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JS5280 rides Colorado National Monument. . .(30 posts)

JS5280 rides Colorado National Monument. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 12:45 PM
Well it's hard to bring the road bike to western Colorado/Grand Junction/Fruita with the epic mt. biking in that area. However, I've been wanting to ride the Colorado National Monument for a while now. Finally had a good opportunity here this weekend. The Colorado National Monument really isn't a "monument," it's more like a small National Park. Beautiful desert country with towering cliffs/canyons and rock spires. I'd definately recommend the ride if you're in the area. While challenging, it's not gruelling. I rode it as an out and back, about 44 miles if you descend to the park gates. East to west gets the climbing out of the way quickly. West to east, the climb is longer but more gradual. The pics are mostly from East to West and in chronlogical order. . .
It's like a disease. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 12:49 PM
Like minded roadies out to enjoy a perfect desert day, maybe 80 degrees, a cool breeze, and hardly a cloud in the sky. This picture is actually in a neighborhood just outside the park (S. Camp Rd.) I'd recommend parking in one of these neighborhoods and bike into the park. One important note, I'd advise riding the Monument on weekdays as the park can get quite busy on weekends w/ the tourists.
Riding to the East Park gate. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 12:50 PM
Time to climb. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:01 PM
Classic Colorado riding, climb you a$$ off till you get out of the foothills. About 7-9% grades to the top, many switchbacks if you look closely at the picture (about 4). The road tops out to the right side, just below the rock cliffs. Next shot shows looking down almost from the top. . .
Wasn't that easy. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:04 PM
The best part of taking pictures is that it's an excuse to stop ;-)
What the road looks like to your valve stem. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:06 PM
Action shots. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:08 PM
Always great to catch other cyclists on the road. Pictures are just that much better with a rider. . .
From the bowels of the earth. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:10 PM
Okay, not really. There are 3 short tunnels on the route.
It's the Russian from "American Flyer"! nmBrooks
Sep 24, 2002 3:36 PM
Great decending. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:14 PM
on both sides of the monument. Fast, winding turns with plenty of gravity assist. Unfortunately my computer is broken so no idea of how fast but I spun out of my top gear (about 35 mph) pretty often.
Now we're getting somewhere. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:15 PM
Middle of the picture is the east gate.
What's a Ute?js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:18 PM
It's a canyon! Named after the American Indians who once lived in this area.
Why it's better to take pictures when stopped. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:20 PM
Gravitational anomaly. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:22 PM
Rocks and bikes magically balance themselves. . .
Thanks for the wallpaper! (nm)DeRanger
Sep 23, 2002 1:36 PM
Not the place to get sideswiped. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:23 PM
Are we having fun yet. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:24 PM
Nope, but we will shortly :-)
Hey...I have a nearly identical photo...biknben
Sep 24, 2002 5:42 AM
I detoured to the monument when traveling from Grand Junction to Moab. Unfortunately, I was in a van full of mtn bikes. Didn't get to actually ride the roads. Breathtaking scenery though.

Those roads were actually used in the old Coors Classic race back in the '80s and were also used in American Flyers. At least that's what I've been told.
I do vaguely remember that. . .js5280
Sep 24, 2002 10:10 AM
I need to rent American Flyers, I've only seen bits and pieces over the years. I also heard that the Coors races was out that way too. I have to do a little searching to learn more. Thanks for reminding me! I had forgotten this when I posted the pictures. . .
Tour of the Moon,TJeanloz
Sep 24, 2002 12:01 PM
The Colorado National Monument is the site of the "Tour of the Moon" course of the Coors Classic (A.K.A. "The Hell of the West", in fiction). So named for the moon-like views of craters and whatnot.
Proof. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:26 PM
See that unsoliticited grin?
Todos de fotos. . .js5280
Sep 23, 2002 1:29 PM
That's it! Hope you enjoyed the photos!
Wow, man. Nice ride.fbg111
Sep 23, 2002 2:15 PM
Thanx for the pics, that's a nice ride. I bet riding at that altitude gives you a big advantage if you ever do rides or races near sea level.
Just wondering...why not ditch the aero bars?enclavecat
Sep 23, 2002 2:55 PM
For a ride like this that is. Save some weight.
Just wondering...why not ditch the aero bars?js5280
Sep 23, 2002 3:27 PM
Lots of reasons. First, too much a pain to take them off/on. Plus on longer rides I like to have them so I can rest my shoulders, arms, wrists. I rarely ride in groups and haven't raced this year (except tri's). The winds can get pretty strong around Colorado with little notice. I don't mind a little extra weight because I can take significantly more off my body by working harder. I thought I'd take them off frequently but find them more helpful than hinderance.
re: JS5280 rides Colorado National Monument. . .TREKY
Sep 23, 2002 5:16 PM
I think I've dehydrated just looking at the pictures!!!!!
re: Weather mid October??? Now I'm Inspired!, I'll be there!DUOHEAD
Sep 23, 2002 9:26 PM
WHat's the weather like last 2 weeks of Oct?


re: JS5280 rides Colorado National Monument. . .aliensporebomb
Sep 24, 2002 2:42 AM
Nice series of pics. At least it looks warm there. It's
back to cool fall weather in Minnesota again.

I like the GPS deal too - can it track your ride distances and the like? Over multiple rides? What brand/model?

Did it come with the software?
No GPS, just Delorme's TOPO USA. . .js5280
Sep 24, 2002 10:13 AM
My only complaint though is sometimes it's difficult to trace your route. So, actually, a GPS that can capture way points would be ideal. Particularly for off-road, they don't do a very good job on trails. Cool program though for evaluating terrain pre and post ride.
Awesome pics.Alex-in-Evanston
Sep 24, 2002 7:37 AM
Like always, I'm jealous to the core.