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!

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