Winter Park, CO

We spent Labor Day weekend with family up at Winter Park.  On Saturday Kyle and I spent the day downhilling at the park, and on Sunday most of us headed up to do a long hike up to Stanley Mountain.

on way to Stanley Mountain
on way to Stanley Mountain

Winter Park Terrain Park

Winter Park has invested big time in making the resort a year-round destination, and in the summer riding their groomed bike trails in the Trestle Bike Park is a requirement for us.  Kyle and I had a blast bombing down Shy Ann, Long Trail, No Quarter, Search and Seizure and the new Wall Street trail.

Check out what it’s like to ride some of these crazy trails in these vids. One thing – the GoPro Karma Grip gimbal is sooooo smooth that it makes the trail a lot less scary than it really is.

Stanley Mountain Hike

On Sunday, the family drove to the top of Berthoud Pass and headed up to Stanely Mountain on a beautiful late summer day. It’s a pretty easy hike although there is a section of switchbacks up a steep pitch that make the legs burn. We made it most of the way.

 

 

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Super Magic Bus, Nederland, CO

In the spirit of the back-to-school season I headed up to Nederland to ride Super Magic Bus on a late summer day.  

the super magic busthe super magic bus, not sure why it’s super or magic

At the front of the ride is a bit of descent overlooking peaks to the west, and then a relatively gentle climb for a few miles. After that, it’s fun flowey downhill through really tight trees. On one occasion my handlebars whacked a tree and I nearly went off the bike.  

At one point I passed over a section that had odd and unofficial signage about potential mercury tailings in the soil.

looks legit
looks legit

The Super Magic Bus

This trail has an old school bus off the path, and as I got closer to the bottom of the descent I wondered where it was. Then I saw the glint of yellow out of the corner of my eye, and headed over to check it out. The bus is near an old abandoned shack in the middle of the woods. It’s actually a little creepy (I just watched Blair Witch this past weekend).

rustic "tiny home", needs some workrustic “tiny house”, needs some work

serious curb appealserious curb appeal

room with a view
room with a view
the super magic bus
the super magic bus

Video Highlights

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Dr. Park, Crested Butte, CO

My family and friends Greg and Patty Keller headed to Crested Butte this past weekend to do some riding through the burgeoning wildflowers. And after 25 years of mountain biking, I can say Dr. Park is in my top 5 rides on the planet. Fast flowey singletrack through pristine aspen glades for miles. 

First, you have to cross over a wide stream that is flowing fast in the early summer.

big snows this spring mean big water
big snows this spring mean big water

It’s a gentle climb up to the summit, but the altitude is above 10K, so it’s slow going.

a gentle climb
a gentle climb
not far from the summit
not far from the summit
me, Kyle and Greg at Dr. Park summit
me, Kyle and Greg at Dr. Park summit

I can’t wait to try this during peak fall color.

Kyle and I start the CT on Wednesday, so be sure to check back in a few days for an update.

Dr. Park Gallery

 

Picture Rock, Lyons, CO

My son Kyle and I are in final prep to bikepack the Colorado Trail next month, riding every day.  Yesterday I convinced him to do the Picture Rock / Wild Turkey Loop in Lyons, CO, which is my favorite ride on the front range.  

I’ve been jonesin to do this for weeks, but the trail has been closed because of wet sloppy conditions from all the spring snow and rain.  

Kyle wasn’t as psyched as I was, as he had done this last year with his high school mountain bike team and struggled with the technicality of the trail – there is quite a bit of rock hopping.  I said, “Dude, you’ve put on 6 inches and 30 lbs of muscle, you’ll do fine.”  Sure enough, he was ahead of me the whole uphill.  He’s still skittish about the downhill, but by the end of July after 500  miles of bikepacking and nearly 100,000 ft of descent, I suspect he’ll be in prime shape to return to his team practice in August.

One of the highlights of the trail is passing by an old homestead with a circa 1930s car aside the trail.

homestead along Picture Rock
homestead along Picture Rock
1930's car riddled with bullet holes
1930’s car riddled with bullet holes
does anyone know the make/model?
does anyone know the make/model?

At the top of the loop you hit a rock outcropping with great views.  As we approached we heard thunder, despite the forecast of no rain.  We took a few photos and hightailed it down the hill, but still got caught in a rainstorm that soaked us to the bone.  

approaching storm
approaching storm

I was out in front on the descent and after turning a corner nearly ran over this. 

one lucky snake
one lucky snake

He’s lucky I was going slow because of the rain.  Kyle and I have run over many snakes on our bikes, and I don’t think they do well afterwards.

I asked Kyle on the way back if the trail was easier, and he said, “Yeah, way easier.”  

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Walker Ranch, Boulder, CO

Walker Ranch is a local favorite ride in Boulder offering great views, technical sections, and two bridges over South Boulder Creek.  

It’s a major debate in the city as to which direction to ride, but I prefer clockwise (turn left after parking the car) to maximize singletrack.  

turn left (clockwise) at top to maximize singletrack
turn left (clockwise) at top to maximize singletrack

After a short bit of climbing, you bomb down tight trail through the forest, and then end up at South Boulder Creek.

eastern bridge over South Boulder Creek
eastern bridge over South Boulder Creek
South Boulder Creek raging in the springtime
South Boulder Creek raging in the springtime

After the creek, there’s a pretty steep hike-a-bike up a cliffy section.

looking down on the hike-a-bike section
looking down on the hike-a-bike section

You’ll then have a relatively gentle uphill for a few miles.  At the top of the climb, stop, have a bite to eat, and take in the view.

beautiful view to west
beautiful view to west

Then, bomb down back the river and have a nice gentle climb back up to the car.

back to the car
back to the car

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Hall Ranch, Lyons, CO

It’s springtime in the Rockies, and that wouldn’t be complete without a nice mid-May snowstorm.  So while it’s snowing outside, I figured I’d write up a post on a local favorite, Hall Ranch, that I did last Friday.  

mid-May snowstorm
mid-May snowstorm

Hall Ranch

There are two parking areas for Hall Ranch – on the north side is the Antelope Trailhead and gentle Antelope trail, and on the south side is the Bitterbrush Trailhead, which is what I typically do.  The Bitterbrush trail is relatively smooth at the start as you climb, but then transitions into a fun but tough rock garden that forces most folks off the bike at several points.  

Bitterbrush rock garden
Bitterbrush rock garden

The garden is only for about a half mile, and then you hit a summit with nice views of the valley.

just shy of the first summit
just shy of the first summit

You can then continue and do the Nelson Loop.

climbing Nelson Loop
climbing Nelson Loop

At the top you’ll get great views of the nearby peaks, Coffintop, Cook and Button Rock.

nearby peaks at top of Nelson Loop
nearby peaks at top of Nelson Loop

From this point, it’s pretty much all downhill fun, particularly when you get back to the rock garden!

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