Once a month, Yawp unleashes its camping anti-team to wreak havoc on the trails of some small, credulous Colorado village. By 'wreak havoc' I mean we ride at an enjoyable pace and practice good etiquette but we get pretty damn rowdy in the turns and when there's pizza on the table. On the last weekend in June, havoc was wrecked in the town of Eagle. Joyride Brewing Company gave us one of these to take with us:
We camped southeast of town in the National Forest. It was buggy, but it was the quiet, lush kind of Colorado valley that is the only antidote to living in the city. Places like that are just about the only places where I can feel truly at rest. Plus, somebody left us a chimney log.
Mountainbikeeagle.com makes finding trails in Eagle really easy (if you can get service). We had word that the Tick Alley/Itch/Scratch/World's Greatest loop was well worth doing, so a few of us snuck out on Friday afternoon to, from the sound of it, ride through tick-infested shrubbery.
The four of us ride a lot. We are experienced. We ride steep front range trails. We ride across the country and we ride Hunditos and to the top of Mt. Evans and we like to think we are reasonably fit. We enjoy being challenged. And yet we could find no expletive strong enough for how difficult Tick Alley was.
It was exposed, hot, steep as steep gets, and an endless string of whoops formed by motorized dirt bikes. We weren't prepared to give the kind of effort required. We didn't have a thermometer, but it was approximately one million degrees out there.
We were so tired that we skipped Itch and Scratch and went straight for the World's Greatest Downhill. It was fine. Any downhill would've been fine. World's Greatest eventually intersected with Tick Alley, and two thousand whoops weren't much more fun to descend than they'd been to climb. At the bottom of Tick Alley, we had one more maliciously steep climb. Seriously, that climb took so much out of me that my family will be tired for generations to come.
Mere minutes after we climbed into the truck, this happened:
It took a night's sleep, a chimney log, lots of counseling, and a keg of beer to recover.
We rode Pipeline the next day, and we brought reinforcements. It was much better.
After some beer and pizza, we parked near the ice rink and rode Haymaker. Haymaker is worth pulling off I-70 to ride any time you pass the town of Eagle with your bike. Really. Even if you're on your way to a wedding, it's worth showing up late in dirty, wrinkled formalwear. Ride this trail and then ride it again. It's five miles and it will make your week. It was so much fun that I didn't stop to take any pictures. There's also a BMX course at the trailhead.
Here are a few important qualifying stats from our weekend in Eagle.
Pizzas consumed: 3
Tick buddies checked: 10
Ticks found: 0
S'mores made: 22
Hammocks fallen out of: 0
Hammocks fallen into: 2
Beers consumed: Yes.
Fully rigid bikes ridden: 3
Milky Ways identified: 1
Dreams crushed: 0
Children left behind: 0
Amount of havoc wreaked: All the havoc.