Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Snow - Dirt - Snow - Dirt

That is the pattern in Colorado.

From November through March - we ski. From April through October - we ride our mountain bikes.

In April and November, we tend to do both, getting pretty exhausted trying to do it all.

For our last foray on the sticks, Jesper and I went to Winter Park/Mary Jane for some spring skiing. I love spring skiing - nice corn snow and no crowds. We managed to get back into the Vasquez Cirque one last time this season, taking Suze and Patrick back there for their first time. This area is barely lift served - the nearest chair gets you about a mile from where you can drop in, so you need to skate ski or hoof it along a gradual uphill mile slog. Fortunately, the views as you make your way are completely spectacular. The runs down the Cirque are XX Black - steep but wide open at first. It is one of the prettiest areas at any ski resort I have been to.

Jesper dipping in to the Vasquez Cirque

Suze and Patrick shusshing down the Cirque

Jesper showing awesome form in the Cirque

We had a feeling this might have been our last ski day in the resorts this year, as the dirt has been calling....

HELLO - this is DIRT calling for Jen and Jesper!

The next day, we answered the call of the dirt for my first real ride of the season. We opted to ride the single speeds at the Devil's Backbone out and back on the Blue Sky Trail. Almost 20 miles on the SS for the first ride out this season was good enough to poop me out! The 'Bone starts out with some super fun technical trail for about 3 or 4 miles. Then the trail smooths out for some fantastic rolling hills. You get to enjoy the techy stuff all over again at the end. The scenery at the 'Bone is straight out of a cowboy western and true to this there were several groups out on horses. The day was picture perfect - low 70s and sunny - and we ended it with a trail head adult beverage. YUM!

Post ride perfection! (photo cred Jesper Kristensen)

Jesper rockin' it at the Bone

The following weekend, we decided it was over for the snow, at least for this season. We packed up the Durango and headed out to sample the buff-smooth trails at Buffalo Creek, this time, bringing Patrick along for his first visit to this wonderful riding destination. Once again, we rode the single speeds. Now I don't have anything against gears, but the trails that have been dry just seem to have been well suited for the single speeds. We hit Gashouse, Charlies' Cutoff and more, logging in a nice 25 mile ride; sufficient to work up a big appetite for food and brews at Buck Snorts. I had ulterior motives for going to Buff Creek - I am running my first ultra marathon there this summer and I was anxious to refresh my memory of the trails. I will be back there soon to hit the trail on foot in preparation for my 'race'.

Jesper at Buff Creek

Patrick zooming around the cool rocks at Buff Creek

This past weekend it was once again just Jesper and me on the single speeds again. Although the Front Range had received another wallop of snow (after a few days straight of rain), we managed to find trails that were reported to be dry on Sunday. Bobcat Ridge up past Loveland. OK - I know, this is not really a trail most people would think of as single speed friendly, but there is something eff'ed up with the bottom bracket on my Safire, so I didn't want to ride it. Let's just say we got a good work out in riding the single speeds! We ascended the rocky and steep Ginny trail and then did an about face and ripped down it! We were both so happy to have been able to get out on dirt that day, as we were not optimistic the day before. I wish that trail was closer, as it is simply a blast!

Jesper in a brief spot of sunshine on Bobcat Ridge

Me coming down the Ginny Trail (photo cred Jesper Kristensen)

It's almost May now. The snow in the back country is a little iffy this year and I am focusing on running one day each weekend, leaving the other day for mountain biking. It looks like we have officially made the shift from SNOW to DIRT.