The alarm sounded at 2:30 a.m. -- only 4 hours of sleep and I was up and raring to go for a mountain ride. Nobody in the house but my teenage daughter, who slept soundly. The rest were out and so it was easy to slip away unnoticed. I put on my bike uniform, secured the fatbike on the rack and headed out. I had debated for a week whether I would ride Pikes peak for the first time, or go back to the Mosquito range and tackle Mt. Lincoln again but in a different way. Well, the fact that any tourist could drive to the top of Pikes on the toll road, or take the cog rail took some of the enthusiasm out of that trip concept. Yet, the fact that mt Bross, Cameron and Lincoln were just about the only 14ers legal for riding and more desolate pathways was a major selling point for me. Since climbing Elbert was not in the cards, unless I planned on being gone for longer than 12 hours, i headed west towards Fairplay on hwy-285 with no regrets. I started pedaling on buckskin road from Alma at about 4:55 a.m. in the 'fading dark'. the headlight was of great value still, but in an hour the sun began to peak from behind the mountain silhouette, and there was enough light that I could be more assured that predators such as mt lions and bear would be even more scarce.
the crawl was slow, and at times the steep, loose rock prevented me from spinning at all, forcing a dismount and push. After attaining the first milestone at the junction for bross and cameron peak, i stopped grabbed an energy boost prior to rolling out again. The surface went from a rocky, jeep trail to a narrow track on an ever more steep incline, that eventually warranted a hike-a-bike. To the east I could see Mt. Democrat and Bross to my southeast. but I had a feeling that I would likely not see them again this day. I would have to try to connect with the trail north of Lincoln for the first time, although riding around Democrat again was tempting.
I was alone accept for a hiker that I passed on my way to the top, and after waiting about 10 minutes, i was eventually accompanied by others. hanging out and chatting with the hikers, I figured I would try a different approach to the descent. I'd been back over bross and around democrat, but I'd still not descended from the north to the jeep trail below and figured that this was a good time to try it. I first had to navigate through a snow field at a 40% grade, and then it was on a slow descent on the old miner trail over 1,000 babyheads, snow and mud.
Ironically, I saw a man with 2 young boys hiking down and i had to do a double take as part of me thought I'd seen them earlier today. Nahhh. not possible. At some point I approached a gate at the trail end. It was an intersection for a dirt road, more amenable to 2-wheel drive vehicles. Behind the gate I saw signs: No trespassing -- hinting at ATVs and not so much hikers and bikers, I hoped.
Ride free and wild!!!!
Baby, let the good times roll!!!
Get busy spinn'en, or get busy blogl'en