Monday, September 28, 2009

BFR4 Recap

It's a good thing the shop is closed on Mondays. I took my daughter to school this morning and crawled back into bed! I'm whooped from yesterday's Big Fall Ride 4. In it's 4th year, the course just keeps getting better.

We shuttled riders up (about 14 in all) to the Peak to Peak highway and were pedaling by 9am, right on schedule. We rode Bunce School Road for 45 minutes or so until arriving at the Peaceful Valley Campground where we'd catch the north end of Sourdough. Bunce was smooth and fast, as the USFS had recently graded the entire thing.

Fall colors on Bunce were fantastic. In fact, fall color the whole day was fantastic.

The pace was good, spirits were good and the day was absolutely beautiful. Temps were in the 60s and 70s and there was not a cloud to be found in the sky. That's what I'm talking about when I think of Fall riding in Colorado! Sourdough was easily the toughest climb of the day.

Despite the moisture we'd had all week, SD was it's typical loose and sandy self. You could not even tell it rained up here.

A quick snack and photo break at the pond that's not a pond right now...
and we were off to South St Vrain. SSV has got to be one of the greatest trails around. It's got smooth and fast, steep and tech, rocks, drops, everything. There was only 1 casualty on SSV, but not enough to deter the rider from forging ahead.

After SSV and a handful of miles on dirt county road,

we found ourselves at Gold Lake perched high on a rock with a 360 panoramic view for lunch.

Lunch was good.

Jeep roads from Gold Lake connected us down to Jamestown where a few folk stopped at the Merc for a snack and some water.
A little bit of pavement later and we were in Left Hand OHV. LHOHV gets a bad rap (mostly deserved) from motos and shooters, but if you get far enough in, it feels as remote as anywhere else.

The plan was to climb up 286 and come down Carnage Canyon. Carnage has historically been where all of the big time rock crawlers go, but it was closed to motorized about a year ago for streambed protection. We climbed up Carnage about 2 months ago and it was all good still. Not the case now. Carnage was a total bust. Apparently, they didn't just close it. Within the last month, volunteers had come in to completely rehab the old road into the streambed it used to be. I was bummed to see the last remnants of the road gone, but the new streambed looks great. Anyway, we ended up hiking down most of it because it's not ridable. RIP Carnage Canyon, we'll miss you. From Left Hand OHV, we were back on the highway and heading to Heil Ranch.

That last 1.25 miles on dirt road to get to Heil sure seem long at the end of a long day.

Heil was tougher than usual. After riding 40+ miles, that first climb on Wapiti sure offers up new persepective. I like the reroute, though. We hammered up Wapiti and down Picture Rock. There was beer and brats waiting at the shop.

Thanks all for coming out. We had a strong crew, ZERO bailouts and we covered some serious ground. Got a few new ideas for next year, too ;)


Brian said...

Not sure if I'm sorry or glad to have missed it. I'll just look forward to the weekend in the pasture.

The Evil MGE! said...

Sorry I missed it Dave. Fuggin devil cold has been kickin my arse. Went down to Waterton and bailed after 12 miles...ended up with about 20 miles and slept from 7:30 pm till 7am this morning. Gonna take another week or so off the bike and hopefully kick this bug.

Lidarman said...

I gathered my gear and went to bed thinking if I get up feeling great, I would go. I woke up at 7:30 am realizing It didn't matter--I wasn't going. It looks like it was fun, but I think it was on the edge of too much for me on that Sunday.

redstone said...

I think it was on the edge of too much for a lot of us. We just might make it longer next year to push everyone over the edge.

Hope you're feeling better, MGE!