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Old 01-20-11, 07:32 PM   #1
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Winter on the Colorado Trail!

Today was a good day, went up Waterton Canyon to the Colorado Trail. While it got beyond my comfort level with clip ins I had a great time on the part I did. I also managed to make fresh tracks, not in a million years did I think that would happen on that trail. The quiet was fantastic and made for one of the best rides I have had in awhile.













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Old 01-20-11, 09:28 PM   #2
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Beautiful shots.
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Old 01-21-11, 12:35 AM   #3
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Thanks!
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Old 01-21-11, 12:40 AM   #4
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Wow, looks like some cool riding. Cool as in great, but you can thow in cold too!
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Old 01-21-11, 01:02 AM   #5
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Wow, looks like some cool riding. Cool as in great, but you can thow in cold too!
It was actually pretty nice. About 17 degrees when I started and almost 40 when I got back to my car.
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Old 01-21-11, 02:03 AM   #6
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Thats a nice looking ride there.

Guess I'll have to take another look at Mt. Hood
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Old 01-21-11, 02:04 AM   #7
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Ps. Not really into the MTB thing. My MTB is a commuter
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Old 01-21-11, 02:14 AM   #8
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Looks like a sweet ride dude... Love the pics...
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Old 01-21-11, 05:33 AM   #9
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Thats a nice looking ride there.

Guess I'll have to take another look at Mt. Hood
I miss Mt. Hood, heck I miss Oregon and California period!


Funrover, nice pics! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-21-11, 08:26 AM   #10
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You sir are a stud. That was the first mountain bike ride I went on and I learned that I sucked. I must have come off the bike a dozen times in that ride, including one crash that taco'd my front wheel. The pics don't show it but if you did the Roxborough loop that was technically hard, for me at least. And this was in the middle of summer!
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Old 01-21-11, 09:11 AM   #11
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That's friggin awesome!!! Those trails look sweet. It's the temp in the teens that keeps me from venturing out. Thanks for sharing the pics.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:13 AM   #12
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Today was a good day, went up Waterton Canyon to the Colorado Trail. While it got beyond my comfort level with clip ins I had a great time on the part I did. I also managed to make fresh tracks, not in a million years did I think that would happen on that trail. The quiet was fantastic and made for one of the best rides I have had in awhile.
I was going to give you crap about poaching a closed trail but you hit just the right window for riding up Waterton. The canyon is open from 12/17/10 to 1/31/11 and then it will be closed for the rest of 2011. Lucky you. That's why you didn't have much company...cold does lots to keep out people too

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You sir are a stud. That was the first mountain bike ride I went on and I learned that I sucked. I must have come off the bike a dozen times in that ride, including one crash that taco'd my front wheel. The pics don't show it but if you did the Roxborough loop that was technically hard, for me at least. And this was in the middle of summer!
Your first mountain bike ride? 1776 trail isn't a newbie trail! And the Roxborough loop is a nasty somabich for experienced riders. Trying to ride up the trough that they call a trail in the eastern part of that loop is just wrong (it's a really bad trail design and has nasty erosion problems.) Hell, parts of the Roxborough loop are hard to walk!

I hope you've gone on something that's a bit less challenging and a bit more fun. Nothing kills a newbie's appetite for mountain biking like having 'friends' take them on a death march and then, at the end, say 'Wasn't that was easy?'
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Old 01-21-11, 11:28 AM   #13
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Great pics...as always. Makes me want to get out and do some off roading as the snow has melted enough that I can take the LHT into the woods and hit some better trails. Now if only I could stop trying to cough up a lung....been sick all week.
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Old 01-21-11, 12:20 PM   #14
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Great pictures and looks like a fun but tricky ride. I really like those green gloves, far out dude.
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Old 01-21-11, 01:36 PM   #15
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Your first mountain bike ride? 1776 trail isn't a newbie trail! And the Roxborough loop is a nasty somabich for experienced riders. Trying to ride up the trough that they call a trail in the eastern part of that loop is just wrong (it's a really bad trail design and has nasty erosion problems.) Hell, parts of the Roxborough loop are hard to walk!

I hope you've gone on something that's a bit less challenging and a bit more fun. Nothing kills a newbie's appetite for mountain biking like having 'friends' take them on a death march and then, at the end, say 'Wasn't that was easy?'
Good to know. That's exactly what happened to me. I'm a road rider and don't have much MTB skills (I can't even do a bunny hop for goodness sakes). After that ride with my friend I pretty much gave up on mountain biking. We did do another ride last year that wasn't near as bad technically (but had a really tough climb for the path we took) - Green Mountain. I'm in decent shape but I had a crazy idea of going 1x9 and did so before that ride, bad idea, I'll be switching back.

As a side note I checked a book out of the library on mountain biking that said basically it isn't too fun when starting out as you're nervous the whole time but it becomes worth it. I don't know, I'm 33 and with job, kids, etc. I'm not too interested in spending the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to become skilled. I know that will involve crashes. On that Roxborough loop I had a knot in my stomach the whole time. Some people get an adrenaline rush from danger, I'm not like that at all, something isn't fun because its dangerous. I think what I was looking for in mountain biking is a smooth dirt path through woods, mountains, etc. so I could see some great scenery but avoid cars. Kind of like hiking but faster. There doesn't seem to be much of that around here, scenery is generally proportional to how technical a trail is.
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Old 01-21-11, 07:35 PM   #16
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Good to know. That's exactly what happened to me. I'm a road rider and don't have much MTB skills (I can't even do a bunny hop for goodness sakes). After that ride with my friend I pretty much gave up on mountain biking. We did do another ride last year that wasn't near as bad technically (but had a really tough climb for the path we took) - Green Mountain. I'm in decent shape but I had a crazy idea of going 1x9 and did so before that ride, bad idea, I'll be switching back.
West side of Green Mountain? On the road? Bet somebody said it would be 'easy' because it's a road The road is harder than just about any trail on the whole mountain for climbing. It's like a fricking wall!

Some suggestions: Elk Meadow in Evergreen is an excellent relatively easy mountain bike ride.

Green Mountain has some trails that are actually nice, easy and fun to ride. If you are leaving the parking lot on the west side, go across C-470 and take the trail that angles off the the southeast. It used to be called Lonesome Trail but they don't call it that anymore. You can follow it all the way around to the east side (Alameda side) of Green Mountain and it's not too hard nor too technical. Once around to the east side, you can climb up the switch backs (it's okay to walk them) and go over the top. This is actually easier than it looks. You can come back down that damned road or you can go over to the northwest side and come down what used to be called Hayden Trail. The trail connects to the roadway just before it makes that nasty drop.

For fun flattish trails, try Bear Creek. There's a lot of trails from the Fox Hollow Golf Course to Wadsworth. Just explore. These are tight, close trails through the trees and they are harder than you'd think, especially if you do them with any kind of speed.

South Table Mountain is kind of fun too. Jeffco has ruined the east end of it with some trail building...trail is too smooth...but the trails that lead to the west are better mountain biking trails and go all over the top. Here's a map.

For rides further afield, try some stuff around Breckenridge...the Frisco to Breckenridge trail is challenging physically but not to technical. The Colorado Trail/Buffalo Creek area is not a beginner trail but it is easier than the Roxborough loop with more choices.

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As a side note I checked a book out of the library on mountain biking that said basically it isn't too fun when starting out as you're nervous the whole time but it becomes worth it. I don't know, I'm 33 and with job, kids, etc. I'm not too interested in spending the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to become skilled. I know that will involve crashes. On that Roxborough loop I had a knot in my stomach the whole time. Some people get an adrenaline rush from danger, I'm not like that at all, something isn't fun because its dangerous. I think what I was looking for in mountain biking is a smooth dirt path through woods, mountains, etc. so I could see some great scenery but avoid cars. Kind of like hiking but faster. There doesn't seem to be much of that around here, scenery is generally proportional to how technical a trail is.
You, sir, are a man after my own heart. There are, literally, thousands of miles of roadways out there that are relatively easy to ride and take you to wonderfully beautiful places. Old railbeds are everywhere in the Colorado mountains and they offer spectacular riding without the death defying acrobatics. Tracking Colorado's Ghost Railways is perhaps the best book on finding absolutely spectacular scenery that is relatively easy to access.

One of my favorites is Rollins Pass. You can start from Winter Park and ride up to the top or you can start from the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel. There's some traffic on the road but the roadway dead ends at Needles Eye (you can climb over the tunnel while carrying your bike).

Boreas Pass is another old railbed that is really quite nice to ride. Gold Camp Road above Colorado Springs is another rail bed and it's got a long section that is closed to traffic because of a tunnel collapse. There's also Hagerman Pass near Leadville. If you go to St Elmo's above Buena Vista, you can ride to the Alpine tunnel which is the longest tunnel in Colorado. I prefer the west side out of Pitkin because it's more scenic. There's also the Colorado Midland Trail around Buena Vista.

One of my favorite non-mountain mountain bike rides in the Picketwire Canyon area south of La Junta...yes out on the plains I call this a girl friend epic ride...you can take a girl friend on an epic ride and you might still be talking to each other on the 3 hour ride back home. It's really an easy ride except for the first and last 1/4 mile (steep hill). You don't really go down there for the mountain biking but that's okay too



You go for the other stuff

Petroglyphs


and, most particularly, the dinosaur tracks



I love road touring but I also love exploring on a mountain bike. I'm just as happy with dirt roads as I am with single track...nothing wrong with that
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Old 01-21-11, 10:14 PM   #17
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Wow, thanks cyccocommute! I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority in not liking my mountain biking rides to be overly technical, while still being physically challenging. I asked a question on a local MTB forum as to what rides in the area fit that criteria and there weren't many responses. It seems most people that enjoy mountain biking do it for the thrill of technical terrain. Nobody mentioned all of these rides you posted. It would be one thing if I were talented like funrover or my friends (who didn't even wobble slightly on the Roxborough loop) but I prefer to do other things with my time at this stage in life. We did go to a skate park once to practice some skills. I must have been a funny site there, a 6'5" guy on a 29er at a BMX park

The steep part of Green Mountain was a wide road that went to the top, right on the west side of the mountain. Like I said, I think I would have been okay with a granny gear but my 1x9 didn't cut it. That was the worst I've felt physically probably in a decade, since I played college volleyball. I nearly vomited. We all stopped at the same place and ended up walking to the top.

I'll check out those rides you mentioned. I forgot that I did ride Bear Creek once, as part of a beginners MTB ride. It was nice.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:17 PM   #18
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Wow, thanks cyccocommute! I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority in not liking my mountain biking rides to be overly technical, while still being physically challenging. I asked a question on a local MTB forum as to what rides in the area fit that criteria and there weren't many responses. It seems most people that enjoy mountain biking do it for the thrill of technical terrain. Nobody mentioned all of these rides you posted. It would be one thing if I were talented like funrover or my friends (who didn't even wobble slightly on the Roxborough loop) but I prefer to do other things with my time at this stage in life. We did go to a skate park once to practice some skills. I must have been a funny site there, a 6'5" guy on a 29er at a BMX park

The steep part of Green Mountain was a wide road that went to the top, right on the west side of the mountain. Like I said, I think I would have been okay with a granny gear but my 1x9 didn't cut it. That was the worst I've felt physically probably in a decade, since I played college volleyball. I nearly vomited. We all stopped at the same place and ended up walking to the top.

I'll check out those rides you mentioned. I forgot that I did ride Bear Creek once, as part of a beginners MTB ride. It was nice.
Mountain bike riders are like fishermen...they tend to 'elaborate' Internet mountain bikers (and fishermen) 'elaborate' a bit. Every single one of them is an 'expert' mountain biker and will look down their noses at newbies or people who don' t do 14' drops on a regular basis. All roadies do 30mph averages pumping out 1200 watts of power too

Go ride. Find your own comfort level and you'll soon learn to enjoy mountain biking on your own terms.

I forgot one really great mountain bike area...Bear Creek Reservoir. It has lots of different terrain without too much exposure. Ride both sides of the res and just follow your fancy on picking where you go. If things get too hard, walk. Good luck.
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Old 01-22-11, 12:08 AM   #19
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It would be one thing if I were talented like funrover
LOL Thanks, but I am not that good. However there are a few places near you to try out. Look into Dawsons Butte, Ridgeline and some of the other Douglas County parks. Lots of easier nice cruise rides!
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Old 01-22-11, 03:27 AM   #20
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Let me know if you ever want to ride some easy, scenic trails. Our taste in off road riding sounds identical. I love to ride my 29er, but more for the scenery and exploration, not the technical thrills. Thanks to Cyccommute for all the great info. I'm going to explore some of those rides this season.
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Old 01-22-11, 09:48 AM   #21
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Let me know if you ever want to ride some easy, scenic trails. Our taste in off road riding sounds identical. I love to ride my 29er, but more for the scenery and exploration, not the technical thrills. Thanks to Cyccommute for all the great info. I'm going to explore some of those rides this season.
I have more. I used to be the mountain bike ride coordinator (actually I was the first one, back when mastodons still roamed Colorado) for DBTC and I know all kinds of places to ride. If you need suggestions, just holler.

By the way, I usually do an annual ride in the fall to the Picketwire Canyon in September. Depends on my vacation schedule. If I do one this year, I'll list it here or over in the Mountain and Plains forum.
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Old 01-22-11, 10:08 AM   #22
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Let me know if you ever want to ride some easy, scenic trails. Our taste in off road riding sounds identical. I love to ride my 29er, but more for the scenery and exploration, not the technical thrills. Thanks to Cyccommute for all the great info. I'm going to explore some of those rides this season.
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By the way, I usually do an annual ride in the fall to the Picketwire Canyon in September. Depends on my vacation schedule. If I do one this year, I'll list it here or over in the Mountain and Plains forum.
Awesome, thanks guys. I would definitely enjoy that. There was a thread a while back about putting together a Denver area Clydes road ride, perhaps we should do the same for a not-too-technical mountain bike ride. Either way I'd be interested, probably when it warms up a bit. Then again, funrover has shown us how to not be afraid of a little cold
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Old 01-22-11, 10:44 AM   #23
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Awesome, thanks guys. I would definitely enjoy that. There was a thread a while back about putting together a Denver area Clydes road ride, perhaps we should do the same for a not-too-technical mountain bike ride. Either way I'd be interested, probably when it warms up a bit. Then again, funrover has shown us how to not be afraid of a little cold
I will keep the Clyde ride easier. I had started that other thread. I will also look at making it a Saturday sometime.
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Old 01-22-11, 11:01 AM   #24
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Awesome, thanks guys. I would definitely enjoy that. There was a thread a while back about putting together a Denver area Clydes road ride, perhaps we should do the same for a not-too-technical mountain bike ride. Either way I'd be interested, probably when it warms up a bit. Then again, funrover has shown us how to not be afraid of a little cold
I have some rides on RideWithGPS that are mountain bike rides. Look at Picketwire Canyon, Argentine Pass/McClennan Mtn...the ride to Waldorf is very nice and on an old railbed..., and Hagerman Pass and Ivanhoe Lake/Co Midland. I'm going to add some more...probably right now. All of these are dirt road, relatively easy technically mountain bike rides.

For in town mountain bike rides that you could do today (it might still be a little muddy, however), the social trails along Cherry Creek from Kennedy Golf Course to Colorado Blvd are challenging but fun.

Edit: I just added ten routes to Ridewithgps. The rides are all relatively nontechnical mountain bike rides. That doesn't mean they are all easy nor that they aren't fun. Some are grueling very long rides that go past some spectacular places. The single most spectacular ride is Point Sublime in the Grand Canyon. Here's a taste of the scenery



My daughter and I spent the night on the rim and awoke to this



You don't have to kill yourself to enjoy mountain biking
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Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

Last edited by cyccommute; 01-22-11 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 01-22-11, 01:18 PM   #25
DoubleTap
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Wow, thanks Stuart. Those will be really helpful to learn some rides on which I can take my family. If you ever plan a ride and want some company on such a ride, let me know. From reading your posts and your ride logs on CGOAB, you're an encyclopedia of cycling knowledge, and I could learn a lot.
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