Happy Sunday! I got some yard watering done and a big ride. Gonna sleep well tonight. I hope you enjoy the post.
Today’s prescribed ride was for 2.5 hours. I ended up at just over 5 and it was great. Let me tell you more…
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post I have discovered that riding up county road 40 and cutting over to road 41 and then continuing to climb into the San Juan National Forest is pretty awesome. I also mentioned wanting to go further today and making some type of loop out of it.
That is what I did and it was pretty epic. Just a little past where I turned around yesterday the road descends into a ravine which you then get to climb out the other side. That climb was the first time on this road that I’ve had to use the smallest chain ring on the forward set of gears. This gear is also referred to as the granny gear due to its magical ability to climb steep trails and roads. That’s probably not the reason why but it seems the least offensive.
Anyway, once you get over that climb it pretty much flattens out and you complete the climb of a trail known as Chicken Creek Road. The trail is a road and it’s about 8 miles from the parking lot to the top. Since I started from my home it’s about 15 miles to the top. There is a junction and you can go deeper into the forest, return on a different road back to town, or drop in to Chicken Creek Canyon and come out at Jackson Lake reservoir on what is known as the Manco’s Spur. I wanted to ride some single track so I dropped into the canyon and that is when the adventure began. I was two hours out at that point and it would take 3 hours to get back home
Downhill’s aren’t necessarily relaxing:
On a paved or even most dirt roads going downhill is a time to relax and enjoy the view. Many mountain bike trails are built on challenging hiking trails. In the Rocky Mountain there are a lot of rocks. The trails here tend to be rocky. When you drop into a canyon you add the additional challenges of water crossings and roots. This trail has all three obstacles in spades.
It is still early in the riding season which means there is still a lot of water on the trails. The problem with wet trails isn’t that you get stuck in the mud. It’s that you create deep holes in the mud. When those holes dry they become a rough and rutted trail. So it is important not to go into mud and as a benefit you dont get covered in mud.
Avoiding mud when there’s a lot of moisture cause the creek is running high means you are walking a lot. Add to that and the freshly fallen trees from last winter and there is a lot of tile spent not riding your bike. This meant that I ended up going down about as fast as I had gone up. On one hand that means I am going up at a decent pace. On the other hand it means I’m slow on this downhill. Oh well. My time for being the fastest has come and gone. These days I’m happy to be out riding with a huge grin on my face.
Over all I did 35 miles with 3000 feet of total climbing over 5 hours with plenty of stops for photos and resting. Before I rode home on the pavement I stopped by to visit some friends and steal some water. All from a safe distance of course.