Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tonight's ride was a blast, thanks to all who came. Despite a missing glove and cold temps, things couldn't have worked out better. Thankfully, the snow and ice were a lot less than I'd have thought, too. Throwing the bike into switchbacks with 100% traction is always a plus.

Here's a cool shot of Melis. Still working on the shutter thing...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ft Collins Action Alert!!!

Horsetooth Mountain Park in Ft. Collins is a fantastic place to ride. Suggesting closing trails to mountain bikes is a travesty. Read on...

Colorado Alert: Horsetooth Mountain Park Plan

Northern Colorado's Larimer County Parks and Open Lands department presented
preliminary comments on a Horsetooth Mountain Park Management Plan on Monday
Nov. 14, 2005.

A park-user survey conducted in May and June determined that mountain bikers
comprise only 20 percent of all park users — a finding that local mountain
biker groups question.

Larimer County has suggested that bikes might be banned from Horsetooth Rock
Trail, and is considering closing other trails.

Bike advocates are urged to submitt comments. Consider including the
following information in your remarks:

- Mention your support for shared-use trails
- The trails you ride at Horsetooth Mountain Park
- The number of visits you make to Horsetooth Mountain Park per year
- If you have purchased a Larimer County annual park pass in the past, or
plan to buy one in the future

Comments on the preliminary plan must be filed by Dec 12, 2005. Go here to
make your voice heard:

The complete Draft Management Plan will be posted online on Jan. 3, 2006.
Public comment for that document will be considered until Jan. 30. The final
Management Plan will be prepared and adopted in Feb. 2006.

Additional information can be found at the following links:

Thursday, November 24, 2005

giving thanks

I'm thankful for good health, good family, good friends and good riding. I'm also thankful that I got out on the bike today. Saw a total of 3 riders and zero cars at Hall Ranch. Plenty of deer, too. Hope many of you were lucky enough to sneak out for a pre or post feast ride.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

NO night ride Tues 11/22

Thanksgiving preparations beckon, so there will be not Tuesday night ride on 11/22. We will resume the following week at 7pm!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Wow, what a ride tonight. DSR and MikeE came out for what turned out to be a super fun ride. Since it was a full moon, I had tossed around the idea of riding at the Boulder Res. It's not that great a place normally, but it's pretty fun on full moons. It's completely devoid of trees and you can usually ride all night without a lamp. Well, DSR committed himself to this evenings night ride on the stipulation that we didn't ride the Res as it's right by his house. Although my arm still hurts from all of his arm twisting, I told him that if he came up, we'd head west and ride in the forest.

We had zero snow in town and I heard reports that Hall Ranch was as bone dry as it appeared. No snow, but it was downright cold. We all met up at the shop at 7 to drive up into the hills. I thought it was cold in town, but it was really, really cold at the trailhead, around 7300'. On top of that, the snow line up north here seems to be about 7000'. We started the ride in bitter cold conditions and 1.5-3 inches of perfect dry white snow.

The snow and the full moon combined for fantastic conditions. Since we started the ride with a long climb, we all settled into a warm groove shortly. Shortly after connecting onto the singletrack part of the climb, we encountered some paw prints. Those suckers had to have been 4-5" around - bigger than the palm of my hand. Yikes! The tracks came and went for most of the rest of the climb. Since the snow was only a day and a half old, the tracks had to have been pretty fresh, too. Kitty has good taste in trails, though - this particular singletrack was finger licking good. We were just a tad nervous of kitty thinking the same of us!

We kept going without incident. The singletrack was superb. The fine line of trail, normally technical in the daylight was even more fun under cover of dark and snow. Timing on the ride was about right, too. My hands and body were toasty warm, but stopping and standing a couple of times in the powdery cold made my toes very, very cold. By the time we reached the bottom of the descent and the car, my toes were about ready to fall off. I ran in place to get the blood flow going back in my feet. We finally got the bikes loaded and were on our way. A quick look at the car thermometer was enlightening. 12 degrees.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Not much happening lately ridewise. I was able to sneak out on the road bike last Friday over the lunch hour. Man, I forget how fun and how fast road bikes are. This was my first skinny tired excursion in over a month. It felt good to pedal and not worry about steep or technical terrain, just spin and go. The ride, unfortunately as always, was too short. I need to get out on the road bike more, but the dirt calls me.

It called today. Rang me up and got me out of bet at 6:45. Redstone? Yes, this is Redstone. Oh, hello Redstone, this is the dirt calling, and you have an appointment before breakfast today. Will you be able to make it? Certainly, I'll be right out. And so it was. A quick local tour early in the morning is good for the soul. It also makes the coffee more enjoyable after the ride! I needed some coffee in a thermos on my watter bottle today. The thermometer read 25 degrees when I headed out! Man, oh, man it was cold. It warmed up though and was up to almost forty when I returned home a couple of hours later. November riding, eh? We're still cheating Ma Nature, though, in that we are still stealing rides in over 7000'.

It's coming.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Letter sent to Boulder County Open Space

The time is now to get your thoughts across regarding a connector that would allow folks to ride from Lyons straight into Heil Valley Ranch. Please send your comments to Patrick Malone at I've attached a copy of the letter I sent.
Here are my thoughts on the Heil thing:

Firstly, I agree with the BOA stance - "As a cyclist, resident, taxpayer and registered voter of Boulder County I hope that Boulder County Parks and Open Space will recognize the importance of Heil Valley Ranch trails to the mountain biking community by supporting the creation of a larger second loop option as part of the 2005 trail plan. Recreation on public lands is important to me."

I know that BCOS is into “preserving the experience.” With this in mind, it is important to note that a larger loop would help with dispersing users, both cycling and non. This would go a long way to help preserve the experience for all.

Secondly, as we’ve discussed before, it is absolutely imperative that the easement connector from Heil to Red Gulch Rd be kept on the table. Mr. Olson has a proven track record of bailing at the altar when it comes to doing something with his land. The residents of Lyons do not want the possibility of a Heil connector to hinge on the fleeting whims of a greedy landowner.

All of that said, with a few minor tweaks, you guys have come up with a solid plan for Heil Ranch. I appreciate all of your diligence and hard work!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On One 29er

Well, after 3 rides, I can say I like it. 29'er, rigid, and really cool sliding dropouts that don't photograph well with a flash.

If anyone out there needs to take it for a spin let me know!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

November high elevation ride

While I like to think the high terrain will be rideable for weeks to come, the realist in me knows that the days are certainly numbered for riding backwoods in the high country. I seized a last minute opportunity today and snuck into the mountains for a tasty treat that lies between 7000 and 9000 feet.

The day started with a harsh realization of the facts. 8:00am + 7300' + November = cold. Brrrrr!!! It didn't feel that cold when I got the bike off the rack and started getting ready, but by the time I had mounted my steed, I was frozen. Good thing the day started off with a climb! I hunkered down and pedaled into the forest.

Brisk as it was, there was still lingering snow from yesterdays brief bout of precipitation. From the dusted look in the forest, though, this areas bout was not so brief! At the top of the road climb, a view of Meeker an Longs peeked through the trees.

Pedaling just a few minutes longer yielded a fantastic view of Rocky Mt Nat'l Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The powdered sugar frosting on the peaks was an incredible sight! The view signified something else important - The day's first climb was over. The ride starts with a massive jeep road climb to a ridgeline overlooking a major chasm. It rolls a bit at the top on the road before the singletrack starts.

Snow was more prevalent here, also the days highest point. It was nice to cut fresh tracks in day or 2 old snow.Once the you hit the trail, without warning the singletrack drops immediately into the chasm, further down that the eyes can see. The trail becomes steeper, faster, and rockier in an instant. It's one of the few trails around that I drop my saddle for. The trail mellows once it meanders by a century old cabin, just enough to catch your breath. It's a good thing, because both the trail and the view beyond the gate is breathtaking. From the gate, the trail drops down into the abyss of the chasm, further than you can see. It's a great downhill. At this point, we are only 1/2 mile into a 3+ mile long descent. Looking into the abyss, as far down as we see is only 2/3 of the way down!
deeper into the abyss...
The singletrack drops into a deep and cold box canyon. In the springtime, the roar of the rapids on the river is deafening. On this Fall day, though, it was merely a trickle. What was once old, old road, is now pristine singletrack snaking down the river canyon.The canyon is arguably one of the best parts of the ride. The trail is a high speed delight - sweeping and fast with technical bits thrown in just to keep you on your toes. To compound things, it is difficult to keep your eyes on the trail due to the stunning scenery. Who knew there were big mountains to be had on the front range? The trail continues down the river drainage, all the while feeling like you're deep in the backcountry in a remote area of the state. Don't fool yourself - you are. After crossing the river further down the trail near the bottom, I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some late changing Aspens still in their color prime. The trees seemed to add warmth to a cold shaded place.Now was time for the not so fun part, the days second major climb. The descent is so long, it takes you deep into the canyon to an elevation that's lower than the day's starting point. It can be a tough climb out, especially in the summer after taking advantage of a hot day dip in the natural swimming hole in the river. No dip today, though, time to burn out the climb. Thankfully, the climb is generally very doable on the way out. Only 1 tech section got me today and relegated me to a hike. Back on my bike and it was a nice spin out thru some spectacular crowded and wide front range singletrack (sarcasm)!

Hope everyone enjoyed this fine November weekend. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a few more!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Tonights ride was a blast. It was just Libertine and myself so we headed west into the hills. Not too many more evenings will we be able to enjoy it quite like it is now. The start of the ride was crisp, to say the least. Had to have been around 40 or so. It seems that many of our night rides start either by water or in a gulch or both, so it's always damn cold at the start.

Like most rides in Colorado, though, we started with a climb so we warmed up quickly. The dirt was absolutely perfect tonight and climbing traction was plentiful. We climbed on jeep road and singletrack until I asked the fateful question, "Want to check out this very overgrown ancient road I found?" Well, as luck would have it, the thing was so overgrown that we (err... I) lost our way. Granted, this is not something that I would've done with just anyone. I felt comfortable doing this with Libertine, though, as he had joined me this summer on the infamous 10 hour death march in the Williams Fork mountains. Anway, let's just say that this is one of the few times I have ever used the GPS to navigate myself out of a situation...

Anyway, once we joined back with the main route, it was all downhill back to the vehicle. Did I mention the perfect dirt? I still can't get over how good the descent was. It was a great night for a night ride.