Bike Patrol

2011/01/03 - 3:48pm


Headed down to Pueblo State Park Saturday with fellow Patrollers Jason and Andria to avoid Rock fall on Hwy 70 heading to Fruita or Moab….. Spectacular day out with great temps and weather. We ran into Art out there too just randomly who joined up with us a for a few miles on Voodoo. A map of the trails can be found here which is maintained by the Southern Colorado Trail Builders who built most of the trails there. I highly recommend this place for spring and fall for a great day trip or they have campsites so you can come the night before. There are about 33 miles of trails, but many loops are easily done several times to add it up to 50 or 60. There is a mix of super smooth and sweet Fruita 18 road type trails mixed with great narrow rocky canyons with as hard as you want it techy rocky drops/buildups/ramps/and wooden ladders. Its not North Shore, but sure tough and fun. You can ride 40 miles without hitting a techy sections, or of course you can hit all the techy you want–there are about 15 gullies I think that have short tech sections but unlike most technical we ever see here in Colorado. Not much tree cover so the exposure in the middle of the summer would make this place a bit warmer, yet you can always jump in the rez after! Here are a few pics.

Getting all unloaded and dialed in for the ride…

Happy to be out on the bike and in one of the narrow canyons playing on the rocks. I had a rough day since my legs felt like Lead but the trail was so sweet, there was no way not to have a good time!

Andria taking a quick brake–the trail is 12 to 15 inches wide pretty much the entire network except for some double track here and there. I will say that all the folks from up North were not yielding at all and just riding off the trail all day making things wider….some day they may get a clue!

This is Stonehenge trail–named for the cairns folks have built up.
Here are the patrollers at work helping out a guy for the second time on the trail. Art from the patrol had already helped this guy once on the Voodoo Loop as he had rolled his tubeless and after attempting to fix it with two CO2′s and no luck. He passed at Voodoo and Outer limits junction and headed out OL to Pedro’s for a little more trail like we were going to do. A few miles into that loop he was on the side of the trail asking for more assistance due to a slow leak. After inspection, he had a large hole torn in the tread of the tires (super urber lightweight racers–not recommend for the sharp rocks there). So we booted his tire with a piece of an OJ container (more robust than the soda pop bottles and can take a rock hit–highly recommend always carrying one with you versus the power bar wrapper), got him a new tube and he was off…hopefully back to his car! You will notice that we are on the trail working–there are many cactus and goat heads so you want to stay on the trail as much as you can. No crowds, so its easy to move quick for the occasional rider.
Here is a good idea of the trail network–on the right side there are trails up and down all those small canyons–we just did not hit them all. You will see below the elevation–lots of short up and down, but only about a 1000 feet over 30 miles. Great day overall and worth the drive!

 

2011/01/03 - 3:08pm


Experimenting with my new camera on Lefthand Trail.

Patrol Seatpost Cam

–Rich

2011/01/03 - 3:04pm


I thought I would share a little story about a recent lost and found event that took place at Heil Valley Ranch.  While most Lost and Found are never found, there is always hope through perseverance.  I’ll throw in my ride report as well, because everyone loves pictures.

First the Lost and Found:

While riding at Heil, a rider stopped me on my way up Picture Rock.  He said there were a couple of ladies who had a mechanical and a Lost & Found issue.  I thanked him at went to go check it out. I found them on Wild Turkey, fixed the one gals  brake rub and then was handed a GPS unit that they found on the trail.  I’m sure these are lost daily, but I was determined to find the owner.

I had ads all over the place, but after a week I did one last search of Craigslist and there was an ad that described the unit, day, what was on it, and where it was lost perfectly.  I called him, he came by my house, picked it up, and went for a ride at White Ranch.  He insisted on a reward, though I objected,  and I donated that to COMBA (sorry folks, I do live in JeffCo and I am a Director on the Board.

Now, the day:

I think that procrastination is the root of all evil. How much do I miss by procrastinating? It’s a bad habit, but one I find myself doing more often than not. I spent the better part of Saturday night deciding where I would ride on Sunday, only to wake up Sunday morning and doubt what I had thought about the night before. The original plan was Peaceful Valley, but that plan changed very quickly because:

A. I do not know the trails well enough. B. I couldn’t find anyone else to ride with. C. I procrastinated.

So, since I am still a few hours short on Boulder Mountain Bike patrolling, I figured I’d put in a little face time. It wasn’t going to be the tired old Marshall Mesa ride. I also didn’t want to pass out from the heat. I have ridden Hall Ranch and I’ve ridden Heil Valley Ranch, but I have never been on Picture Rock trail. Yeah, shame on me.

I don’t know which way is preferred, but being a procrastinator makes me lazy. This meant starting from the first park along the way, Heil Valley Ranch.

It was pretty busy down below with not a lot of parking left. But, it seemed like most people were just lounging around the picnic tables or walking the hiker trail.

In my procrastinating about procrastinating, I had already made up in my mind that I would do too many miles. Once again, plans seemed to change. The climb up Wapiti was so enjoyable, I immediately fell into my happy place. Yes, this is a smile.

I think it was all the friendly people I got to talk to, that even at this short venture into the ride, I was happy. Maybe, the happiest I have been in quite some time. All the right things click into place. The weather was perfect, the bike was doing it’s job, and I wasn’t even breathing heavy. I still had to stop at the old house, though. When I think about how they took the stone blocks right from a quarry on the trail, I am amazed at how hard they worked to get it perfect. I took some Geography classes in College, when I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be. One of them was Geography of Appalachia. I think that class changed me. I look for these kind of things now. The location it was built, the architecture, and the work that went into it. You can’t use a nail gun on this.

The trails were rockin’ today. So fast, even with the “not so baby” baby heads. Like butta! I’m climbing and climbing but the only thought is how much fun it’s going to be on the way back down.

Take note property managers. This is how you do it, yet I still had to give directions and info. I like that anyway. It gives me a chance to talk to people. And talk, I did. I spent a lot of time (shoot, I was on the trail for five hours) shooting the breeze with hikers and bikers. I guess it renews my spirit and faith in human beings when everyone gets along. Smiles all around or maybe they were just using MMJ? It is Boulder, after all.

The commitment to going down Picture Rock might have been difficult, had I still been in my state of procrastination. I probably would have sat at the Wild Turkey intersection for fifteen minutes deciding whether or not to pull the trigger. It was different now. I didn’t think about it. What else are you here for, Mitchell? Live a little. And, downhill I went and that was the greatest decision I’ve made in a long time. Ok, well maybe after deciding to go to Heil.

Did I mention I love this trail? Why? Well, yes it has scenery,

It has history, character, and style.

And, it seems to go on forever.

I’m almost to Hall Ranch now, where my plan was to turn around and head back. Which, I did without procrastination. Yup, I’m in my happy place.

You know a trail is built right when the climb is as fun as the decent. I felt so good, I threw in a loop on Wild Turkey and Ponderosa just for sheets and giggles. I also had the opportunity to fix a few mechanicals. I never get to do that.

And a little bit of what makes Colorado.

And yes, the decent back down Wapiti was everything and more than I thought of on the way up.