Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 2 in Colorado

Obviously, the riding in Colorado is a lot more hardcore than we're used to, and at least one of us hasn't been riding all that much this summer, so we thought we'd take it easy. Our plan was to take the ski lift up the mountain and ride the trails down. And although this was a fabulous idea, we found out that the ski lift that you can take your bikes on was only running on the weekends at this time of year. Since we're leaving next Saturday, that meant the only chance we had to do the ski lift thing was yesterday.

After checking with a bike shop in town, they suggested if we were going to use the lift we should just rent bikes from one of the places on the mountain since it would be easier. We will be going back later in the week to rent from them when we ride some of the trails accessible from town since they are nice and knowledgeable and the bikes they have are much cooler. They also have a lot more options.

We visited both of the mountain rental places. One was renting out Treks and one Konas. Knowing our feelings about Trek, guess which place we chose?

Next we purchased a lift ticket and got some advice on which trails would be best for our skill level. Although they were all on the mountain, they were not all downhill. One funny thing that happened was that every time we told someone we were from Michigan, they talked about there being hard trails in the U.P. We, of course, had to explain that we don't live in the U.P., it's quite far away, and those are definitely not the kinds of trails we're used to riding.

Once we had that settled, we hopped on the ski lift. Our bikes were loaded on behind us. It was a blast riding up the ski lift. As most of you know, I am not a skier, and the only lifts I have ever been on (both in the summer) are those at Boyne and Crystal Mountain. Needless to say, this was a lot higher and longer. The views were amazing and we could actually check out parts of the trail from above.

There were lots of downhill riders with full pads and full face helmets. This scared me a bit, but I consoled myself with the fact that they probably wouldn't be riding the same trails as we would be.

We mostly rode a trail called The Luge. It was pretty much completely downhill, with no climbing. Now that's my kind of riding! The first trip down, I walked a few of the downhills because I convinced myself they were scary, but by my second run I was riding everything. There was so much momentum carrying me through that I barely had to pedal.

I rented a full suspension bike, which was really weird. I had never ridden one before and I'm not sure I liked it. It just felt like I was bouncing the whole time, although it definitely absorbed the shock. The grips on the rental bike were total crap, too. I'm so used to my nice, cushy Ergon grips that it felt like I was holding on to bare handlebars.

On our last run, we finally decided to cut off on some more difficult trails. That's when we had to ride uphill for a bit. It was crazy because up until then I really hadn't noticed any issues with the altitude. Even yesterday morning, when I went for a hike on the mountain and was hiking uphill, I didn't feel that winded. But riding on the mountain, even the slightest uphills that I would have no trouble with at home had me in my granny gear and panting, barely able to power through it. A few times I had to get off and walk.

The last thing we did was a section of trail called The Colombine. It didn't look too bad at first, but then it wound around the mountain. For a few sections, there was nothing but air on the left side of the trail. The views on that trail were spectacular, but I didn't dare get out the camera at that point due to the precarious positioning.

All in all, it was a great day on the trail. I think we're going to let the legs rest for a day and pursue other activities. (Strangely enough, I'm a bit sore even though I was mostly riding downhill all day.) I'm sure we will get out on the bikes again before we leave, though. I'm hoping for a couple more days of riding here in lovely Colorado.

1 comment:

Jake said...

I am so jealous I wish I was out there riding. Have a good time.