpg
    >
    >The second pass I was to ascend was a bit more popular than the first. The pass itself was at
    >12,800 ft msl, but before going through it, the trail topped out at over 13,000 ft. The Sun came
    >out here and there as I spun up the trail towards the apex of the day. There were quite a few more
    >atvers as well and many didn't have the decency to even slow down a bit in passing. One in
    >particular did the most ridiculous thing. When we were approaching towards each other, he was
    >descending around a two foot ledge and when he saw me, he just stopped right in the middle of the
    >line, effectively blocking the trail. There was only one way to handle this, so I gunned it, popped
    >right up the ledge and watched that slack-jawed moron's eyes just about pop out of his empty head
    >as I did so. Some people's kids.
    >
    >The last bit before topping out was torturous. I admittedly rode very little of the steep grade,
    >but didn't waste much time in getting up
    >it. In fact, I even gained ground on a couple of jeeps crawling up the rocky switchbacks at one
    > point. It was here that break time was decided for me, so I sat down on the outside of one of
    > the switchbacks near the top and proceeded to devour a packet of pop tarts and snap some pics.
    > The panorama was amazing and can only really be appreciated by being there. It's definitely
    > some "big country".
    >
    >http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303008.jpg
    >
    >There's not much like flying down a sunny trail above treeline and that's what I finally got to do.
    >I turned the corner on the large ridge and got a great view of two 14ers and the pass below me.
    >Before dropping in, I stopped to take a few more pics and chat with a couple of jeepers. They
    >thought I was crazy as well when I told them where and when I had departed from, though they
    >believed me when I said I would at my starting point in forty minutes from when the descent began
    >in earnest. More nice folks just out enjoying a beautiful day and view.
    >
    >http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303009.jpg
    >
    >The drop in to the last pass was beyond picturesque and speed had to be reigned in to enjoy the
    >views and avoid a terminal endo. The two fourteeners to the East came into view again as I finished
    >the descent, though the tops were now obscured by clouds. There was a crowd at the pass, so an
    >opportunity to be a show off after the short rest and refueling on the other side of the apex
    >couldn't be resisted. Every rock became a jump and speed was all-important. Stopping had to be part
    >of the show, so the finish featured a nose wheelie stop right at the sign, where I hopped off and
    >planted the bike on the pass sign. There seemed to be a weird silence as almost all of the about
    >thirty people in the pass were looking at me and the singlespeed like I was a dirty hippie wearing
    >a Black Sabbath t-shirt and cutoff blue jeans in a mormon temple on a Sunday.
    >
    >http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/081303010.jpg
    >
    >I only spent enough time in the pass to snap a quick pic and take a look downhill to seewhat was in
    >store. It looked pretty smooth in a straightaway a couple of turns from the top, so a continuation
    >of the dirty hippie show was a must at this point. A conservative estimate of what I hit in that
    >straightaway was forty, but the best part was a nice rock ledge near the following turn where I
    >excecuted a rare (for
    >me) cross-up followed by a nice two wheel drift, inside leg down into the turn for a grand finale.
    >
    >Fast, smooth and downhill was a nice change and much appreciated payoff for the earlier endeavors
    >of the day. This was impeded however, when a rented jeep appeared in front of me. They were going
    >the same direction and obviously were not checking their mirrors. After about a minute, I yelled to
    >get their attention. The driver finally saw me, but sped up, thinking he could outrun me. What a
    >joke. After yelling "HEY!" a few more times and eating his dust for about a half of a mile, he
    >finally decided to give me some room. I yelled a thank you in passing and quickly shot out of
    >sight, down the curvy track.
    >
    >After passing a particualrly gaudy cabin that was previously owned by a poet, the flavor of the
    >route became a bit different. First thing was the presence of trees and more oxygen again. The
    >other was the surface, which had become covered with half-buried babyheads to form an excellent
    >example of Rocky Mountain Cobblestone. This made for an interesting bout of intense concentration
    >needed to weave the rigid bike into the path of least resistance at speed for about three miles or
    >so. The jackhammering finally let up to smooth with patches of rocky surface that were much easier
    >to navigate through.
    >
    >The miles started to zip by as the route became more and more used. Signage indicated trailheads to
    >the fourteeners and various other points of interest were more frequent, as well as a blur in
    >passing. Most motorized users were considerate, slowing down when passing opposite direction. Those
    >going the same direction were also courteous enough to be checking their mirrors, though the jeep
    >trail was now two lanes wide and passing was easy. The mining ruins also became more frequent and I
    >could more easily play tourist and gawk a bit at them without worrying about getting thrown onto my
    >head from hitting a big rock.
    >
    >Before I knew it, I was back in town and on the home stretch of three miles of pavement and another
    >two in the dirt to the campground. Through town was good because the highway was wide and empty
    >enough to ride no hands and sit up straight in the saddle. My neck had become a bit sore from
    >looking up on the downhill and it was nice to stretch those muscles again. The climb out of town
    >was a bit of a drag as predicted, but it went by quickly. The sight of the lake and campground on
    >the far side was a welcome sight. Feeling rejuvenated, the undualting dirt road to the campground
    >also passed quickly under my wheels and I rolled back in almost five and a half hours after
    >starting.
    >
    >Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a
    >singlespeed is always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high country
    >is beyond welcome.
    >
    >JD

    Pete
    ----
    http://www.btinternet.com/~peteajones/
     
  13. Jd

    Jd Guest

    Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > JD wrote:
    > > Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a
    > > singlespeed is always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high country
    > > is beyond welcome.
    >
    > Thanks JD. Out of curiosity, how long (in hours) were you out, how much water and food did you
    > bring - it doesn't sound like there were any water stops, or am I wrong?

    As Shauny pointed out, I was out five and a half hours (wow, he really *can* read). As far as water,
    I carried 100 ounces of water and drank it all, finishing it as I pulled back into the campground.
    Food was just one packet of Pop Tarts (blueberry).

    JD
     
  14. Jd

    Jd Guest

    Pete Jones <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Looks good. I prefer open, barren landscapes to trees.
    >
    > I'd like to see the abandoned mining towns. You see something similar in Scotland - derelict stone
    > buildings in remote valleys that used to be villages & crofts, abandoned after the clan chiefs
    > forced their people off the land during the Clearances so they could use it for sheep farming. The
    > displaced Highlanders made their way to the cities (factory fodder for a nascent Industrial
    > Revolution) or scratched out a living on the coasts. Life was so hard for many of the latter that
    > they ended up emigrating to the US and Canada.

    So they abandoned their garbagey buildings in the UK high country, then came here to build more in
    ours just to abandon them as well? Litterbugs

    JD
     
  15. Pete Jones <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > I'd like to see the abandoned mining towns. You see something similar in Scotland - derelict stone
    > buildings in remote valleys that used to be villages & crofts, abandoned after the clan chiefs
    > forced their people off the land during the Clearances so they could use it for sheep farming. The
    > displaced Highlanders made their way to the cities (factory fodder for a nascent Industrial
    > Revolution) or scratched out a living on the coasts.

    The ruined Crofter towns in Scotland are really eerie. And it's amazing how well the people who
    still live there "remember" the Clearances. They talk about it as if it happened yesterday, with
    really genuine bitterness.

    CC
     
  16. In alt.mountain-bike JD <[email protected]> wrote:

    > As Shauny pointed out, I was out five and a half hours (wow, he really *can* read).

    Doh! Obviously he's one up on me, there.

    > As far as water, I carried 100 ounces of water and drank it all, finishing it as I pulled back
    > into the campground. Food was just one packet of Pop Tarts (blueberry).

    Impressive. I guess the water works out to a little over a bottle an hour, but man, that's not so
    much food for an epic ride. Thanks again.

    Ben
     
  17. Jd

    Jd Guest

    Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > In alt.mountain-bike JD <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > As Shauny pointed out, I was out five and a half hours (wow, he really *can* read).
    >
    > Doh! Obviously he's one up on me, there.
    >
    > > As far as water, I carried 100 ounces of water and drank it all, finishing it as I pulled back
    > > into the campground. Food was just one packet of Pop Tarts (blueberry).
    >
    > Impressive. I guess the water works out to a little over a bottle an hour, but man, that's not so
    > much food for an epic ride. Thanks again.

    I had a huge mexican dinner and drank a lot of water the night before and a good sized breakfast
    burrito that morning before riding. Everything sat really well and kept me fueled pretty evenly. The
    cool temps and getting rained on for one of the climbs helped my water intake remain minimal without
    jeopardizing my well being.

    JD

    JD
     
  18. Gman

    Gman Guest

    On 18 Aug 2003 10:57:00 -0700, JD <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I had seen it on maps before, had read about it, had even been on part of it before, but had never
    > ridden it.

    <unreal ride review snipped>

    Say what you want about him, he's rude, he's curt, he's opinionated, but man he's one BAMF
    on the SS.

    Incredible RR dude. I loved the "Black Sabbath T" paragraph!

    Gman "I'm in deep trouble for the 3ZSSE"
     
  19. Shaun Rimmer

    Shaun Rimmer Guest

    JD <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > JD wrote:
    > > > Why? Because it was there. The opportunity to ride sixty three miles in the dirt on a
    > > > singlespeed is always welcome. The opportunity to ride those miles in the Colorado high
    > > > country is beyond welcome.
    > >
    > > Thanks JD. Out of curiosity, how long (in hours) were you out, how much water and food did you
    > > bring - it doesn't sound like there were any water stops, or am I wrong?
    >
    > As Shauny pointed out, I was out five and a half hours (wow, he really *can* read).

    I can read better than you can write, ya lanky gret dipstick.

    Shaun aRe - Good reader, me.
     
  20. Jd

    Jd Guest

    Gman <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > On 18 Aug 2003 10:57:00 -0700, JD <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > I had seen it on maps before, had read about it, had even been on part of it before, but had
    > > never ridden it.
    >
    > <unreal ride review snipped>
    >
    > Say what you want about him, he's rude, he's curt, he's opinionated, but man he's one BAMF
    > on the SS.

    Big Ass Monkey Fart?

    > Incredible RR dude. I loved the "Black Sabbath T" paragraph!
    >
    > Gman "I'm in deep trouble for the 3ZSSE"

    No trouble for the 3ZSSE because it's a fun ride, not a death march. You'll dig it. BTW, the local
    contingency will be heavier this year. I ran into a bunch of local SSers Monday and they are all
    going to attend.

    JD
     
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