01 August 2015

Trail Time In Colorado

I got back to Colorado late afternoon on Friday. My little cat followed me around as though she were my shadow, not even pretending to be mad at me for being gone. Though I had been riding long miles for three solid days through the desert and high country of Colorado, Saturday morning I got up, did some basic maintenance on the bike, and took off for an event in Longmont, Colorado.
Wolfman Luggage was having an open house with deals on luggage, other vendors on site to talk to, a raffle, lunch, and a viewing of the Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route DVD. I own several pieces of Wolfman Luggage, and I not only love the products themselves, I love the company and the role it plays in the community and economy. The owner actually rides--he has been to many of the RMAR events and donated goods, which means he actively puts money back into trail preservation--and the gear is manufactured in the United States. Because of his ties with RMAR, I happily ran into other people with whom I have previously ridden, shared steaks and beers with, and sat around campfires with while there. I didn't know what to expect from the IDBDR DVD, but it was a great look at what the route holds scenically and road-wise. I'm looking forward to riding up there next year.
While at the Wolfman Open House, I ran into a fellow RMAR event rider, Dan Wilson, and we briefly discussed heading up to Rollins Pass after the video was over. I, however, had worn jeans and no riding pants, while he wore hiking boots and not motorcycle boots. We decided it was probably not a good idea to tempt fate. Rollins Pass is an easy trail, but one never knows when a root might jump out of nowhere to pull you off the road or break your foot....
The next day, I still had Rollins on my mind, and Josh and I decided we would head up that way. It was a gorgeous day, and perfect for getting out of hot Denver and into the mountains. We made it much further this time than we did when we were the in April--check that blog post for pics of bikes in snow if you haven't already seen it--and there was little traffic to have to contend with.
At the lake, about four miles from the summit.
Easy trail with lovely scenery. I mean, it is Colorado after all!
The only tough part of the trail. About halfway between me and the end of the snow is a boulder that I needed a hand getting my rear wheel over. No problems coming down though--gravity wins!


That is SNOW. In my footpeg. In JULY!
This awaited us near the top of the pass. We couldn't go up to the tunnel.

Unfortunately, the simple fact of it being the middle of July did not mean there would be no snow. I know, you would think so, right? We were able to make it through one berm, but the second one stopped us--and anyone other than hikers or mountain bikers carrying their bikes--from going to the top. The following week, after posting these pics for the Front Range Dual Sport Riders group to let them know what current trail conditions were, a group decided they would head up to show me how it was done. Conveniently for them, the berms had shrunk considerably over the week, and they were able to post pictures up at the top for me to see. We had been one week early....

The next weekend, we would be attending the Horizons Unlimited event in Grant, CO, but between the weekends, as we had little planned, we went out on one more day ride. We headed south on 285 to Bailey, where we turned to head toward Wellington Lake. The road down is a wide, easy dirt road I have ridden before, and we flew down enjoying the mid-week lack of traffic. At one point, we slowed as we passed a very large group of teenagers on mountain bikes, miles from anything, or so it seemed. All I could think of as I went up the following group of rising switchbacks, was how glad I was to have a motor under me!

The last time I rode that way was a couple of years before, with Ian and Josh. In fact, it was the first time I did a water crossing on my bike, and they took me that way just so I could do one. That time, after doing the water crossing, we headed back towards highway 67, through the Pike National Forest, to Pine and home. This time, however, we kept heading south, riding miles south through wilderness and burn area, until we hit highway 24. It was a very easy dirt ride with gorgeous scenery. It made me thankful that I leave the pavement and get to see all that is out there.

Remember, people, you don't get to see this unless you leave the pavement. FYI--although I prefer to do it on a motorbike, most of this road is fine for vehicles. Hell, I could have driven the MINI on much of it.

Remember, 90% of the roads in the United States, and 95% of the world's roads are unpaved. You're missing a lot if you don't leave the asphalt!


1 comment:

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