Sunday, September 23, 2007

The times, they are a changing...

Its a glorious time to be in Colorado. The days are sunny and warm, the nights are crisp and cool and the leaves are starting to hit their golden peaks which makes great trails even more scenic than usual. This time of year I start to go in to panic mode, trying to hit all the high country rides I can as its a gamble as to when they'll get snowed in for the year.

Jill showing focus as she enters the corner

So today's "ride it while you can" trail du jour was West Magnolia near Nederland. The trees in the area are starting to peak, which made this ride even that much better. Jill and I love the trails up there, and we couldn't have had a much nicer day. We did a pretty big loop today, with lots of picture stops.

Jill actually looks like she's enjoying herself

We meandered our way through Root Canal then over to the Hobbit Trails. We encountered a few people along the way, but the trails were relatively empty for such a nice day. The summer traffic has certainly taken its toll on the trails as they are looser and rockier than what I've ever seen before. Sitting under snow for the next 7 months or so will do them some good.

Who is that handsome devil in the reflection?

Jill is all smiles on a fun, rocky downhill section through the blazing aspens

The highlight of the day for me came when we were approaching the final climb on the Hobbit 2 Trail. As I was approaching the climb, I looked back and noticed two guys had passed Jill and were coming up behind me, so I pulled over and let them go by me while I waited. Jill was shortly behind them, and as I saw her I started up the climb. The two younger guys were both on geared, full suspension bikes and both stalled out on the rocky climb and had started pushing their bikes.

I had been at a complete stop at the base of the climb, and proceeded to get rolling again and begin working my way up the climb. I was gaining speed as I lumbered passed these two guys on my rigid singlespeed, cleaning the top section easier than most times.

Jill poses with some golden leaves

This singlespeed thing is a strange phenomenon. My 6" travel bike costs several times more, and is the much more complex, high performance machine. However, when I ride the rigid Niner, people always want to stop and talk to me about it. In Boulder on Friday, a guy riding a $4,000 Yeti AS-R rode with me for 2 miles on the path asking me about how I liked the big wheels. On the Thursday night ride at West Mag, two female bikers we passed gave me the "Go Singlespeeder Go!" chant as I climbed passed them.

A series of photos of me heading into the golden abyss

I like this SS thing, makes me look like I've got some calves!

No I'm not headed off trail, I'm setting up to jump off those small rocks

Why yes I do love the Niner, thanks for asking.

From here Jill and I added another loop to our trail, so we could hit the trail aptly named "Aspen Alley". I figured with the leaves blazing, we owed it to ourselves to add in the extra climb and do this trail. After blazing through the golden canopy, I was certainly glad we decided to ride this. A fast downhill and we were back at the car, loaded up and headed home. I'm definitely going to have to hit up West Mag again before the big snows settle in...

Jill works her way through Aspen Alley

Jill still smiling even though she's climbing? Must be a good day.

OK, I can see why people want to ask about this bike, it is awfully pretty.

She's a looker too...

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