Cheatin' Death

The latest Dickyism seems especially poignant right now:  "It feels like you are cheating death by sneaking in some extra living.
Only fools sleep when they could be riding."

With 2 weeks to go until the next 24 hour event, this can mean only one thing in my world.  Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  It's been complicated the past week though by a heavier than normal work schedule.  Let's just say I haven't been a fool the past week, not one bit.

The reward?  Time will tell...but the immediate payback has included face time with a bobcat, a bear, several owls, elk, snow, somersaults and air time (3 times I might add), being chased by the grim reaper yesterday (aka the pro field in the Iron Horse), snowmelt swolen stream crossings, new trails, and new friends.  I couldn't be more alive.

While most cyclists were either racing or spectating the downtown Iron Horse criteriums yesterday, I chose to make it an all day epic affair.  None of this road stuff - the snowpack is gone below 10,500 and that opens a lot of country around here.  The first leg of the ride was up the Dry Fork to Colorado trail, taking the Colorado up to the base of Sliderock at about 10,500'.  I was joined by Alb. strongman Matt , here he is cruising up the Dry Fork trail.

Even though I'd ridden the C-trail down many times, I wasn't sure how rough that climb from Junction creek to the top would be.  It seems damn steep coming down and it's getting up there to nosebleed elevations...but it turned out to be a most enjoyable climb.  That is, aside from the part where I blew it trying to clear a water bar on a steep exposed section and did some airtime.  The Wingnut saved my a$$, it is great padding back there!

We decided to take the Clear Creek trail down to Hermosa creek.  This where things turned epic...20+ stream crossings (lotsa trout in there), big exposure, and the faintest of goat trails.  The pictures tell it best.

Yes, there is a trail here.

And scenery.  And exposure.

I'm not sure how many miles this little goat trail was, but it was the hardest earned few miles of descending I've done in awhile.  Finally, after plowing our legs through the 813th wild rose bush, we arrived at Hermosa creek - the wrong side of Hermosa creek.  The snowmelt is near peak right now, and our next trail was on the other side of the creek.  Damn, no, fat, and deep.  Just like old times.  Luckily I made it across without soaking another camera.

You might think this is enough riding, time to pack it in, right?  There was still daylight left, so the ride finished off with 2 climbs of my favorite climb in these parts, the Jones creek trail up to the first overlook of the valley.  Jones creek trail is some sweet, buff, not too steep (climbs 2,000' in about 4.8 miles), a little rooty/tech in spots, just pure heaven.  It's a lot like sections of the Steamboat course, so it's great training for that event.

I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Published Monday, May 29, 2006 5:36 AM by Dave


# @ Monday, May 29, 2006 7:23 PM

That is an awesome quote and sounds like a great ride, but that trail... Does a bike actually fit on it?

Travis Swicegood

# @ Monday, May 29, 2006 9:35 PM

Thanks for the ride hookup Dave! Man that was awesome...but I might have to wait a while for that 3rd descent down Clear Creek!

You are just an animal though for tacking on that last climb. Me? Well I cruised with a couple of nice grandmas back into town. ;-)

Good luck in Steamboat!


# @ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 4:56 AM

Travis - funny you should ask. In places, some other places, no (in my opinion). The waterfall shot was of the "one big mistake big pancake" variety with a 200' drop if you made a 4 inch mistake. I walked most of that section, Matt rode it. My previous OTB was similar (aside from the 200' drop) and the fresh memory of pedal hitting dirt on the uphill side of the trail and sending me over the downhill side edge gave me much caution!


# @ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 7:15 AM


Great story! Good to note that the snow on that side of the river is long gone - scary fire season.

So this mean Kennebec is ready for riding, right?

Good luck at Steamboat!!!

Walker T


# @ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 9:06 AM

Kennebec pass itself is almost certainly still deep in snow as it is above timberline and the flat up there holds it a long time. You can easily access the Colorado trail by the top of Junction Creek road, just before Clear Creek trail.

I'd wait a couple of weeks for Kennebec - but the Colorado trail north of Kennebec will be open much earlier than usual this year, that's for sure. Good and bad...I'm glad I'm not a river guide anymore.