Friday, October 26, 2007

Colorado's Multiday Mountain Bike Tours

I ran across an article by Ted Stedman written for that outlined a number of good multi-day rides. Below are a few excepts from his article.

It's no secret that Colorado harbors some of the premier mountain bike tours on the planet. But what else would you expect in a state where thousands of miles of trails and dirt roads crisscross the high country other than premium rides?

Consider it bike packing - like a hybrid cross between backpacking and mountain biking - where a tent is your mobile shelter, all your provisions are carried on panniers or an off-road bike trailer, and your bike is a vehicle for discovery.

I love that term, "bike packing."


The San Juan Hut System's 206-mile Telluride to Moab tour transports riders from Colorado's cool alpine mountain tops to the fiery deserts and redrock canyons of Utah's Moab. This route retraces the getaway route of gunslinger Butch Cassidy's gang after they robbed a Telluride bank in 1889.

There's something to this next one. We ought to look into it a bit more.


The first challenge of the Tabeguache Trail is to pronounce it (say "tab-a-watch"). The second is to resist the temptation to turn around and repeat the 144-mile ride that many riders swear is the archetype of western Colorado bike routes.

Coursing across valleys, mesas, pinion-juniper forests and remote BLM range lands, the Tabeguache is a snippet of classic Colorado. The trail got its start in 1988, when a fledgling group of resource-savvy mountain bikers calling themselves the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association (COPMOBA) dedicated the elbow grease to create a contiguous link between Montrose and Grand Junction. By connecting existing dirt roads and ATV trails with 11 miles of newly built singletrack, the Tabeguache was born.

The Mother Trail.


Hikers have the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails, fabled long-distance routes that are trophies for intrepid trekkers. Since its completion in 1997, the GDMBR offers mountain bikers a two-wheeled version of the same prize.

The 2,465-mile GDMBR is the unsurpassed monarch of mountain bike trails, the longest designated off-route route in the world...


Cutting a swath across the Rocky Mountains from Denver to Durango, the 471-mile CT is a wild, daunting, epic undertaking for mountain bike touring. And it's probably the most scenic - and technical - multi-day ride offered in the southern Rockies.

Seven national forests, six wilderness areas, eight mountain ranges and five major river systems are traversed by the CT, a trail that owes its existence to volunteers and leaders who envisioned a recreational corridor linking existing trails with numerous access points.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bike Maintenance

As I had an extra day off This weekend, I decided to get our bike fleet back in working order. I had a blowout of my tire back in the summer, and hadn't had the funds to get a new set of tires. They were due as they were over 10 years old. So I patched tires on D2's bike, my wife's bike, and D1's bike. Then D2's tire sprang another leak. I patched that only to find out that Jenny's had sprung yet another leak. Her rear tire has blown (split-down-the-side-of-the-tube blown) out 2 tubes. I went down to the bike store and purchased some rim tape even though it didn't need any that I could see. After putting the tire back on, and replacing both of my tires, the weekend was over. And now both my bike and my wife's have issues. Her rear tire is wobbly and needs to have the spokes adjusted. My derailers need to have the cable's replaced. Ugh. It is a lot of work to keep your family's fleet running!

We recently had our Aunt and Uncle and my cousin over for dinner. His dad is always finding deals on bikes and just found him a newer model full suspension that he sold to my cousin for $100. It is a Trek something or other. Good deal. I will keep my eyes pealed for deals like that.

While in the bike store, I asked to see some of the latest model bikes. There were two types of bikes that I found pretty wild. Cannondale has a bike called the "Lefty" that I am rather partial to just for its name. The other type of bike I saw had 29" wheels which help with shock absorption. While these were both out of my price range, I thought they looked pretty cool.
The other interesting thing I found out at the bike shop was a tire that Specialize makes that is near puncture proof. I bought a couple of the $26 variety. The sidewalls were not puncture proof. For $55 a tire, you can have the puncture proof version. For my model, there is a wide strip of Kevlar that is embedded in the tire. I think this is a pretty cool idea. For the ER (Epic Ride), my bike will definitely be sporting a couple of these tires. All the benefits of the foam tires, but none of the weight!

Well that is all for now. I wish I could have said that I even went riding this weekend. I will have to wait for the snow to melt.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wadsworth Singletrack

Wow - Singletrack heaven on Saturday. At the top of the right fork of Hobble Creek Canyon there's a little trail called Wadsworth. It's only about 7 miles, but MAN, beautiful!

I didn't have tons of time to go much further than a few miles, but the ride was gorgeous. A topo map was a helpful way of getting an idea of where the trail leads to. I'd suggest we pick up one during these initial planning stages.

Average Speed: 5 mph
Total Distance: 3 miles

Friday, October 12, 2007

Realizations from a Weekend Ride

On Saturday last I hit the road for a little ride. As I've noted before, I ride an aluminum Rockhopper with broken shocks. I also had just pumped up my tires to 60psi. I stayed on the road the entire time and realized that there's a reason my bike came with shocks.

After a half hour my hands were asleep - and my teeth quite rattled. I've GOT to get some shocks.

Another realization, we've got to make sure that if we do decide to do a trail around Craig/Steamboat Springs, that we dress and plan accordingly. This came after I rode in the 35° rain for the last half hour. Awesome times.