August 13, 2016

CO: Phil's World

We were now into our 16th day on the road and a promised early return late that night as we left Mesa Verde Nat'l Park heading towards Cortez. I slipped into our conversation that I'd like to knock out one more quick spin at Phil's World before putting a wrap on things. K was a bit hesitant to agree, but I assured her I knew this area well enough that I only needed an hour to do a couple laps on Ribcage. She agreed and was quite adamant about me sticking to my one hour time cutoff. I had a feeling if I missed it, it would be a long 7+ hour drive home!!
Tick tock, time's a wastin'!!
I knew there was a shortcut over to Ribcage, just wasn't exactly sure where it was!! I asked a local rider about a mile into the trail how to get there. His directions were amusing at best. 'Keep going on that trail, you'll come to a junction, don't take it. Then you'll come to a sign, don't take that, the trail winds around and you'll see another turnoff, go there and make a couple more turns to Ribcage.' Oh, ok. Got it. :/

For those unfamiliar with Phil's World, it's a spaghetti bowl of a trail network, all one-way trails. There are some cut-throughs to shorten things up or make loops, but not all those cuts are on the Trailforks app. Plus, most of the maps out on the trail system are tore up and unreadable. I didn't have time to stay on the main circuit over to Ribcage, I had to find the cutoff.
A trailmap that wasn't missing the entire center section.
Super buffed out trail.
I met up with another group of riders at the Lemon Head split, this was the turnoff I needed. I quickly resumed my pace and found a local trailmap still intact guiding me straight to Ribcage. Perfect. I reached the start of RC in 27 minutes. Cool.
Quick photo op.
Blast off!!
I really tried to hammer it, but I'm still learning the ins & outs of the trail. I caught up to a guy right at the exit, both of us grinning ear-to-ear. Well, that was fun. I was at 32 minutes elapsed, time for another lap.
More ribs? Yes, please. Sound advice on the second line.
Here's the cutoff trail from Lemon Head.
Flying through Abajo.
There are just enough rocks at Phil's to keep your attention.
Back at Ribcage I really let it fly the second go-round, got sketchy on a couple of turns and didn't land all that smooth going over a roller at speed, but I hung on for a 4:00 flat rip. Maybe next time I can get under 4 minutes without carnage.

I had about 15 minutes to get back to the trailhead, but I better get moving. It's mostly downhill carving, but there is an uphill section. The minutes ticked down, 7...5....2....1!!! I knew I was close, but how close?
One last pic near the exit.
My GPS hit 1:00 as I was crossing the dirt road into the parking lot. I rang my bell and K stuck her head out of the car, looked at her watch and smiled in disbelief!! It was pretty funny.

Phil's World is such a hoot, a giant pump track for much of the terrain. It's practically a mandatory stop when I pass by from now on. I'd like to spend a few hours really soaking it all up.

With that, my roadtrip riding came to an end. 11 rides in 7 states over the 16 days. All of them new-to-me except Phil's World.

Quick route to Ribcage:

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