August 4, 2018

CO: Breckenridge - Tour de HAB

I was on the road out of Crested Butte by 5a. The temps were hovering in the low 40's, a very welcomed change. Daybreak came as I neared the Monarch Crest. I kept a keen eye peeled for the Colorado Trail crossing...found it!! It was near here that my 2017 Colorado Trail Race turned for the better. I dropped down into Poncha Springs and recalled a new Field Operations Center had opened for the Colorado Trail. There was a giant CT logo on the side of the building asking for a photo. A quick google search and I saw I was only a few blocks away.
Larger than life CT logo.

The CT Foundation chose this location for its proximity to the large amount of upcoming trail projects.
The sun was now casting its rays across the Arkansas Valley illuminating the Collegiate Peaks. It was quite the sight to start the day. I had to pull over to soak it all in.
A cluster of 14ers, but which peaks?

Here they are!!

The Chalk Cliffs dominate the south facing region of Mt. Princeton.
Eventually I made my way to Breckenridge where I found Jeff & Nancy getting prepped for a pre-race taper ride. Joe wasn't too far away, but we learned that he had his own issues to take care of after discovering his carbon rim on his race bike melted in his car's exhaust!! Gah!! Luckily, he came prepared with an extra set of wheels.

Since I was the short-stay guest at the condo, I needed to find a place to park and it was very limited in town for overnight stays. I managed to find a lot about 2 miles away for $5 per night. Not the most convenient, but it worked.

Jeff, Nancy & I finally rolled out onto some random route Jeff put together. It came with the standard disclaimers: 'Not sure what we'll get, but it should be good and these trails over here are a hoot'.
We crossed through town, then began climbing on steady forest roads.

A few miles later we found singletrack!!

The views began to open up to the south & west.

Great overview of Breckenridge ski area and the Tenmile Range.

Here are the same pics, stretched out and labeled.

The Colorado Trail comes up behind Peak 8, cresting near Peak 6.

I wanted to be up there, but my legs/lungs objected.

'I thought this was supposed to be easy?'
Jeff had routed us 'around the mountain', seemed logical that the climbing may be easier if you stretch out the routing. Wrong!! The trail was also open to motos, it wasn't torn to crap by them, but we did have to pay attention as a few parties did come along. The trail was full of mud puddles, lots of loose rock, steep grades and general sucking. I was in full on HAB mode and having CTR pangs for the better part of an hour!! I kept thinking that Jeff was finally paying me back for some of my route choices over the years...

Sweet section of trail.

Naturally, the photo doesn't convey steepness. I was pushing a lot through here.


Finally topping out.
Jeff swore the route would get easier...and downhill as we approached some familiar terrain. For once, he was right!!
Nancy railing the berms on Side Door.

Let 'er rip!!

The elusive Jeffro smile!!

This could be on a brochure cover.

I think my sled has more miles left.

A very fast exit on Side Door.
Nancy peeled off when we crossed the next dirt road, she was ready for race day. Jeff & I wanted to find more flow trails.
Dredge piles!!

'I came, I saw, I rode' or something like that.

Look closely, there may be some sick air happening.
We debated about riding this, not sure why.

We made a proper ride decision to check out B-Line. Lots of optional wood features.

Some with drops.

Some skinnier than others. Yes, it had started to rain right when we began riding on the slickest terrain.

Jeff showing how it's done, pay no attention to the dab!!
Options abound.

I doubt you'll see us on any upcoming North Shore video, but it was a fun trail!!

We rode up Moonstone to sample the other popular flow trail.

I had heard about Barney Flow and was glad we could give it a whirl.

There were some features, but we both agreed we enjoyed B-Line much more. Should've done a second lap on that.

Rolling back through town to finish things off.
Even though the first half of the ride was chock full of HAB and a bit more strenuous than I had hoped, it was a cool ride. Perhaps with better conditioning I'd enjoy it more. The second half of the ride was a blast and I'd ride all of those trails again. Thanks for putting that one together, Jeff.


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