Sunday, January 9, 2011

I've just started my third year as a BSV member and I have yet to contribute to the blog. I have been included in other blog postings, thanks to John P, and I'm trying to emulate his discipline here in the New Year, not just by contributing to the team blog but also by having my own as well (which has a lot more about this patricular ride at

So here's my first contribution, a fun solo ride I did this Saturday just before we got hit by another blast of winter weather. Speaking of John P I tried to coerce him into joining in but he had ski plans. I would have of course extended an invitation to all of BSV but this route was a last minute decision. I really need to get better about planning things more in advance...

A winter day with highs in the 40s is a good day for a canyon climb. It's always good to get some climbing in occasionally throughout the winter, so it's not such a shock when you make that annual spring trip to Fruita. So with Saturday's great weather, it was just a question of "which canyon to climb"?

Four Mile canyon and Sunshine canyons were the choice for today. Starting and ending in Boulder with Gold Hill as the mid-point, this is a great ride with good views, little traffic, and some reasonably steep sections. I call this ride the "super Poorman", borrowing from the colloquial phrase "super Walker" (another awesome ride) which involves riding Walker ranch starting from Boulder, climbing Flagstaff to get there. In this case, climbing Four Mile, connecting to Sunshine by way of Poorman Road, and dropping back to town is a popular loop, but Gold Hill is a much longer alternative to the same basic concept.

The ride started with a gradual climb west up Boulder creek trail, dodging peds, dogs, and patches of ice. Here's the end of city maintenance, things get more fun from this point:

Finally, something more interesting than pavement and crusher fine:

Then begins the long climb up Four Mile canyon. This climb is all asphalt though the end of Salina, then it changes to dirt which is typically snow packed this time of year, and fun to ride. I had forgotten about the fire that happened in this area last year until I started seeing the damage. I realized I hadn't been this way since this happened. Here's just one small sample:

Just below Salina, here's where we turn off onto Gold Rim road:

Passing through Salina:

Except perhaps for "Cold Beer" this is the best sign you can ever see. But where's the snow pack typical for this time of year?? Guess it really has been dry here on the Front Range lately:

Just past Gold Hill, near the high point of the day looking backwards to a nice view of the Indian Peaks. A great view is all the sweeter when earned:

At the top, a good place to pee, put on a coat, balaclava, and dry gloves. Oh, and double check that my quick releases are on tight and take a gratuitous shot of the rider and bike. Perhaps I should pick a more level rock next time for the camera:

I was too busy enjoying the downhill and avoiding sand to take many more pictures, but here's one. The fire damage appears to have been the worst here at the top of Sunshine canyon. My thoughts go out to all those who lost their homes, and the heroic efforts of the fire fighters who saved so many others:

Done! Time to scare up some food:

Here's a map of the route and some ride stats:

Distance = 25.7 miles
Total ascent - 3380 ft.
Max elevation = 8492 ft.
Moving time = 2 hr. 41 min.
Total snot rockets blown = 27 (what, your GPS doesn't measure this?)


Dave said...

Oops, looks like I got the link to my personal blog wrong, this is now fixed. Sorry if this results in a duplicate announcement to people.

KBK said...

Nice post man! Keep it up!

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