Today I geared up to ride Centennial Cone between Golden, CO and Idaho Springs, CO in Clear Creek Canyon. I started out on Mayhem Gulch.
However, when I got to the top of Mayhem Gulch I found that the loop was closed. There are wildlife habitat restrictions until June 15.
No worries, I got to ride Mayhem Gulch for my first time, and what a fun ride it is! The trail is a perfect 8% grade which makes it easy to climb, and just enough decline to get a fast descent on. I look forward to coming out later in the year and ride the whole Centennial Cone loop.
Poison Spider is an old trail in Moab, and strictly a “meh” ride for mountain bikers. It gets only 2.5 stars at MTB Project, and I can see why. Pros are great views and a fun technical section called “The Waterfall.” But cons include long sand traps and tons of ATVs. Next time I do this it’ll be on an ATV.
I was psyched when my old friend John Bissert texted me over the weekend. “Let’s ride and catch up,” he said. John and I have been friends for 15+ years, and met when our girls (the two Taylors) were in girl scouts together. We became fast friends, mountain biking and road riding whenever we could.
As our respective careers grew, we got busy with travel and family, and lost touch with each other. John was curious about the Colorado Trail bikepack epic that my son Kyle and I did last year, and reached out. We settled on Heil Valley Ranch on a beautiful 70 degree spring day.
John was always wicked fast and strong on the uphill, and he still is. The pecking order was re-established with me in the back. But this time I had a good reason – to follow cam our descent down this great Boulder trail.
Now that it’s starting to warm up, I headed back out to Fruita to take advantage of the sun. One of my favorites is Mack Ridge. You can ride the trail as part of a loop, or as an out-and-back. I combined it with a fun new trail called Hawkeye which I’ll save for another post.
The ride starts with a long climb that isn’t too difficult, although you’ll pass through some gnarly rock fields that will probably have you off the bike. There’s also one hike-a-bike technical section that is a bit of a challenge to get through.
Once you get to the top, you can take in stunning views of the Colorado River down below.
Then the fun begins as you ride the ridge along the river with some exposure. Once I moved away from the edge I turned around to descend, and bomb down through the rock fields back to the start.
Back in October I went out to Grand Junction for a few days to ride the Lunch Loops. It was my first attempt at riding here, and I started with Gunny Loop. Such a great ride! But a difficult one – I endo’ed twice and got both on the highlight vid below.
One of my favorite rides in Moab is the Navajo Rocks Chaco Loop, which is an easy ride through and next to really scenic rock formations. The total ride is about 18 miles, so it’s pretty much a full day.
I always thought the direction to ride was counter-clockwise. But after my third run last week, I thought this would be really fun clockwise. Sure enough, when I looked at the ride on MTB Project today, the recommend direction is clockwise. I can’t wait to go back in 2018 and ride it that way.
As you head down Highway 191 from I70 towards Moab, the first set of trails you hit are in the Klondike Bluffs area. There are several fun rides here. Because they are short, you can stitch them together in a variety of ways.
At the north end of the park are Alaska, Homer and Nome. I rode up Mega Steps to Alaska. At the top of the trail the views of the Salt Valley below are stunning. And you have great views to the south and west too.
In the spirit of the season when I went back to Moab last week I rode Bartlett Wash and Jedi Slickrock. These short rides are off the beaten path. They offer huge fun as you bomb over drops, down into bowls, and on the edge of beautiful slickrock. But, there is no specific trail, so you need to be careful as some of the bowls drop fast.
There is a wide variation in color in this truly unique area. And the grooves in the slick rock look like they were professionally paved. It is photographers dream out here.
Right across the road from Barlett Wash is Jedi Slickrock. It’s a little hard to find, and not well marked.
My friend Anthony scheduled a meetup today to hike up from the Longs Peak trail head to Chasm Lake. It was a perfect day – sunny and warm with almost no wind.
We crossed a somewhat sketchy face with no issues, and got up to the lake by noon. We ventured out onto the ice slowly and realized by looking at the frozen bubbles that the ice was at least a foot thick, so folks starting skating all over. It was such a fun experience.
North Table Mountain in Golden is just a few minutes outside of Denver off I70, is an easy ride, and offers great views of the city. I rode on a beautiful day in October with the fall color in full bloom.