Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kenosha Pass Pwns Me

Fireflies danced in the periphery of my vision as we cleared the trees and broke out above timberline. Brad was slightly ahead of me,(as usual on a climb), and I looked around at the flickering bugs.

"Waitaminnit! There ain't no fireflies in Colorado, and for sure not above timberline!" I realized. The altitude was getting to me.

I hated that, too. Back in the day (gather 'round, younguns, and let me tell you a tale), I rode at elevation often enough that anything below 13,000 feet seemed fine, to me. Now, here I was, gasping for air and stumbling around like a flatlander tourist on his first real mountain ride.

I had felt strong up until that point. Brad and I had left his car, a couple of hours earlier, at the Kenosha Pass trailhead. Neither of us was too concerned with getting to the top of Georgia Pass, at the Continental Divide above Breckenridge. We just wanted to get in a good, long ride before heading to the cabin.

Other than one stop to adjust Brad's front brake, and a couple of short, random, pauses along the trail we had ridden steadily to a point almost at timberline. There, we stopped and ate a couple of Clif bars. I put on my wind jacket, and then we took off again. A few drops of rain spattered us as we climbed, but no thunder, so we just kept on heading up.

Then, magically, we broke out of timber and there it was; the top of the pass. At this point, of course, there was no turning back. Onward to the top.

I was goofy enough from the thin air that I couldn't hold a good line, and kept planting a pedal into the side of the foot-deep trench that makes up the singletrack across the alpine meadow. I was going slow, but I was going.

Eventually, I joined Brad at the top. As we stood there, in the ever-present wind, the sun broke through the clouds and sent a warming ray to us.

Damn, it was beautiful. The mountains, the sun, the clouds, two good friends sharing a ripping ride for the first time in too long...

Brad has an iPhone. I have a MotoKRZR. Both of the phones have digital cameras built into them.

We also both have digital cameras.

All four items were safely locked away in Brad's car, back at the trailhead. So, no pictures.

Oh, well, some memories are best left undocumented, I suppose.

As we turned back, and headed downhill, we met a couple we had passed on the way up. It took some of the manly-man feeling out of us when we stopped and talked to the older of the couple. He was the dad of the 13 year old girl who was plugging along on her bike, heading up to the top of the pass, where we had just been.

We ripped some downhill on the way down to the (about) halfway point of the ride back to the car. I know that many people would find 23 mph a slow top speed for that stretch, but I felt like I was in the groove and pretty much going as fast as I could ever hope to.

The climb from the Jefferson Campground Road back up to the trailhead was a bit slow, but I managed to at least keep Brad in sight on the way up. As we approached the trailhead, and the trail once again turned downhill for the last mile, or so, we upped the pace. Another bit of flowy singletrack, and then, suddenly, we were back at the car.

I have to say that I've not enjoyed a ride like I enjoyed this one, in quite a while. And, I have never had such good weather on the top of the pass. Usually, it snows on me when I'm up there.

Here are the numbers on the trail. My odometer showed 24.8 miles, overall, slightly different from the published mileage.



At 9:23 AM , Blogger katina said...

Ah Kenosha pass...I always liked coming over the pass and looking out over South Park. sigh.

I miss colorado.

At 10:23 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Colorado misses you, too, sweetie.

At 11:12 AM , Blogger Simon said...

A friend and I were up there too, did Kenosha to Breck. Maybe you saw us, I was on a Gray Santa Cruz Bullit and my friend was on a Bianchi 29'er single speed. If you saw the sun on the top of the pass you were probably there a little later cause we saw no sun at all.

At 2:49 PM , Blogger Apertome said...

Wow ... sounds like an incredible ride. Great description, it makes me feel like/wish I was there.

At 5:45 PM , Blogger Brad said...


I think we did pass each other. You guys were headed back I think. I commented on the single speed.

Great day!


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