Monday, October 06, 2008

BFR3 recap and pics. Lots of pics

Big Fall Ride III. BFR3. This was our 3rd big Fall get together in 4 years. I've been tweaking the course over the last few years to maximize enjoyment and pain. With the Picture Rock trail opening up just a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make real a dream I've had for years. That dream was to start west of the Peak to Peak highway and ride back to Lyons via Heil Ranch on as much dirt as possible.

After lots of routeplanning idea sessions and some good old exploring in the woods, the route was finalized. We'd be west of the Peak to Peak highway for the first few hours then, start ducking down towards Lyons.

As the day crept up, the weather forecast became more shaky. On the eve of the ride, the forecast called for temps in the 50's and scattered showers throughout the day. We were prepared for the worst.

The morning dawned and there was even a bit of sunshine at the bike shop. Spirits were up as we loaded up the shuttle vehicles. At our dropoff destination, though, it was very brisk and windy. Fall felt definitely underfoot. It was as if the first fall weather came along for the ride.

In true DMD fashion, we started right off with the days most demanding climb. Chad nails switchback #1 with perfect form.

The riding was fun after we regrouped. Everyone was itching to get the climb over with and we were riding in a good group.
It didn't take long to get people strung out, though. Especially with features like this. It's not mountain biking unless you're hiking.
But the payoff would come soon enough. Jen's happy to ride across the swamp bridge that BMA built a few years ago.
More forest boardwalks as we got into the days first real descent.
And what a descent it was. You name it, we rode it. Rocky and technical, fast and swoopy, with aspen color galore. Jen was sure happy about it.
And then Shawn found something that wasn't exactly what he planned. Broken shifter. Well, at least it was the left side. Brian came to the rescue with zip ties. Zip ties are the modern equivalent to duct tape. A quick fix and we were on our way.

More descending still. Keith was ripping it up. Notice the smile.
After the descent and requisite rest/meetup break, I noticed that I had popped the bead on my tire. I, of course, didn't notice this until we mounted to ride again, so Keith was kind enough to hang back. Despite the county road, it was typical Colorado Fall beautiful.

Almost to the 1/2way point!
Ah, almost half done. I could think of worse places for a lunch break.
The views were outstanding (thanks E!).

And the sky was looking ominous to the south. We basked in the sun but it wouldn't take more than a small shift in the winds for rain and clouds to blow in. I kept my fingers crossed. So far, the forecast hadn't materialized. It was still 60 and mostly sunny.

We came from the flanks of that baby right there.
There was still more climbing to go. There's alwasy more climbing.
And since we seemed to be staying ahead of our anticipated rains, we even went out of our way to hit the bonus climb. Bonus in the sense that it also made available some bonus singletrack, too.
In a rare photo of himself, Photo Eddie shows how it's done.
Mike shows us that there is still some narrow singletrack on the front range.

And Nate shows that there are still water crossings in October.

We had been descending for quite a while now. Doug flies by us as we stop to fix a pinch flat.
And then it was time to hit the road, Jack. It had just started to rain. We were eager to outrun the weather on the road. We actually, did, too.
But there was still a taste of singletrack before we got to our final dirt.
Not too bad. Jason is showing no sign of wear after 5 hours in the saddle.

Finally. Our final destination and the 6 hour mark. A few souls have peeled off the group by now. We were becoming a shell of the ride group that we started with.

There was pain, but no using my name in vain yet by the top of the last climb. I was a bit dissapointed. But only a bit.
Almost home. Only about 7 miles left to go.
Doug is sure enjoying the new singletrack just minutes from home.
By the end of the ride, Matt was all smiles. Matt's drove 8 hours for this one.
7 hrs and 40 minutes later, we rolled into the bike shop, where we proceeded to scarf brats and Dale's Pale Ale. Almost immediately after we rolled into the shop and fired up the grill, the skies opened up and dumped upon us. Thank you for listening, Rain Gods :) Hope it was worth it, Matt.
Thanks for coming out everyone. I think I have a couple of ideas for next year. heh heh. Be prepared to start a little earlier for an even longer ride!


Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

What I meant to say was...

Hells yeah, dude. The ride was awesome. That's gotta be the hardest 40-something miles I've ever ridden. My ass is all kinds of chafed, and I'm so sore that I can barely type.

Melis said...

thanks for the ride man, 'twas another fine route from you holmes.

MG said...

That was an awesome ride, my friends, and Dave, thank you for the entire weekend. You were an incredible host, as always. I'm glad the timing worked out for Laura and I to be able to be there the weekend of the BFR, because it was definitely one of the most fun "tough" rides I did all season, and I think a lot of that had to do with the company we were keeping.

Thanks again!! I can't wait 'til the next time we have the opportunity to hang out again.


redstone said...

Thanks for coming out and riding with. We had a great crew this year. I rode for 25 minutes today - thru the parks in town, to the bike shop, then home. It was enough:)

Jesper said...

Thanks Dave! What a ride. It was like a Best of Tuesday Night Rides, all in the same day!

Jesper said...

more pictures here