Even if it's just temporary, the weather in FC is changing. It feels like winter. We even got micro amounts of snow tonight. This past weekend was rainy and cold, which reminded me of the very first blog that I ever did for fcbikerant. Just because the trails are muddy, doesn't mean there isn't a ton of fun riding to do around here. The trails even dried up by Sunday and were in great shape.
This past Friday I opted for the early bed time so I could get up and try my luck at a loop that I've wondered for years if I could clean on my singlespeed. I also wanted to be back home and drunk before the NU vs OSU kickoff at 1:30. The idea was to head up Rist Canyon, then bomb back down and around Buckhorn Canyon through Masonville, then across the damn and back down by the stadium. I knew that I had the distance and vertical, but there is one section at the top of Rist with 4 relentless switchbacks that even my car has trouble keeping traction on. I've always wondered if cleaning this section was possible on my SS, the hardest part being that it's at the very top of a 3000 ft. climb. Turns out it was some work, but not too big of a deal.
The only thing that I've changed on my bike is the addition of the flip-flop hub (fixed/free). The reason for this is that I found out the hard way that anything over about 50 miles of riding fixed tends to tweak my knee a bit and freak me out. I love riding fixed a lot, but not so much when it's bad on the knees. It's still the funnest town bike I've ever had, but for these longer distance winter road rides, I decided a little bit of coasting isn't so bad (especially when bombing big hills).
Here are some photos that I took along the way. Almost all of them were taken while I was still moving in the saddle. What a beautiful day. Next time I'll probably do this one in reverse.
First stop at Vern's for eggs and coffee on a cold, gray day.
It's a long way to the top from the Whale Rock
I thought I knew the canyon but I still experienced a lot of false summits when I thought the last climb was around the corner.
Then the opposite happened. I thought there were 2 more switchbacks on the final climb, but it turned out I was done. At the top. I was feelin pretty good about it too.
Mostly downhill after that. Here are photos of the Buckhorn Canyon descent. Jumpin cattle guards and rippin.
BTW. Watch out for cattle in the road. I blazed around the corner and almost drilled a few.
A view of Horsetooth Rock from the south side.
And of course I wouldn't do a loop that didn't end up at the bar. Plus, the Eagles won 14-0 that day. Coincidence?
At the end of my ride the skies started to clear up.
Right after I took this photo while cruisin across the damn, I noticed a spandex-carbon fiber-geared bike roadie about 250 yards ahead of me on what would be the last climb of my ride. I always love blowing by these dudes on my single speed so I put my head down and tried to beat him up the climb of which he had a substantial head start. I had 2 choices as I came up on his back wheel near the top of the climb 1) Get my camera out and get a photo of him or 2) Pass him and get on with my life. I chose the latter and enjoyed cranking right by him, but I missed the photo op. Luckily Google Images had a photo that looked pretty much just like him that I can share with you (except he wasn't smiling).
It's cool to know that even though winter is here and I won't be able to mtn bike as much, there are still concrete rides around here that are a lot of fun.
Keep kickin ass y'all. Thanks for checkin in.