Yesterday was a great day of dirt in Winter Park. For today, with transportation and optimizing-sag-personnel-time issues, we made a decision to drive everyone to Grand Lake, get an early check-in at the Mountain Lakes Lodge and then just mountain bike around the Grand Lake area.
Because Grand Lake is not particularly known for mountain bike riding, we figured we'd do a shorter ride today and then drive back to Winter Park or Solvista for a dirt day tomorrow.
We ended up being out, wearing chamois and near bicycles, for about 3:30 today. We explored several trails on the west side of Highway 34, near our lodge. While the ATV crowd has some of the trails torn up with very deep ruts and loose rocks, we did stumble on to some sweet single track. We figured out how to do a loop that began via Highway 34 and County Road 4, near the lodge. The loop dropped out on Highway 34 just north of Grand Lake.
We decided the trails were sweet enough that didn't have to drive somewhere for Day 6, but do more exploring around Grand Lake.
I, again, managed to leave the camera in the lodge. (Body fatigue and brain fade?) So, I'll leave you with the following, non-trail photos:
Sag team logistics
The sag team needed the vehicle-room to rescue cyclists off of high mountain passes, should the weather turn bad. (This has happened before on Trail Ridge Road and other high mountain road rides.) The team also had to have the capability to transport two bikes per rider and a few sag-team bikes as well. The line-up can be seen below:
Other than cyclists, there was plenty of wildlife to enjoy. Del caught this coyote hunting, and scoring, breakfast on the last day of the trip. Cool:
After a shorter day yesterday, the plan for today was to mountain bike the reputable Tipperary Creek route used for the Winter Park mountain bike race. I was eager to do this trail again. The last time I rode it was during my first mountain bike stage race. Another story all together...
Gale: "How much further to the finish? I think I have enough water."
Sweet volunteer: "Oh honey, you're only half way!"
Gale: "Guess I'll take some of that water."
Based on the Rollins Pass snow report from the bike shops and Ernie's ride from Winter Park up Rollins Pass until he hit snow and snow removal equipment, we decided to check on the Tippearary Creek trail condition.
One of the bike shop employees at Grand Sports told us that at 10,000 feet the trail becomes impassable due to fields of snow. Darn. I didn't get his name, but he was very helpful to map out routes that were in good condition.
Some video from the King of the Rockies race can be found here. Winter Park maps can be found here.
Some of us stayed at the Vintage Hotel (very dog-friendly) which is between Winter Park and Mary Jane. A couple of people stayed downtown. The goal was to ride a big loop so no one had to drive. We did manage a nice loop.
We rode from Winter Park to Fraser and then up Elk Creek Road. From there we took Creekside to Spruce Creek, Sunken Bridges, D2, WTB, D4 and from there I'm not sure. We did finish at the Winter Park base area via a trail that had ramps, jumps and sweet banked turns. One turn was built high - around 5 feet or so. This one required a do-again by Bill so he could rail the turn.
There were multiple stops to look at maps to be sure we were heading in the right direction. We wanted to avoid closed trails and trails that were gushing with runoff water.
Unfortunately, I left my camera at the condo, so I didn't get any photos from the day. I think Scott got some, so maybe I'll add one later.
Snowballs were thrown and there were issues with migratory rocks. (Ernie, FYI, after you left to drive home, you were implicated in the rock "incidents".)
Actual ride time was not recorded. Out time was 4:48. Since we are in our chamois, this is considered training time. This spring we saw Georgia Gould, who lives in Ft. Collins near us, and she told us "as long as you're in a chamois, you're training". She's fast, and the first woman to clinch a spot on the USA Cycling Olympic team on the mountain side, so we have adopted this philosophy. BIG congrats to Georgia for making the team.
Since I'd like to leave you with photos, below is a snapshot of Craig Singiser and the two giant fish he pulled out of the canal between Shadow Mountain Lake and Lake Granby. The Brown was three pounds!
The next photo is Meeka on cyclist patrol, looking for "her" cyclists.
Tomorrow, Day 5...Road bike to Grand Lake, mountain bike in Winter Park, or mountain bike in
This recent May, a group of us took a trip to Moab, Utah for some mountain biking. When we drove over Vail Pass on Friday, May 2, it was snowing. Winter did not want to lose grip on Colorado.
On the way to Moab, we stopped outside of Fruita, Colorado to try out the Western Rim Trail. We were running late and didn't get a chance to do the whole trail, but everyone agreed it was worth the stop.
One issue with a stop of any kind, is the migratory rock issue. If you don't know about rock migration, perhaps I can give you a heads-up.
It seems that rocks find a way to migrate into hydration packs, looking to be located somewhere new. How they find their way into a pack has not been documented. There are many theories about how a rock might appear in the pack of an unsuspecting rider, but none of these theories have been caught or documented by a camera.
What has been caught on camera is owners of packs finding these migratory rocks. Dennis Andersen can be seen below, removing a migratory rock from his hydration pack. There is some speculation that he carried this rock in his pack for an entire day of riding on the Soverign Trail system. Though he had three people riding with him, not one of them noticed the rock fly/roll/jump/crawl into his pack.