Wednesday, April 25, 2007


This weekend Tammi and I got out to our favorite mountain biking area - Buffalo Creek. It was sweeeet to be out.

It's been a long winter. We usually start up Buck Gulch, which has a 1000 foot climb out of Pine Creek Ranch. Wow, definitely a long winter - I've got some work to do. All-in-all it wasn't horrible, but I definitely have some serious work-outs to put in.

There was only a little snow left above 7500 feet, but I think it was just about the first week-end the trails were rideable. But, the mountains got hammered yesterday, so I expect this weekend is out. The trails in Buffalo Creek are some of the best, and perhaps, arguably the best in Colorado and thus, just about anywhere. (There are some better sections - trail 465 in Crested Butte, Frutia, the Flume in Winter Park, but not whole areas) And, what makes them so good is just how rideable they are. Well, it's a mess up there now, at least Buck Gulch and Strawberry Gulch. There are hundreds of trees down and the usually wide open trails are now clogged with downed trees. In some of the burned areas the winter blow-downs are simply a spring occurrence, but good, healthy Ponderosa blowing down is something entirely different. I suppose the winds must have been once in a century winds because many older Ponderosa Pines were down - some of them more than 200 years-old. I'm sure it will get cleared quickly, and I wish I could help, but the shear number of down trees will take quite a mechanized effort.

One of the unique things about Buffalo Creek is the burns. The first burn, the Buffalo Creek fire was in 1996, the second; the High Meadows Fire was in 2000. The Hayman Fire, the big kahuna, didn't make it over Green Mountain, but is very close (the Hayman Fire is the largest fire in Colorado's history burning 138,000 acres and 600 buildings. It rained down ash at our house almost 50 miles away and I remember, the day was almost black as night in downtown Denver - the entire city was shrouded in a dense, black, choking smoke). These are all big burns. Most of the time, an area is avoided after a burn, but the Forest Service has created this special mountain biking area using the burns and I really enjoy ridding through them. The flowers are terrific and the wide-open space unparalleled. The tracks are smooth and fast.

I don't know how many miles of single track there are, but it's easy to do a forty-mile ride and never go down the same trail. I suppose there are about sixty to seventy-miles of excellent trails - there simply isn't any junk. Most of the climbs are between 800 and 1000 feet and a good rides will get you four good climbs. The down hills are pure joy. The important part to remember is that these trails were designed for mountain bikes so there are no blind curves, unrideable sections, or bad rutting.

Anyway, this is our big work-out room and we love it - it's good to be back in the saddle.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave A Comment

Hey! Leave a comment - good, bad, short, long, whatever. I'd like to hear from you.