Monday, March 21, 2011

Lake Pueblo Voodoo Fire Race Loop

Sunday morning David showed up at 7:30am to pick me up for a day of riding down in Pueblo, just a bit south of Colorado Springs. We loaded the car and noticed the wind was blowing a bit...ummm. Then I decided to throw a wrench into everything and mention that we could just save the drive time and go to the DBB to Lory loop from Loveland. We changed our minds, even drove out 17th from Longmont on our way, but then changed again back to Pueblo. Almost returned to the Loveland detour when a gas line (or something of the sorts) had CR1 shut down and blocked our access to 119. Seemed like someone was trying to tell us to head North. But we carried on and in a few hours arrived in Lake Pueblo State Park. Parking lot was pretty much empty and there was a little wind, but the sun was nice and warm! Goal today was to follow the Voodoo Fire Race course which occurs in April. Neither of us are racing it, but thought it would be fun none the less. Sunscreen was in order.

And then we were off. It was a short sleeve and shorts day for sure. The wind just mysteriously died down to a nice 3 mph--enough to keep you cool while riding and the bugs away--yes bugs--they are out there already! We started out off of Conduit trail up to Duke-->Rodeo-->Rodeo Ridge-->Cuatro Cinco to South Shore.

The riding there is through rolling prairie circling around the South West side of the Res. Here David and I are on Conduit

Nice tight single track for miles and miles--in and out of small gullies and washes--up and down all day. Lots of small sharp flint rock which chews up light weight tires--would not go super light on the race day here--not worth the punctures on your tires. This is the Cuatro Cinco Trail. There is a tight rocky short section on Rodeo that will be a bottle neck for sure on the race start--most folks will not clean it and will be walking/piling up--once up this short wash, the Rodeo ridge trial is wide open and fast all the way down to Southern Shore. Corners are a bit loose with the flint rock so check yourself to keep from washing out the front wheel.

David approaching the log piles on log drop trail off of Pedro's Point.

Log Drop rises up a bit on this rib which is surrounded on three sides by the Res. If you continue to the East, you run into the Outer Limits loop and waterfall trails which is later in the race.

A quick little log ride--nothing to think about, just fun! Video here! After Log drop you are on a double track until the Voodoo Detour trail--a couple miles and a nice time to pass, eat, recover etc.

David climbing up the Voodoo Detour trail to the Voodoo proper loop.

Here we are on the Voodoo loop still and it weaves in and out of the washes/ribs looping another finger surrounded the res. Nice scenery with snow capped mountains in the distance. Swoopy and fun, but constantly up and down like East Coast rollers!

Very Content riders! ;)

Here is a better picture on the trail and small sharp rocks--there is cactus everywhere too so watch on the passing. Plenty of sections with short double track to pass/relax throughout the loop so take advantage there--otherwise on these narrow trails with the sharp rock and spines, I do not recommend venturing too far off trail. We are on the Outer Limits loop now here--trail looks and feels just the same.

Cliff bike diving? Could be fun but with the Moots...maybe not.

David cruising the trail ahead. Once you get out to the point on Outer Limits the trail turns to double track until you get to the waterfall trail to the left. Here you can fly and use to eat/recover/pass.
Bottom of waterfall trail--short water section and nice bridge. There is a split coming down the waterfall trail at the bottom (about 400 feet before the above bridge) when you see the water--take the high road to the right or you will be swimming as I almost did. David got it right--I had to climb up steep slope about 15 feet to join him!

After the bridge at Waterfall you take a left, then a right at the next junction until you hit the bottom of Rock Canyon. Here David is cranking up a small rock section. There are a few and require a little power so make sure you have hydrated well and keep breathing to keep from cramping. This a nice long climb up tot he top of Arkansas Point and then you descend back down-- a little kicker at the end of the 35 mile loop.

Coming up Rock Canyon

Near Roller Coaster looping the mesa.

End of Roller Coaster and near start of Edge trail. You can see the canyons have some super cool stuff to play on--the race avoids these and only takes the easier canyons with the log bridges and big rock drops. I highly recommend coming back some time to play on them though--very nicely built.

Descending Stone Henge--appropriately named. You come around the corner and its surreal with these rock cairns built up.

Picture window!

Here we are just after finishing the Stonehenge trail and riding the South Shore trail back to Conduit and the car. A nice loop for sure they put together and great mix of the trails. For sure save the energy to climb back up the Rock Canyon/Stonehenge loop at the end and for the short steep climbs up and down on South Shore back to the start/finish. This loop is going to be tough twice and with the up/down all day on the trials, it wears at you so be ready--no real long climbs or long descents--all just short and steady. Trails rock though and remind me of riding 35 miles of Kestle run at 18road in Fruita--forever pump track.

(Click on images for larger one)
The loop was 33.5 miles and we had 1900ft of climbing per lap from my bike computer. Lap time was 3.5 hours at our slack pace plus a bit more for some picture taking/chatting with other riders and picking up tools/tubes--by the end of the ride, we had almost a new tool kit from the items dropped on the trail that day! A super fun day and worth the effort. Hope to head back in late April.

1 comment:

John Wright said...

Thanks for the course description. Riding the Voodo Fire Saturday and this really helps!