After a weather hold, training is back in full swing, with a sweet dusting up on the Gore Range for inspiration. Feeling pent up after days of rain / snow? Had two Red Bulls and don’t know what to do with yourself? Can’t find any moose to chase? Try this bike ride to work off some off season angst.
Ride to Red Sndstone take a left and head to the Piney Lake tun off. Take Piney Lake Road up seven miles to the Lost Lake turn-off. Take a right and continue for another couple miles to the turn off on the left hand side of the dirt road to Lost Lake. Enjoy the next stretch of technical downhill punctuated by technical uphill single track (I won’t lie, I carried my bike up some of it, ok most of it) to the lake. Take a break at Lost lake and continue around the lake to the biker’s right where the trail then picks up again heads down then up and down again to the Red and White pass road. This section is awesome with fluid single track through aspen and evergreen forests, as well as sections of rocky technical single track that keep you on your toes.
Exiting out to the dirt road, climb on the road south towards the top of Red and White Pass a couple more miles of four wheel drive road. The road was muddy in spots, and some of the puddles were road wide, but avoidable. Passed an overheating jeep on the way, go mountain bikes! At the top there is a sign for the Bueffer Creek trail. Leave the dirt road and head south on the less worn four wheel drive road that continues south through the pasture(after enjoying yet another stunning panoramic view), this turns into clean single track and is super fun. White knuckle this seemingly forever as the trail drops towards the Valley, looking for the left hand unmarked cut off lower down the trail. This is the cut over to the North Trail, another section of nice single track perched on the side of the steep hillside. Continue this down to the North Trail trailhead to complete the loop. The entire loop is about eighteen miles, with the initial climb of just about two thousand feet. However with the added climbs in the different sections, I would say the total is over three thousand feet of climbing.
I’m an intermedate biker and to me this was a combination of cyclecross, adventure biking and good ol’ cross country mountain biking. Technical up and downhills, big climbs, fast downhill sections and unrideable hike with bike sections make this a complete ride and a hell of a lot of fun. Take some food, water a warm layer( as the top of the ride is over ten thousand feet) and definitely a good repair kit. My friend Dave P blew a chain and would have been screwed if we didn’t have another chain and some quick links (a must have). The view are unreal and late Sept is the perfect time to hit it up. The best part is afterwards you can justify eating whatever you want and sitting on the couch doing nothing for the rest of the day. I ate three carmel apples and entire wheel of brie, fell asleep watching MNF with a clear conscience. Enjoy!