Friday, July 17, 2009

Summit County Epic

Andy and I hit the local greasy spoon for some vittles and black gold to fuel up for one of those types of rides where we had no real plan other than riding all day and exploring. We started out on the West Aqueduct Trail, a trail that he actually did some trail work on as part of his job with Keystone. We connected onto the Red Trail and eventually hit the Colorado Trail. While on the Colorado, we hit a smooth section of trail that contained several screamin’ fast downhills coupled together with switchbacks. It was definitely one of my most fun, memorable moments on a mountain bike. I think that I have another new favorite section of trail! We dropped down into Breckenridge and Andy started talking about Daylight Donuts. I rarely eat donuts, however I love a good donut. As luck would have it, we rolled by the donut shop at about the same time as our midday break. We stopped, I bought a donut, I ate it and I enjoyed it.


Part two consisted of the long trek up Boreas Pass Road, which was also a part of the Firecracker race course. We hit a few sections of singletrack that went along side the road until we hit the Bakers Tank Trailhead. We took the BT to Bakers Tank and discovered that we could either go up on what appeared to be a trail, ride back down Boreas Pass Road, or turn around. We decided on the ‘trail’ that went up and a short while later, we decided to turn around as we saw no evidence that it was actually a mountain bike trail. We headed back on Bakers Tank until we hit the Iowa Mill. The trail at Iowa Mill either went straight up, or straight down. We could see that trail heading up lead to a jeep road that appeared to go to the top of Mt. Baldy. The natural choice was to go up.
I kept riding upwards until the road got so steep, that it was virtually unrideable without tipping over backwards on my bike. My HR monitor told me that I was suckin’ wind, and that I was at about 12,200 feet in elevation. It was creepy and pretty amazing, very desolate, no trees and had some spectacular views of the Breckenridge Ski Resort and the surrounding mountains. Andy was somewhere below me, so I figured that I’d better head back down before we found ourselves on different trails.

Some crazy lookin' mining ruins above the tree line.

A sweet view of Breck from above the tree line.

Flyin' down the mountain back into the trees. Glad that I didn't crash there.

We reconnected part of the way down and eventually reconnected onto the Firecracker race course on the appropriately named Pinball Alley Trail. A tight, twisty section of singletrack that threads its’ way through unforgiving pine trees. We eventually hit Sally Barber road and took the screamin’ fast descent down to a section of trail called the B-Line. Squirrel would call this place heaven. I’ve never seen a larger collection of elevated bridges, all over the place. They were all nicely crafted and looked like a lot of fun. Andy took the high road on some, whereas I took the low road and stuck to the dirt as I was still a little psyched out from my intimate moment with the dirt in Durango.
We reconnected with the last section of the Firecracker course that went down into Breck. We took the bike path north and hit a little ditty that went around Lake Dillon before we decided to call it a day. We were out for a total of around 8 hours and covered something like 40 miles of singletrack. I’d call that a great day in the office…

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