Wednesday, April 21, 2010

18 Road in April

Well Sunday the BF and I headed out to 18 road for a ride. April and May are our busy months, what with all the mountain riders coming down to dry trails, so we headed out Western Zippity for something a little more off-the-beaten path. To get there, from the parking lot at 18 Road (ok, go to Fruita, head down whatever main street is, turn left onto something like Maple right by a big church and the school, then go until you come to N 3/10 road. Turn right. Turn left and go straight. Eventually you'll go about 4 or 5 miles down a gravel/dirt road and come to a very obvious parking lot with bathrooms. Stop here. Now, back to the trail...

From the parking lot you'll see a trail to the left of the lot (if you're standing staring at the side of the bathrooms that faces the parking lot...look left, you'll see a break in the parking barrier. Don't cross the road because that will take you to Prime Cut. This trail is right in the parking lot. It will take you down to the bottom of Kessel Run and out towards Zippity Do Dah (experts only) and Western Zippity. You'll go down a steep hill and see this:

Follow the arrows out towards Zippity. You'll go through a fence/gated area with a big cattle guard and up and down some hills. You'll eventually come to a fork, and you'll go left, which seemed odd to me, but whatever, that's the way you should go. This will give you a nice little patch of rolling single track for a few. Enjoy it! Next you'll turn right on a loooooong stretch of dirt road. Just take it all in stride, you've still got a ways to go! Eventually you'll turn right back onto some singletrack. There's a sign. It's pretty out there right now! See?

This goes on almost too long as you begin to long for something technical! Cross the road, continue...and then, looming see them. The switchbacks. You'd heard about them but thought surely they were the stuff of legends. No. These make those tiny hills on Chutes and Ladders look like ant hills. Up and up and up...steep ups. Still, pretty soon you're through it and you can look back down on them:

See where the top trail is and where the bottom trail is? The bottom trail curves right through the middle there to meet the top trail. Yeah. It does.

But see, then you get good views and soon after you do hit some nice downhill...head left at the little fork where Zippity Do Dah goes right and then just follow everything down...don't turn right again to head up towards Joe's! Cross the gravel road and then turn right on Kessel run for 3 miles of awesome downhill!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Biking Season is HERE!

It's here! It's here! The 2010 biking season! And you know what my favorite thing about spring biking is? Cows.

Aren't they cute? Look how that mama cow has bangs! And the little calf almost looks like a lamb...appropriate for Easter weekend!

You can find the free-range cows in Loma usually on the back side of Mary's (where Lion's and Steve's come in) or out at 18 Road if you ride Chutes and Ladders. This weekend I saw some in Loma by the east end of Moore Fun too. I just love riding past a bunch of cows as they stare at you...I don't know why, but I do!

Got in two great rides this weekend--Mary's Loop as a nice warm up on Saturday and a big ride at Lunch Loop today. Nothing new to report about Mary's except that the "obstacle" that apparently existed on the exposed single track near Pizza Point is gone. Everything is back to business as usual there.

Today's Lunch Loop ride was awesome. We headed up Pet-y-Kes because, let's face it, if you've got to climb for a while it might as well be on something entertaining! I made a few obstacles I hadn't made before--and on my first trip out this year! After numerous stops to catch my breath and one almost-biff between the turn off to Eagle's and the main trail, we headed down High Noon. High Noon can be found by riding Pet-Y-Kes to the main trail, taking a left and then immediately looking for a trail on the right by a tree. It saves you from having to climb even more to the Lemon Squeezer trail--unless, of course, Lemon Squeezer or Holy Cross is your goal.

High Noon has some fun drops--none of which I rode today, and then meets back up with the Lemon Squeezer trail for a short steep downhill (totally rideable, even in dusty weather, by sticking further right and avoiding the curve). After that you're headed up to the ridge. From there we dropped down the hill (ok, I walked down) and took the left trail over the rocks down Raven's Ridge. This ride is great, but can be challenging if you don't like drops or if you don't like knowing there's a cliff to your left. Still, it's fairly short, but going right will take you to the same places. We bared a hard right after the last drop and headed out on what I think is now called the Ali-Ali loop and then cut left out towards Miramonte. I discovered today that taking the RIGHT trail at the far intersection for Miramonte (after the big set of steps/ledges) is a much better idea than taking the left trail. While the left scares me to the point of barely being able to walk on it because of the amount of exposure, the right is no more exposed than Pet-Y-Kes and has almost no obstacles. It's completely rideable, gently rolling, and a great way to get around to the Miramonte Canyon trail. Back down the canyon, up the hill at the end, and back across the ridge for the fun fly down the main trail to the beer, I mean car.

Even though the weather hasn't been spectacular this weekend, the rain has held off and led to some awesome rides. The goal for this year is to just have fun and not get mad every time I don't conquer everything. Living to ride another day is sometimes better than trying that ledge I'm not sure about yet.