In late September some of our pals from Surly spent a weekend riding bikes with us. (We did something similar last year, which you can read about here). On Friday, some folks bikepacked. Some folks biked. Others still simply packed. It was a broad event best enjoyed by open minds.
If there's something finer than getting a leisurely start and riding bikes all day in the fall, I don't know what it might be.
Thirteen hearty folks set out from the east end of Section Two of the Colorado Trail. Of those thirteen, two had never really ridden singletrack before. That's incredible.
If you've not ridden this trail before, you should know that the first 3/4 of a mile is very steep. There are no pictures of this section because letting go of the rock face to take a picture means certain death. Remember the movie Cliffhanger? (I hope you don't). It's just like that.
Finally, at the top of that heinous section, you break out of the trees and the grade relaxes and you can more or less continue about your day. The word "top" in this case is misleading, because you aren't at the top of anything. You've gained about 1/1,000,000th of your total elevation for the day. A navigator should be careful about using the word "top" in a group, especially repeatedly, as others will begin to look at that navigator fist with distrust, and later, hostility.
Here we came upon a fantastic resting place near a large, pink rock. The view was fantastic, but upon review I didn't get a single picture of this rest spot that didn't feature someone peeing, so you'll just have to imagine a Rocky Mountain valley. Trees, river, rocks, aspens, pee, etc.
In fact, one could probably best describe this entire trip by listing things I did not photograph. Our pal Ryan from Totem Cyclery was there, but you'd never know it from looking at these photos. Our friend Kevin from Huckleberry Roasters sent some coffee with us, but based on this photolog you might think we had to wake ourselves up by clacking pots together.
Then it was time for: climbing! About five miles worth. It was steep and loose in a couple of places, but not technical. According to me, we were continually "almost there" and "just about at the end of the bad part." According to several sources, this information was wrong.
Finally, yes, right here, I was correct. This was the top of the climb. Except for just one tiny little bit of climbing that came after this.
We stopped at Chair Rocks because it's one of the best views in Buffalo Creek.
Here's a little slideshow about how to sneak up on Trevor. Step #1: Make him ride bikes until he is tired. Step #2: Sneak up on him. Fun!
The trail between Chair Rocks and the end of Section Two are about as pleasant as can be. It's a bit like being adrift at sea. Most of us were low on water, which was also a bit like being adrift at sea.
Fortunately, we were soon able to rehydrate:
There's something to be said about riding hard all day and finally sitting down for a beer. It's a rare opportunity to be completely unwound. Even better if there are stars and fires involved.
On Saturday we rode bikes n' stuff. We road road, we crushed gravel, we schralped berms, we sent jumps. We bombed, enduroed, downhilled, uphilled, crossed country, and styled freely. We lunch rode. I didn't get pictures of any of that. Instead, here's a good one of everybody standing around:
On Sunday, a few of us rode back down Section Two to where our vehicles were parked. Bogie impressed us all with his trials skills:
There were actually several people on this ride, but I sure didn't take pictures of any of them.
Finally, many thanks to Trevor and Aaron and Surly Bikes for helping us make this weekend happen. Y'all are the black hoodies we wear around our hearts.