Yesterday, I had the opportunity to do two things I am passionate about at the same time. I was able to volunteer and ride with my friends.
It was great to get out to some higher elevation and techy trails.
I had to get me four days of riding in, in order to make up for the next seven day’s of travel. I was doing pretty good and figured Sunday should be a longer ride. Now, the past three days had been patrol rides. I figured, why not keep it going. Decisions, decisions. Then, just before I shut my eyes it hit me. Sunday is an even day. NO hikers on Centennial Cone! BINGO!
I got an early start at 8:00 AM to a pretty packed parking lot. Wow, I wan’t the only one with the same idea. And so the climb up Mayhem Gulch began.
“You know there is a hiker up ahead.”
Funny thing to say, now that I think about it. I just started up the trail. Thanks, I said.
“I feel funny telling him he shouldn’t be there”, she said.
Ok, I said. I’ll talk to him
I continue the climb.
I finally catch up to the evil perpetrator about three miles in. I explain the alternate weekend rules, the possibility of a fine, and that he’ll get clobbered by a biker that doesn’t expect him to be on the trail. He turns around and heads back down. I’m sure that enough people coming up gave him grief, that he was pretty pissed by the time he got to his car.
I tried to be polite and hopefully that kept him in good spirits, but I later heard from others on the trail that he was not very happy about it.
Since half the trail is closed for elk calving, the ride is an out and back. I actually prefer it that way, since the other half is just dirt road anyway.
I met all kinds of nice and polite bikers today. Lots of yielding, hellos, thanks, and more. Plenty of people I knew and some I didn’t.
The ride felt pretty easy today. I was kind of regret not bringing the singlespeed.
Trails are always in transition. Erosion, growth, and trees that kind of make you wonder. This sucker is definitely a soon-to-be widow maker.
The wildflowers were not popping here yet, though there were some.
I hope we get some more rain. I love it when it’s green
Upon reaching the highest point, I plucked my butt down and soaked it all in. I spent quite a while here, chatting it up with the riders, and letting another couple of hikers know it’s not their turn.
Time to turn around and head back. I took my time, since there were a lot of people heading up. There’s so many blind corners, I didn’t want to take a chance.
Ah, the unofficial beginning of Summer, Memorial Day weekend. A day we remember our fallen heroes, though some may have forgotten the true meaning of the Holiday. We say a prayer for those who gave themselves unconditionally for our freedoms. So we pay homage by enjoying those freedoms they died for.
Somehow I managed to score a campsite in Buffalo Creek for the weekend. So, I loaded up the camper and headed for the zoo. It was packed! Still, I had my site.
I was a bit delayed heading out on Friday afternoon. Work and a semi-repaired apartment on wheels didn’t give me enough time to get in a ride upon arrival. I also didn’t realize that flipping the axle for an added three inches of clearance, meant the stabilizer jack was three inches too short. I bent the jack and rendered it useless. So the camper was on a lean for the entire stay. I got used to it.
Since I had some added daylight, I went to work on dinner. Yeah, I don’t camp lightly.
All that starch filled my gut and nearly put me out for the night but, you have to have a fire to make it officially camping.
It was time to turn in. A very hard thing to do given just how special the evening was.
Saturday morning and the one thing I treat myself to only when camping, Cocoa Crispies and WHOLE milk. Puke food for the start of a ride, but I crave them.
Bring on the day! Even with all the people staying in the forest, the place is still empty.
More solitude off the beaten path.
It’s the busiest weekend of the year and yet, empty. Ok, there were others, but why would I take their picture? I did offer up directions to about twenty riders. Most of them were at Buffalo Creek for the first time. The scary ones are sans helmet and one tiny bottle of Aquafina tucked into a bottle cage on their Mongoose.
Them: How do we get back to we we are camping?
Me: Where did you come in from?
Them: Over there.
Me: Well, how far do you want to ride? Do you want the short route, medium route, or all day love affair?
Them: Oh, we are good for a while. How far is the medium route?
Me: Twenty miles.
Them: Can we just go back the same way we came?
Me: I can get you there in a shorter distance.
Them: That would be great!
I didn’t take the long route either, knowing that tomorrow may be a challenge. I also shot some video, which made the ride a lot longer.
Sunday I thought I’d be smart and make a breakfast burrito. That didn’t sit too well. I thought I would need the extra energy to keep up with some friends coming down from Fort Collins. Note to self, stick with a granola bar.
Tim and Barb arrive with their friends. They are all part of the racing scene in Fort Fun and almost exclusively on singlespeeds. Yeah, I kind of knew what I was getting myself into. I don’t think I have ever ridden with people who don’t stop and rest. Holy smokes! I was good for the first eight miles, but I couldn’t keep the pace after that. Still, they waited pretty often for me to catch up and continue the grand tour. Stewart had some amazing bike handling skills. Very impressive!
I don’t know many people who make it up this section. He did it on the SS with some hopping trials maneuvers just to make it look easy.
It seems the younger you are, the faster you are. they had constant energy. They wouldn’t stop riding and even went back down the hill to check on me, before heading back up again. Whoa!!!
Hey, lets make it a little longer by going up Raspberry Ridge. Stupid me.
Once again, Stewart proved he could ride anything on that rigid SS. We did talk him out of Blackjack, though I think he would have made that look like a walk in the park.
Though I did manage to pull my weight on Sandy Wash (the older I get, the more the downhills are my only salvation), Nice Kitty was a brutal reminder that I am not young. I hate that trail! It sucks the life out of me and even more so, doing it in the middle of the ride in full sun. Yuck! Add to that my Stans failure and the fact that my blood pressure meds work too well, and I was a hurting boy.
The others zoomed on ahead as I finally regained some composure on the Colorado Trail. I’m sure I cost them about an hour, but some beer and burgers made it all better,
I didn’t stick around for the zoo release on Monday afternoon.
Trying to make the most out of my travel schedule, I managed to sneak a couple of days in San Diego, with my friend Chip. He showed me a couple of his local trails. Once again, all I have available in CA is my rigid SS. I don’t know why I psych myself out for failure. Every time I ride this thing, I am reminded of the simple fun it brings and how it forces me to be just a little stronger.
We did our day one ride at Sycamore Canyon. He promised there would only be a “little” climbing. Yeah, right!