Trail Party - First of 2018!
WOW. What a great turnout for our first Trail Party of 2018! For January, we kept it local to Colorado Springs - and in the beloved Cheyenne Canyon. With an astounding wintery-high of around 62 degrees, the crew took to the canyon with a lot of familiar faces... but, a lot of new, super awesome ones too! Illinois met a few trails for the first time, while Boston made some new ride-buddy connections.
Getting on with it, the start to this ride went much smoother than our December party. Remember our 20 minute (scenic) detour on the way to Oil Well Flats? Oh, and the Mach 6 "issues"? You can read up here it you don't: https://rideatire.com/blogs/what-is-ride-atire-up-to/december-trail-party-oil-well-flats
This time of the year, staying close to home fared well for everyone. Even a few from Denver made sure not to miss this party! We started off meeting at the Ridegway parking lot of Stratton Open Space (departure time scheduled for 10:00 AM). Like selling tamales off the side of the road out of a 1980's Honda - missing a rear window, we made sure to bring some swag for people that desired such glorious things (just like tamales). Adam was the first to snatch up a Colorado T (Click link to get yours) and took it for a test drive:
While we started out with a small bunch of about 10 riders, the numbers slowly arrived...
Finally, after newcomers were introduced and the route was brushed over, we took off a bit past departure time - guns out. Riding up through Stratton, we made a statement - a 30 person line - riding past the hikers; we even picked up a few other riders! Like a mass of cattle, we made our way out of the Chutes (always a fun little sprint) and up to our final climb. This is what this party's route looked like:
STRATTON OPEN SPACE TO CHEYENNE CANYON:
Party Time: 1 hr 45 min
Party Distance: ~ 14 miles
Elevation Gain: ~ 2,100 ft
Weather: Sunny, sunny, sunny and 60 degrees (!)
- From Ridegway lot, climb up fire road to reservoir
- Stay straight (left-ish) to head towards The Chutes
- Make a right onto Chamberlain - stay on Chamberlain
- Hang a left onto the Mid Chamberlain/Chutes Connector (~ .1 miles up to Chutes)
- Right onto the Chutes, and climb this bun-burner to hit Gold Camp Road
- Cruise up GC, through the 2 tunnels (you will pass a bunch of trail exits on your way up and the intro to Spring Creek trail)
- Reach the top of GC where you will find a huge lot; here we offered two options:
- Hook a right and pop bike over gate to climb up High Drive to the bottom of Captain Jacks (Lower). This allowed for a shorter, less technical climb than the alternative.
- Cut across parking lot to follow the flow of hikers and pedal to Buckhorn climb.
- At top of Buckhorn (~ 20 minute climb), hang right to come to an awesome lookout:
- Carry on down (Upper) Captain Jacks to find open space connector to (Lower) Captain Jack
- Hit GC back down to The Chutes
- Riders can choose to continue on down The Chutes, or as this party did, head back down the Chamberlain Connector (left off the Chutes) to Chamberlain (hang right on way down)
- Finally, we bombed down Arroyo Grande
- Take a right at the end of this trail and stay straight to go over the hill and find Ridgeway parking lot! PPHHEEWWW.... what a route.
[Follow us on Strava to follow our route]
With a few minor take-downs, this ride was epic for all reasons possible. Thanks to everyone who joined in, grabbed some swag and made some new connections! This party was a prime example of what the Ride Atire lifestyle is all about - bikes, beer and friends! See you all again for February's party (Palmer to Section 16 perhaps?)
Check out the first half of our ride: