ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
[personal profile] ilanarama
Britt and I had been planning on going backpacking in Utah this weekend, but early in the week he came down with a cold, and he was miserable enough by Thursday, our planned departure day, that it was clearly a no-go. So instead yesterday I did yard work, and today I went mountain biking.

I have been riding my mountain bike (not the one in the icon; I have a fancier newer one, that was part of the deal when we bought our Sportsmobile, as the seller owned a bike store and was more willing to throw in a couple of bikes than lower the price) a lot lately as I am taking a break from running to let my peroneal tendinitis heal. The tendinitis seems mostly unaffected by cycling, probably because my foot is locked into place by the clipless pedal (which, of course, my shoe clips into - weird terminology!) and my PT said any exercise is good as it increases the blood flow.

I started out a couple of weeks ago doing the shortest, easiest loop in the Horse Gulch system (where I used to trail run, and hopefully will again soon) and have been gradually extending my rides and increasing their difficulty. I've been trying to apply my lessons from last summer's MTB clinic, in particular trying to attack technical and/or steep sections rather than just assuming I can't ride them and bailing ahead of time. This has resulted in my riding over things that I never would have thought I could do - plus a few fall-down-go-booms and new bruises on my legs.

Today I wanted to do something a bit longer, so I rode up Junction Creek to the Log Chutes trail, about 5 miles of pavement and 2 miles of gravel/dirt road to get there, pretty much all uphill with a few quite steep spots. I'd never ridden this trail and knew only that there were a couple of "intermediate" loops, 4 and 7 miles. When I got there, I found no signage at all, and no people to ask, just two parked vehicles, so I took a guess and rode out the dirt road at the back of the parking lot, which had a barrier for vehicles but which bikes clearly had ridden around.

It turned out to be my favorite kind of mountain biking - a narrow, bumpy rock-and-dirt closed Forest Service road, a little uphill and then a little down. Using the best maze-solving philosophy I turned left at the first intersection, where it became narrower and more steeply uphill, and then left again when a singletrack trail (marked by tree blazes, and a post with a green circle for difficulty, but no map or name) veered off into the woods. (I was wearing my wrist GPS which I use for after-the-fact mapping and for mileage and speed tracking, and theoretically I think I could have used it to figure out how to get back to known territory, but I have never actually used the GPS functions so I'm not really sure how.) The trail was a little trickier but perfectly rideable, even for a wimp like me, although someone needs to go through with a pair of pruning shears and lop off the encroaching willows. I did have a few nervous moments on some of the rockier sections, and I walked across one boggy bit, and I fell at a creek crossing followed by a steep and loose uphill I couldn't quite negotiate. But otherwise, it was an awesome ride, and right at 4 miles I spotted the Junction Creek road ahead of me.

Total of 19 miles at a blazing 8mph average, although that hides the variance; on the paved part of the downhill I zoomed at 16-20mph, and my average over the actual Log Chutes trail was 5mph, or about trail running speed. I'm looking forward to riding it again (and trying the right fork, which I think leads to the longer loop; and bringing a camera, 'cause it's pretty!) with Britt once he gets over his ick.

Then I came home, took a shower, and went to the Taste of Durango street fair where I stuffed my face on tapas and mini-plates from our finest restaurants, washed down with a beer and a margarita. A perfect Sunday!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-17 06:26 am (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Runner-in-spe)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
Colds, bah! Hope your Britt feels better soon!

I very much doubt you are a wimp - but you are certainly inspirational: I've long (since my teens) wanted to do cross-country mountain biking, but since I've never lived anywhere not-flat (have I mentioned how flat most of Denmark is? Yeah), I never got started, and after I turned 30 I figured it was too late, anyways. But maybe there is still time for circumstances to conspire and get me on a mountain bike somewhere not-flat :o)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-17 11:20 am (UTC)
zulu: (muppets - inspired)
From: [personal profile] zulu
That sounds like a wonderful day! I'd love to go over an area like that on a dirtbike. Vroom vroom! I've been surprised, too, what kind of hills and creeks and logs I've been willing to drive over once I give it a chance.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-18 09:50 am (UTC)
zulu: (muppets - yip yip)
From: [personal profile] zulu
*nods* I figured that would be the case. It's definitely preferable to keep dirtbikes and ATVs out of most areas. Much better for hiking. But yeah, what you were saying about the confidence to just go at an obstacle--I never knew I'd be able to do that on a motorcycle. "Can't we just stay on the roads?" Hee. So it's been good to learn.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-17 02:57 pm (UTC)
peglegpete: (Default)
From: [personal profile] peglegpete
Hooray for perfect Sundays!

Log Chutes

Date: 2010-07-07 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am doing a backpack trip this weekend from Williams Creek to Weminuche Pass. I wish I could continue on to Silverton with a friend, but I have to work Tuesday morning. I was Googling for some info on fishing that section of the Weminuche when I recognized Rolfe and Kristen from your pictures. I used to work with Rolfe at Loronix. They're both good friends of mine still. I then started snooping around and saw your notes on the Log Chutes ride. I'm impressed, that sight unseen, you went the correct way and found the 1st trail it sounds like. The 2nd trail is on the left about 150 yards past the 1st. It's a little harder than the first (I think it's marked blue), but I like it better. Also, if you were to stay on the forest road you can, by taking a vague trail, end up at Animas Overlook. The 2nd trail meets up with Jct. Creek road several miles from the bottom, and crosses the road. It begins going up parallel to the road for a couple of hundred yards and then forks. The left fork, which is downhill, is the old Iron Horse downhill. You can do a couple of variations on this and either come out at the Log Chutes trailhead or the 2nd spot people park to do the Colorado Trail.

Brett Woods


ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31


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