Nice Day For A Ride!
As Brad and I left Denver, Friday evening, we drove into some heavy rain, and steadily dropping temperatures. By the time we got to his family cabin, we were discussing Plan B, in case it snowed on the pass, overnight.
Then, we got up to sunshine, and bright blue sky, punctuated by fluffy white clouds.
After a big breakfast, we took off, dressed for the cooler temperatures at the high elevation. A half mile into the ride, I stopped and peeled off my leg warmers, arm warmers and fleece vest. After strapping them to my CamelBak, we took off, again.
Brad, patiently waiting for me to get my clothes situated...
As we rode, the incline steadily increased, as we approached the head of the valley.
The trail conditions were primo, with tacky dirt and fantastic traction, due to the previous day's rain. Eventually, the trees beagan to thin, and we could see the ridge, above us
The road became rockier, as we ascended, as well.
Mine tailings? Scree? I don't know, but the trail sure was rocky, through here!
Trucks, on the ridge...
Looking back down the valley, from about halfway up the switchbacks...
Steeper, and steeper...
Eventually, we reached the top of Webster Pass, at 12103 feet above sea level
and brewed up a cuppa.
If you continue on, you end up in Keystone.
Caffeinated Wheelmen at the top of the world...
and a wee nip from the flask, in celebration of an excellent climb.
After we finished our coffee, we turned back toward the cabin, and headed down. Even on drop-barred, rigid bikes, we made pretty good time, on the downhill. We passed Jeeps, and ATVs, and had a good time flowing downhill, like water. Too soon, we got back to the cabin, and the adventure was over.
We sat on the deck of the cabin, and had a post-ride beer, before heading home. All we could talk about was how great the weather had been, and what an awesome ride we had.
The bikes performed flawlessly, and I was happier on this Trek than I have been on any mountain bike, for a while. Sort of a "back to basics" feeling, I guess.
I have had a few conversations with people about the bike, since I first started talking about doing this ride on the vintage steel. A lot of them followed the "I guess it's okay for moderate trail riding, but it wouldn't be too good for rough trails" theme. As I pointed out to Brad, telling him about these conversations, the laws of physics have not changed, since the advent of suspension forks, and 29-inch mountain bike wheels. These bikes are no less competent, now, than they were when they were new.
And when they were new, these bikes were high-end, serious mountain bikes. They are still fantastic rides, as this little jaunt proved.