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Illustrated Ride Report, Day 2: Thelma and Louise go offroad...(60 posts)

Illustrated Ride Report, Day 2: Thelma and Louise go offroad...lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 5:38 PM
Just what you guys were looking for: a couple of dirty, 'cross-dressing chicks... right?

Today's ride report gets a LOT more vertical than yesterday's and here's a nice scenic shot from the Foothills parking lot, just to whet your appetite.
Today's Tour Guides:lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 5:41 PM
On the 'cross bike, with the demented rubber chicken mojo, it's yours truly, LFR (uh... so what the heck IS this thing anyway???)
nice mojoweiwentg
Oct 15, 2002 6:30 PM
where do I get one of those?
that was a very nice series of shots in general. got to go to CO someday.
is that bird thing on the bars a horn? :-)kenyee
Oct 16, 2002 6:01 AM
Great pics. Ohio sure does look like fun ;-)
yep (and an answer to weiwentg too)lonefrontranger
Oct 16, 2002 7:32 AM
That's my MUT proximity alarm :)

weiwen, you can order these bike horns from the QBP (Quality) catalog at almost any bike shop. They come in many different configurations; two common ones I've seen are the dinosaur and the sumo wrestler. The sumo dude was a bit lurid even for me (something about having to constantly look at his bare a$$cheeks...). The clamp is a tad narrow for roadie bars, but I made it work.

It's essentially a rubber squeaky toy. Works a lot better than hollering at the zoned-out pedestrian family groups walking eight abreast, and the "rubber ducky" noise gets people's attention a LOT faster than any bell.
Put a lion horn on a friend's Zurich for April Fool's daykenyee
Oct 16, 2002 8:59 AM
It's in the bike gallery somewhere, along w/ other "upgrades" :-). It made a distinct honking sound like those old black horns. Tried to convince him it was a safety feature (along w/ the floating eyeball bell) and he should leave it on, but he took it off before the next ride. At least he's using the helmet mirror we gave him...
The Mojo Rules...triangleforge
Oct 16, 2002 12:32 PM
The Rules of a bike mojo, as passed on to me by a grizzled old mountain biker with twigs in his beard, thumb-shifter calluses, and a well-traveled Fat Chance Yo Eddy:

1) A real mojo cannot be bought or acquired in any way that causes pain or anguish to any person (and vegans would extend this to any sentinent being, so no KFC chicken bones, but the remains of some critter that expired naturally would be OK).

2) A mojo CAN be stolen, so long as the theft doesn't violate rule #1 (which I always interpreted as an encouragement to shoplift, but whatever...)

3) A good mojo can go bad, so if you find yourself repeatedly biffing on a log or climb you usually clean, maybe it's time to start keeping your eye open for a new mojo. And don't litter if you decide your mojo's gone over to the dark side -- tossing junk in the woods isn't going to do much for trail access, to say nothing of your karma!

And speaking of karma -- thanks, Lonefrontranger for these incredible tours of your big backyard!

I asked becauseweiwentg
Oct 16, 2002 1:52 PM
some guy at my first MTB race had a penguin mojo ... that was so cool :)
another rule of Mojoatpjunkie
Oct 16, 2002 6:44 PM
from the original Marin MTB rulebook. Mojo for men should be a little girly thing. ie...Barbie bells with the frills still attached, to show our softer side. I personally (since I got to do some of the graphics) went with the Spice Girls Girl Power Flower Bell but am too possesive to use my Girl Power water bottles as they never made production due to Posh Spices dress being a little too see thru. GREAT TOUR
Another great tourKenS
Oct 17, 2002 6:45 AM
Thanks for then post.

And on the dualielonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 5:46 PM
My talented chum and dirt diva par excellence, Marty. We're here to dispel the myth that roadies and mountain bikers can't exist in harmony. Let's go for a ride, shall we?
Oct 16, 2002 4:55 AM
trek fuel..!!

Oct 16, 2002 7:10 AM
I didn't know that Jewel rode mountain bikes.
...stay left, stay left, stay!!!lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 5:53 PM
One of the few hike-a-bike sections on this route for me. I've managed to clean this line about 1 out of 5 tries, and today wasn't one of them. Check out the guys at the top considering their next move. Of course Marty daintily spins up this on that plushy Fuel, while I hoof it in her wake :)
Oct 15, 2002 6:01 PM
Had to post this pic simply because I once managed to ride these on the 'cross bike and lived to tell about it. Never again. That was one of those deals where I wasn't familiar with the trail, got into them way too fast from the uphill corner coming in, and my choices were to endo or shut my eyes and pray the bike would take care of me (it did). I about crapped myself and decided this was a good section to run...
Waterbars -- Yikes! What size tires?KenS
Oct 17, 2002 6:36 AM
This is where I switch back to the MTB. What size tires do you use on these trails?
Oct 17, 2002 2:50 PM
I run skinny-skinnies. For one thing the clearance on a Dream frame just won't take fat knobbies (those retrogrouch Italians, ya know) and for another thing I hate the sluggish feel of big fat squirmy tires on a 'cross bike. For whatever reason tire squirm affects me way more on 700cs than on 26'ers.

I'm currently running Kenda Kwick 30mms. The tread design is similar to a Speedmax.
Oct 15, 2002 6:02 PM
'nuf said:
Told you this ride got kinda verticallonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:06 PM
This shot looks straight down on the spot where I took the panorama yesterday. However, today we're coming in from the opposite direction, off the top of the mesa.

I'm such a freakin wimp. Once again, Marty shows who's boss and I hoof it (only past the rocks, but still...)
No flats today!lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:12 PM
This is the same section of Left Hand Trail that I shot yesterday, if it's looking familiar. This is the one that runs along McMansion Alley. For whatever reason, the past half-dozen times (including yesterday) I've been out here, I've flatted at about this point in the ride. Fortunately, today we avoided the f-word, and focused on fun and frolic instead.

For the record, we were headed the other way, but some total nob actually *walked* up this climb as we came through, so I took a climbing shot just to be a pain.
oh, right - so THIS is why we ride dirt:lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:18 PM
U.S. 36 on a Sunday, headed up towards Estes. Guaranteed to put you off road riding. Endless, and I do emphasize the word ENDLESS traffic. Maybe not bumper-to-bumper like in NYC, but they make up for it by tearing around in their Outbacks and Allroads at 100-120 kph like a pack of crazed rally maniacs. Fortunately this is only a brief section, then we turn west...
Left Hand Canyonlonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:19 PM
Ahh, peace and quiet. Some of you may recognize the beginnings of the canyon climb up to Jamestown. We're not going quite that far today, but it'll be just as hard, we promise!
You'd think we were in the Rocky Mountains or something...lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:24 PM
I just love this picture. Never met a rock in my life until I moved out here. My first experiences in MTB'ing were a joke, until I realized the rocks weren't actually going to eat me. They just look like they will.

Marty is the same height as me, by the way - that's just a daggone big rock.
You know you're in friendly territory when...lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:30 PM
The IMBA car was in the parking lot at Heil Ranch Open Space when we arrived.

I did trail work with IMBA and BOA (the Boulder Offroad Alliance) last year to help open up the trails you are about to see. It may be backbreaking manual labor (believe me, moving rocks is no picnic), but it's all worth it as we're about to find out. Marty is on the BOA board, and they do great advocacy work for trail maintenance and just general good MTBing karma in Boulder County. You can check out their gig at - I've been a member since we moved here.

Okay, end of PSA, back to the ride...
nice Peugeot! (next to the IMBA car) nmPauli
Oct 16, 2002 3:09 PM
Warning: Certain Death if Entered...lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:37 PM
Oh, wait - that's another ride route. Sorry, got carried away there. We both get a giggle out of the "Certain Death" signs posted along the canals at Boulder Rez...

The East Coast yuppies have found to their dismay that living in Boulder with the resident wildlife isn't quite what Disney makes it out to be. Coyotes and cougars are adaptable opportunists, and housecats and small dogs are prey species in the western states.
Warning: Certain Death if Entered...dotkaye
Oct 16, 2002 8:47 AM
heh. we run by those signs during Boulder Triathlon, they always give me a frisson..

Not only coyotes, but great horned owls also do a number on the smaller housecats. Go owls, I say. A little revenge for what cats do to songbirds..
Going up!lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:40 PM
Actually, we've been climbing for the past 45 minutes. The access road to get to the trailhead is almost the hardest part of this whole ride.

Here's a nice shot of the first ridge. Yep, we're going up thataway...
Going up!atpjunkie
Oct 15, 2002 6:48 PM
Hey we have cougars in the Cuyamacas (San Diego) and people are food opportunity as well. (We've had at least one fatality) Paint some eyes on the back of your helmet if you are riding in Kitty Country. Looks like fun regardless
More Wildlifelonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:47 PM
Those prairie-dog shaped rocks are actually prairie dogs. I've been trying to shoot a pic of the little buggers for two days now, and this is the only one that came out worth a darn. You can practically ride right over the silly little b*st*rds with the bike and they just stare at you, but stop to shoot a picture and they pop right down those holes. Yesterday I plunked myself down in the midst of a huge town, and was completely surrounded by prairie dog holes in all directions for twenty minutes, and still never got a decent shot. It's like a giant photographic Whack-a-Mole game.
Oct 15, 2002 6:53 PM
Just a nice picture of a great section of trail. A little background on the origins of this trail. When we worked on the trail project last year, the goal was to create this loop as a beginner to intermediate level trail that was accessible to all riding abilities, so at no point will you actually see true singletrack here. Personally, I dig it because easy and accessible means it's a honkin' cyclocross route.

I'm told the ultimate goal is to network the outer loop (that's this one) with more advanced trails (read: singletrack), but first they will monitor the use and maintenance of this one to ensure that it is sustainable. What that actually means, is if we tear it up, we don't get to keep it. Another good reason to consider contacting your local IMBA chapter and volunteering for a trail day.
Looking Backlonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 6:56 PM
Wow, you really start to get a perspective on how far up you've climbed. And this is only the second switchback. There are about 3,417 to go...

Maybe not that many, but we've still got 3 miles of climbing to go.
Oct 15, 2002 7:00 PM
I am a reformed woman. When I came out here, I was totally incapable of steering a MTB around something like this.

Now I even drill the 'crossie right up and down them, big wheels and all. We kept leapfrogging each other all the way up the climb, because my gearing means I have to tear along for a ways, then stop to get my heartrate back into the manageable zone, while Marty just spins and grins.
Trick question: where's the line?lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:02 PM
Don't laugh, I used to get all flustered by stuff like this. It's pretty loose and gnarly, but momentum solves a lot of things best not thought about.

For the record, the primo line is straight up over the big rock in the middle.
Really buff traillonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:06 PM
This is the best part about this trail. It is steep and somewhat loose in sections for the 'crossie, but it's never relentless. The harder sections alternate with this sweet, swoopy fast riding that makes it all worthwhile.
... with a few traps for the unwarylonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:08 PM
Just a little something to keep us skinny tired geeks honest. This trail is fun and fast, but it doesn't pay to bomb completely blind into the corners :)

Nine times out of ten these little sandpits merely give you a bit of tire squirm. I have, however, had those days where they reached out and bit me.
The Payoff for all that climbinglonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:10 PM
I'll just let the view speak for itself here.
With a little levity mixed inlonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:13 PM
OK, sorry... we just HAD to spoil this view with my ugly mug. If only to prove that I dragged my sorry carcase all the way up here.

The road in the background is St. Vrain. There are rumored to be plans to someday link the Hall Ranch trail network (on the opposite side of St. Vrain) with the Heil one. Ah, a day to dream about.
I'm not even going to explain this shot...lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:16 PM
We'll just let you decide if it was a good idea to turn us loose with a couple bikes and cameras in the Colorado outback...
Hmm - nice valleys...nmEager Beagle
Oct 16, 2002 2:51 AM
Oct 16, 2002 8:55 AM
No Pearl Izumi garb? PM's right, this is DEFINITELY Ohio.
Oct 16, 2002 9:02 AM
If it were Ohio she'd be in jean short cutoffs.

Marty's dying to meet you, by the way. She'll be at VeloSwap.
Control, control, you MUST learn controllonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:21 PM
I find myself quoting Yoda at times like these...

This is a long, fairly steep descent littered with "babyheads" (softball-sized loose rocks), and riding a 'cross bike through stuff like this requires considerable use of the Force.
go to the school of paris-roubaixjnichols959
Jan 8, 2004 5:35 PM
i think the folks that race paris-roubaix studied with yoda for a very, very long time... can't wait to get my cross bike built up to see exactly how sketchy sections like these are compared to my hardtail.
Oct 15, 2002 7:23 PM
Once again, the reward for surviving that last section is well worth the effort.
Just to prove that I actually do ride that thing...lonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:27 PM
instead of merely posing with it. Hey it's a Colnago, I'm supposed to be a poseur, right?
Heading homelonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:31 PM
This is that "I think I'll try to shoot a moving target, while riding a bike, while looking through the viewfinder..." shot we all attempt at some point, right?

Once again, we're racing the sun to get home. We didn't take many pictures on the descent because frankly it was getting cold, we were losing daylight fast, and 4 miles of rocky descending is pretty intense on the best of days.
Route 36 heading homelonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:33 PM
The light on the mountains was really incredible in this shot. You can still kind of see it, but once again, the camera doesn't live up to what the eye sees.
Proof that we CAN all get alonglonefrontranger
Oct 15, 2002 7:39 PM
Plus it perpetuates that old cliche':

i "you know you're a gear geek when the simple act of loading your bikes on the roof rack doubles the value of the vehicle"

It might actually triple it in this case... I dearly love The Pod (Marty's car) but it's had a hard life.
again great stuff - nmMJ
Oct 16, 2002 12:23 AM
Proof that we CAN all get alongup_hiller
Oct 16, 2002 5:01 AM
ok, so I guess I'll be moving to Colorado at the first opportunity...

actually, just getting a little farther North into NC would make me happy.

However, I at least need to get some vacation time out there, and better sooner than later.
Better move to Ohio cause that's where these pictures are from.Pack Meat
Oct 16, 2002 8:38 AM
You know how those Ohio people don't want anybody moving to "their" state.

This is not Colorado.
Is that the path that goes across South Boulder RoadColnagoFE
Oct 16, 2002 5:37 AM
through the cow pasture and out to Marshall?
nope, this is all way, way north of therelonefrontranger
Oct 16, 2002 10:16 AM
The cue sheet for our route went thusly:

* Foothills trail (at the Lee Hill parking lot) north to where it passes underneath 36.
* Boulder Valley Ranch Open Space trails east to the intersection at the base of the mesa, where the trail from Boulder Rez intersects.
* Turn left at the Rez trail and head north to Left Hand trailhead (clockwise around the lake).
* Continue north to Neva Rd./U.S. 36 intersection, and go north on 36.
* Hang a left onto Left Hand Canyon Rd. and continue approx. 1 mile to the Heil Ranch Open Space access.
* Continue 1.4 miles up the fire road until you reach Heil Ranch Open Space parking lot. Follow the signs to the MTB trail; it's a 7 mile "lollypop" route.
* Come back out Left Hand and take 36 straight back to Broadway, turn right at the Bus Stop (don't even go there...) and proceed to Lee Hill parking lot.
Excellent report!jeff27
Oct 16, 2002 7:29 AM
Thank you LFR and Marty for sharing that ride with us. Beautiful
landscapes with great ladies made a rainy day here in the east
a little more bearable.
Ohio sure is beautiful.Pack Meat
Oct 16, 2002 8:34 AM
Great pictures of Ohio. That ain't colorado that's for sure.
lol, you're demented :) (nm)weiwentg
Oct 16, 2002 8:36 AM
you think he's demented now...lonefrontranger
Oct 16, 2002 8:56 AM
you should try dealing with him after a cocktail or two... ;-)

PM, did you EVER recover from the cactus juice episode?
Try to pretend I'm the crazy one and that's not Ohio.Pack Meat
Oct 16, 2002 9:44 AM
Yep, I recovered from that time and the many times since.

Is that a new team kit you're wearing?

Your friend has some hot legs!
nope that's my old team kitlonefrontranger
Oct 16, 2002 10:05 AM
That's the team I managed in Ohio. Proof that Voler stuff lasts like nobody's business 'cause it's all something like 5 years old. Bought $600 worth of clothing that year to help make the team meet the minimums, so I've got a ton of that kit in every configuration imaginable including a longsleeve skinsuit.

Tsk, tsk, you naughty boy. Marty is quite spoken for, unless you feel like beating up a Cat I AND your girlfriend.

Personally, I'd be more afraid of your GF...