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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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That’s so beautiful.

I wish every state had cycling roads like that. CO has done well with theirs all over that state.

Thanks for the pics.
Thanks, Dos! I agree wholeheartedly. Sorry the pics can't really do justice to the views up there.

Statewide, while I'd like to see more long distance options, it's undeniable that a lot of regions offer amazing cycling infrastructure.

The Frisco area where the pics were taken is an especially great example of that, with 3 ski resorts and 4 local towns available within 'reasonable' distance via mostly MUP with some bike lane road sections. Frisco sits at 9k ft and represents the low point in terms of altitude. There's lots of climbing to offset the relatively short distances between destinations. Vail Pass is a mere 13mi distant. 13mi and ~1500 vertical feet.

I love that many area trails offer a 25mph speed limit, and that observing it can involve the use of brakes :love:.

I imagine you'd laugh at the grades, which tend to top out around 10%, but the climbs can just go on and on. I'd be interested in your perspective given the more or less outlandish grades out your way.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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From yesterday's morning ride.
Water Sky Plant Water resources Plant community
It's nice to hit the trail early. The lake's water was like glass.

Sky Plant Plant community Tree Natural landscape
My back trail. Note that I was following a trail, not simply bushwacking as it may appear. This area frequently floods for months at a time with predictable results for the trails. Last year this time, for example, getting this shot would have required a water craft.

Bicycle Tire Plant Wheel Bicycle wheel
This used to be a part of the Park's paved MUP. Then the river jumped its bed and the MUP had to be re-routed. Once again, I'm not bush wacking, but the amount of vegetation makes the singletrack hard to see at times.

Plant Natural landscape Terrestrial plant Tree Wood
There is or at least was pavement under there, somewhere. Until recently, getting this shot would have involved wading, or outright swimming.

Bicycle Tire Wheel Plant Bicycle wheel
End of the line.

Plant Plant community Sky Natural landscape Tree
Great little section of trail. When it's dry-ish.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Sky Plant Plant community Green Tree
This is part of the new MUP which replaced the flooded section pictured above. Note the railroad embankment in the distance. I use an unimproved crossing to get from this area, a State Park, to a local arterial MUP called the Highline Canal which offers connections all over the greater Denver Metro area.

Water Sky Plant Tree Natural landscape
This section of pavement is part of another old MUP system, largely abandoned following an earlier flood. It continues for some miles South of this point, but the pavement only appears occasionally and in short bits, otherwise overwhelmed by the river and its sandy bed.

Sky Plant Plant community Natural landscape Road surface
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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^^ Perhaps it's just because FL has been on my mind of late, but I appreciate your pics and eye for detail. Like many other states, FL has a look all its own. One I love. Thanks for the pics, both here and in the 'Did You Ride Today' thread.
 

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Spin Spin Spin
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Here are a couple of the leg-breaking, lung-searing alpine sections of my regular ride .... the percentage of incline can barley be counted on the fingers of one hand.
View attachment 55199

here's another with triple-digit incline ... (and yes, that is the whole climb .... )
View attachment 55200
In the 2nd pic I swear it looks like there is a SHADY spot to stop like 20 feet ahead with a signpost to lean the bike on.......not sure what you're up to.............
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Bicycle Tire Wheel Plant Bicycles--Equipment and supplies
First double-digit mileage ride on the new steed. This is the start of a trail I previously rode on my touring bike before deciding I would never ride it again, unless I had a fat bike. Thus equipped, it was my first destination. So pretty!

Bicycle Tire Wheel Plant Bicycle wheel
Note the sand. It's not FL style sugar sand, but still thick and deep. This section took effort but was sustainable, unlike the dry riverbed which followed. There I could ride, but the effort required was ruinous. Training, anyone?

Wheel Tire Sky Plant Bicycle tire
The Southern end of the Highline Canal. Sorry for all these pics of my bike, but I figured I'd only ever have my first real (i.e. dirt) ride on this bike once. That said, I'll enjoy the memories of this ride for years to come. I can't wait to hit the saddle again. Even more than usual :D.

Sky Plant Natural landscape Tree Grass
The beginning of a section of pretty heavy timber. Good times.

Sky Plant Natural landscape Tree People in nature
Highline Canal on the left, Cottonwood forest to the right. Sweet singletrack in the middle. Here is where earlier struggles paid off.

Sky Plant Natural landscape Tree Land lot
Evening on the Highline Canal.

Plant Sky Natural landscape Branch Tree
Whup! There's my shadow on the lower right.

Sky Plant Natural landscape Agriculture Grass
I am in love.

Plant Sky Natural landscape Mountain Cloud
Note the lake at the bottom of the hill.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Plant Sky Natural landscape Groundcover Landscape
It would normally never occur to me to even try to ride a field of loose rock like this. I guess I have to re-calibrate my 'can I ride this' meter: the Ice Cream Truck seemed to take no note of the change in terrain at all.

Plant Natural landscape Tree Sunlight Wood
The trail was nothing like a challenge, just a joy to ride.

Bicycle Wheel Tire Plant Bicycle wheel


Bicycle Sky Tire Wheel Plant
Time for ice cream!
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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More good times in the saddle.
Bicycle Tire Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Plant
Headed for the singletrack.

Bicycle Tire Wheel Sky Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Sky Mountain Plant Slope Highland


Sky Plant community Plant Ecoregion Slope
Entrance to the Black Bear trail, where the going go rough. The sign warns that it's 10mi to the next stopping point, over a trail rated 'most difficult'. The grades were rough, and there were lots of rocks. I didn't ride all of it.

Sky Plant Natural landscape Asphalt Slope


Plant Tree Sky Road surface Natural landscape
Solid climbing.

Plant Plant community Road surface Asphalt Sky


Sky Road surface Tree Slope Plant
I have missed this kind of riding. Didn't realize it until I hit the trail today, but I have.

Bicycle Wheel Tire Plant Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Plant Flower Tree Natural landscape Terrestrial plant
Back to some 'mild singletrack', through the forest. Good times.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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That trail looks fun and challenging. Was it as remote as it looks?
Did you pass many others?
It was fun and definitely challenging for someone who hasn't really ridden such terrain since the late 90's, lol. More objectively, an outfit called the MTB Project rates the harder section 'Difficult' with the entrance/exit trail coming in at 'easy/intermediate' on the same site. Both seem fair, though I did not ride all of the harder trail.

It is not at all remote, but thank you! I have a tendency to lie by omission with the camera when it comes to recording the trappings of civilization. Or not. The trailhead is ~5mi from my house, via a busy state park. I rode during the week, in the afternoon and saw 5 other cyclists on the singletrack section, which I think amounted to ~6mi.

Sky Plant Water Tree Mountainous landforms
Here's a more 'honest' shot relative to development. The reservoir in the distance anchors the eponymous Chatfield State Park, with luxury homes in the medium distance and stretching further than the lens can show toward the city of Denver. Its downtown skyline may just be made out in the extreme distance on the upper left.

It is easy to reach some pretty remote areas from here, however: Waterton Canyon and the start of the CO Trail is probably 5mi from this spot. That's a ~485mi hiking and MTB route leading from here to Durango, CO on the NM border. Plenty of remote territory to be found there. One of the more amusing/scary recommendations for bicycling the CO Trail is not to wear any sort of cycling shoe. Hiking boots are the ticket. If memory serves, most cyclists end up hike-a-biking 30% of the total mileage. Even the sport's hardcore elite reportedly end up hiking some 8-10% of the mileage. FWIW :).
 
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