Colorado Springs Mountain Biking

Colorado Springs Mountain Biking – Jeff Roper rests on top of the final descent of Colorado Plunge Road, with townhouses, vineyards, shops and cafes below. (John Briley at The Washington Post)

A previous post said the Iron Wall was built in the 1990s. In fact, the trail was built in 1900. Story updated.

Colorado Springs Mountain Biking

Rock climbing used to be simple: climb on your feet, jump off the ground, or dress up as a monster and jump. Today I will go with the fourth option.

First Purpose Built Downhill Mountain Bike Trail Opens On Colorado’s Front Range

I’m 10,700 feet above Colorado’s Grand Mesa, the world’s largest mountain, ready to try the ultimate mountain bike ride in the American West: the Palisade Plunge, a 32-mile road that ends at 6,000 vertical feet in a small town. . From Palisade. But contrary to its name, it is more than serious. The dive also features 2,000 meters of vertical ascent, many very technical sections and very long white-water slides that, as the organizers of the course say, make it a “hard challenge-to-objective” that “even moderate is”. Drivers are welcome. . . It’s really hard. “

Two hours earlier, on a September morning, I had boarded a bus in Palisades with 11 other passengers, including my friend Curt Casey, 56, and his friend Evan Delahunty, 49, both of Steamboat. Springs, Colo. Yvonne, a fiery New Zealand mountain biker, is as skilled and fearless as any cyclist. Kurt, a multi-sport adventurer, has more life than a bright cat.

As the truck wound its way through the rocky mountains and rolling hills toward the big mesa, it told the story from a few weeks ago, when the bear chased Kurt out of his bath tub and his pet alpaca under the boat. This is good now. The next morning, if his 12-year-old had retrieved the gold that didn’t exist at the last second and jumped into the bear’s face, it would have ended badly – Kurt said he could feel the bear hiding behind him and could smell the air.

If nothing else, this story calms my growing anxiety about the Plunge. It wasn’t so much a road warning – “you could die” is standard fare among outsiders – but who it came from. While warming up on the dusty, rough and rugged trails near Fruita and Grand Junction, I’ve met many die-hard mountain bikers who call the Plunge to the next level.

Concrete Couch: Mtb The Coyote (mondays)

“You’re from DC? One said: “Wow, a lot of travel. “Good luck!” Another was given. “I’ve been through it once and I’m never going through it again,” Grand Junction nurse Sienna Martin said when I met her at the city’s Lunch Loops system. “It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s long and it’s not very fun.” Gulp

Even Rondo Buecheler, in association with Rapid Creek Cycles, who managed my trip and provided me with a bike (Kona Process 134 CR 29er, for cyclists), spoke about my experience, self-control and endurance in a few hours that Hard Hour described. Once he realized I had muscles that weren’t slowing down my training, the walk basically required me to jump the first 11 miles of the course — a roar over the Grand Mesa that he and others said was easy, natural, and free. . “Even if you don’t have this part, you’re going to have a long day,” Gav Rondo said. “Trust me.”

After leaving Kurt, Yvonne, and eight others at Mesa Top, the truck driver takes me and Jeff Roper, Rapid Creek’s mechanic, up a dirt road through a large cow pasture to the parking lot.

We set up and head to the spur where some tourists can stop: the Iron Wall, built at the beginning of the 20th century for cattle that move herds up and down. The 24-inch-wide trail clings to the basalt wall like lightning and hundreds of vertical zigzags over four contiguous paths, one of which is a 100-foot drop, two of which are vertical.

Book Biking Adventures At Broadmoor

From there, the angle of free fall decreases, but the path does not decrease, and I turn my attention from the large loose stones on the road to the stones that protrude from the line to the spills, the fences, and the yellow trees. it spreads for miles below in the soft pastel colors of the desert mountains.

Beneath it, from the palisade to the Utah border, is a vast plain, a dry landscape with an unusual rectangle of green—vines and vegetables irrigated by the West Branch of the Colorado River. It is the fruit basket of the state, celebrated for its summer soil, apples, pears, cherries and especially in the Palisades, a great wine tourism all year round.

Indeed, when I ask 24-year-old Liam Houston, whom we meet on the patio of the Palisade Brewing Company, about the city’s character, he says, “We’re known for peaches. Farmers market and wine, too, but really good. He’s got something.” ?” I had it (almost full) but I was very impressed by his friend Amadeus Wood who replied: “Dude, farmers market and peas? hard? I think he means Plunge. “

Actually, I’m glad for the change, but this is a mountain biking topic, so: The Palisade Plunge joins the list of western events, including the Full Enchilada 34 miles outside of Moab, Utah. 31 miles from Monarch Crest near Salida, Colorado. and the 16-mile Downieville Downhill, ending in the Northern California town of the same name. The last one I did was in 2004, a descent down the Sierra Rocks through the ancient Calli Forest left my hands on the brakes and my face sore from smiling for three hours straight.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado Mountain Biking And Bike Park

The site has other plans. I climb over the pile of stones under the metal wall, hit my knee on the railing, and after a while I twist my leg and fall in front of the river. But things take a turn for the worse as the trail descends through rocky outcrops, filtered sunlight, dirt trails, and the rotting scent of the Rocky Mountains. The woods also bring us the first ascent, some of which are very steep.

Yvonne was the first to catch us, and she drove off with a lollipop in her mouth and both wheels – what, singing? – on Santa Cruz’s turquoise bike, which he calls Sweet Pea. “Yeah, I talk to him all the time,” Evan told me later. “He made me do crazy things and sometimes I needed his support.”

The next 10 miles are the day’s best trail, with a moderate stretch of dirt, flowing floodwaters through a dense canvas of pinyon, juniper, and brush oak beneath the sun-drenched hills on the upper mesa. At one point I climbed a tree to gain an angle and had a clear view of the thousands of vertical miles and acres of rugged terrain between us and the palace.

But considering that this process is long and difficult, it took a lot of time to plan and build it.

Bike Rental Locations E Bikes, Mountain & Street Bikes In Colorado Springs — Colorado Springs

“It’s 99 percent on public land, so we had to do it collaboratively — with Mesa County, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest and others.” He owns Rapid Creek and Rondo bikes.

We looked at how to use the existing, easy-to-access trails and finish well on the Palisade side. This required a lot of horse trading.

Scott, who is president of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Biking Association (COPMOBA), says the effort was supported by the government at the time. John Hickenlooper committed to expanding and building 16 trails across the country in 2016. “The promise was a dream, but the Palisade dip was on the list,” says Scott, and COPMOBA funded the project, funded by community donations. increased, based. As part of the agreement, the association must raise $20,000 annually for trail maintenance. We think it will really reinvigorate the community. People don’t come here to ride in the Plunge. They spend days driving other trails in the area, but that’s the attraction.

At 8,000 meters above sea level, we encountered a series of technical ascents and descents, including heavy, awkward slabs that were more suited to climbing than cycling. This brings us to a large field of mogul-shaped rocks, which I have passed through many times while hanging on to the rope by hand, only to watch my 29-inch wheels go over a moon deep.

Proposed Bike Park

For the first time all day, I’m happy to do 11 miles. My right hand is holding the brake horribly and I’m tired like I’ve been driving all night. Good news, I guess that’s all we have

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