Fall Colors Bike Ride to Cripple Creek

, , , | UltraRob | Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Fall Aspen Near Cripple Creek, CO

I’ve ridden to Cripple Creek on Gold Camp Road several times in the fall when the aspen have been turned but it’s been awhile since I last did it. A few weeks ago, I was hanging out at Kinfolks after hiking the Manitou Incline and one of my friends told me a group was going to ride their mountain bikes to Cripple Creek. The date was this past Saturday.

I was busy so I never tracked down the details on the ride. They were also spending the night and riding back on Sunday. It did get me thinking though that it was time to do that ride again.

We celebrated my daughter’s 6th birthday Friday evening so I didn’t get my bike and gear ready the night before. It was nearly 10 before I got started which was later than I had wanted to. It was already very warm when I rolled out from my house. It was looking to be a beautiful day with deep, blue sky and no clouds to be seen. I still took a vest and arm and knee warmers because it doesn’t take much to get cold at 10,000 feet this time of year.

Since Gold Camp Road is an old railroad grade, it climbs gradually and starting from my house I get about 20 miles of climbing before it tops out near Rosemont Reservoir. Once I passed closed tunnel #3, I found they had graded the closed section of road the more than I’ve seen in years. I know they want to keep it usable in case of a forest fire but not sure why they did so much grading. In places it made it tough to find a rideable line through the loose, deep gravel.

On the lower part, the aspen were barely changing color but once I got up higher they were beautiful yellow with just a little orange and red mixed in. The bright sunlight and cloudless sky made them even prettier.

About 10 miles before Cripple Creek, I caught up with the group that was riding. Many of them are hashers so it was no surprise that they had their SAG vehicle well stocked with beer. They offered me some but I was 40 miles into my ride and feeling a little dehydrated so I stuck to some fresh water.

I met my wife and kids in Cripple Creek and hung out with them for a few minutes before heading home on the highway. I knew I had to keep moving because I didn’t have a lot of daylight left. As it was, I ended up running out of daylight a little ways before getting home and I didn’t have lights.

After I called my wife to come get me, I kept riding but ended up getting a big nail in my tire. My CO2 adapter seemed to clog with ice but when I tried a 2nd cartridge I still couldn’t get air into the tire. I still got in 90 miles of great riding with about half of it dirt and half pavement.

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One response to “Fall Colors Bike Ride to Cripple Creek”

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