Holy roots, rocks, and hills.
Bike told me it wanted to go play in the mountains too this weekend, so on Sunday we headed up to Breckenridge to the Peaks Trail.
I'd run parts of the trail before, and thought it would be cool to ride. Some of it was above my pay grade however; many parts are rough, sometimes on a slope that made it challenging for me, being the bike equivalent of an intermediate skier.
On other visits I had noted sections that I thought would be crazy to ride, and to my surprise I managed to ride some of them, including a narrow rocky hill some bikers had ridden so easily.
A rare smooth section along a ditch in the middle of nowhere:
Bike was happy to be out of the house.
Imagine many miles of uphills and downhills over embedded rocks and roots filling in the spots in between these photos. Picture me, teetering precariously on uphills and hanging out over the back on downhills. Repeat for 9 miles each way (the second half being mostly uphill).
I rode these down, but not up. My front shock got a workout:
Shortly after this stretch on the down, I came across a guy who had passed me. He had ridden down the foot drops and incline at speed like it was simply a flat bike path, but had gotten a flat and was walking his bike down with a couple of miles to go. He asked if I had an inner tube, and I did so I gave it to him, and he quickly fixed his flat (faster than I would have). He said I could stop in his outdoor shop in Frisco and he'd hook me up, but really no payment was necessary. It's only a couple of bucks and we talked about trails while he was fixing it, so I got some local beta.
On the Frisco side, I stopped by the info center on Main to refill a bottle, and turned back towards Breck for the 9 miles and 1,800 feet of accumulated gain I'd have to cover. It was definitely an effort, but the hills were interspersed with a certain number of smoother, more moderate grades. Once again, a blessedly flat stretch:
The signature feature of this ride -- for me -- was the quantity of rocks and roots, which became very tiring by the end. It was hard to keep momentum when your bike was being rocked constantly on the uphills, and your concentration was being tested constantly on downhills. Finishing the whole out-and-back was definitely a satisfying feeling. I think on this ride I may have edged up into the realm of blue-black trails...
Recovery beverage and snack later in town, at Kenosha:
Distance was 18.38 miles, time 3:35 (moving 2:47), elevation gain/loss 1,850 feet, avg. speed 5.1 mph, and max speed 21.7 mph. Altitude was 9,000 to 10,100 feet.