Wednesday, August 30

Also also the Mild Mild West Tour '23

Waking up already in Trestle Bike Park was cake.  Being greeted by the lift operator saying "welcome to your own private bike park" was the icing on that cake.

Sure, $90 seems steep to someone who's used to Snowshoe prices, but we managed to get it down to 140 vertical feet per dollar spent.  Big ups to everyone who stayed home that day and chose not to create an inconvenient crowd.

I didn't stop a whole lot to take pictures.  Feels like it's kinda discouraged, anyways.  BTW: $8 for a can of Coke is only slightly more ridiculous when a local craft beer is $9.

We accidentally found this free campground south of Leadville when we overshot our original planned stop.  Sure, more dealing with the generator generation, but at least we didn't have to poop in a hole in the ground.

Next was the highly recommended Dr Park.  Nobody warned us about the final three miles of the climb, but I can't hate because the descent was so worth it, aside from...

If you've ever been, imagine yourself going down the super flowy 30+ mph dirt ribbon that's smoother than a baby's butt... and somehow puncturing your 2.4 tire with an insert AND ripping it beyond plugging.  Just imagine.

And... as so many times it happens in Colorado, the descent ended on exposed, loose trail, turning me from a thirty mile an hour hero through the trees hero to a sphincter clenched zero very quickly.

Also, Bill Nye had a handy way to get his insert down the mountain that I then realized totally wouldn't work for me with my insert of another brand... and also lack of a fanny pack.  NO WHAMMIES.

Not really surprising anyone, but Dr Park mighta been my favorite ride of the trip.

The stream crossing made these NC bois feel at home.

Bill Nye decided to take to longest way across, I'm assuming to cool off before climbing up the gulch.

At the top before talking to some moto guys and a bird that didn't speak English.

Once again, a Bill Nye trip saved with the Topeak Tubibooster.  I do not road trip without it.

We had a sweet creekside campsite that night, so we were at least able to finally apply water to our soiled selves.  Bill Nye informed me the next morning that we were just across the road from this hidden outhouse.  I personally couldn't even make it across the threshold *vomit*, so I ended up digging a hole again. 

Animals.  I swear there were a thousand chipmunks crossing the downhill in front of me playing some form of chicken... but they probably call it "chipmunk."

We needed to move on the next day, so upon Jordan's advice (someone who knows my tastes), we headed up to Crested Butte for Teocali Ridge.  The climb was shorter than Dr Park, but way more arduous.

Cows not being impressed by my climbing prowess.

We came to this stream crossing that had a billionty cow paths going in and out of it.  Nobody warned us about that.   

As you can see on my data acquisition device, we poked and prodded our way down quite a few less than ideal paths before realizing that the creek was indeed the road.  That was not in the brochure.

Almost, almost, almost above tree line at 11,350 feet.

But we did earn our way up there.

I never take stupid selfies because they're stupid so here's a stupid selfie.  I can no longer say I don't do this.

It was from this point on that the "road" turned into trail and got super Wheeler feeling.  Whilst I do love my single speed, my vacation bike was finally serving its special purpose.  I always wondered what kinda trails I'd be able to climb at the Breck Epic on a geared bike, and now I know.  Not saying I'd do BE on a geared bike, but whatever.   I also now know why 30 and 28 tooth rings exist.  Because Colorado exists.

We headed back to the low hanging fruit free campground we'd found a couple days back to save us from looking for something else, and to put us in striking distance to some Front Range stuff on the way back to civilization.  The plan was Maryland Mountain, but we woke up in the rain, drove in the rain, and the only magical place that wasn't getting active rain on the Front Range was Golden... so White Ranch it is.

To say it wasn't raining would be a bit of a white lie.  It was actively moisting as we climbed the three mile/1,300 foot ascent up Belcher Hill.  

Parking lot magpie trying to determine if Bill Nye was running Ergon GA1 or GE2 grips by tasting them.

The climb up was more affirmation of the geared bike.  The descents... didn't matter.  We slid and hucked and whatnot back down to the parking lot, Bill Nye testing the limits of the slickery whilst I watched.

And that was that.  Hardly an epic way to end a trip, but it was almost looking like we weren't getting a final ride in at all. 

I'd say we met our goals.  We didn't finish all beat up and down, the mechanical issues were all easily addressed, and we saw some new shit without driving five or six hours a day.  We had good times and got to hang out with some of our westerly frands.  

I was kinda tired when I got back, but here's hoping that all that riding and hanging out from 8,000-11,500 feet above sea level boosts my hemogoblins (blood ghosts) and makes me strong like bull for this weekend's Treeshaker 6 Hour Challenge.

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