11am and we are in Crested Butte, and getting ready to ride Lower and Upper loop followed by Lupine, a circuit of about 20km close to town (I'm pretty sure the lady in the shop suggested doing it the other way). Crested Butte is an amazing village, with a total cycle culture. Every shop has a cycle rack outside. There are bikes parked everywhere. A typical house will have 5 or 6 cycles outside, on a rack. Behind business's will be bikes parked up, and everyone local rides, not drives. Could we do that Hanmer?
So we head out on the loop. Lovely track, heading up the valley, with great views of the trees changing colour, flash houses, lovely swampy meandering river, and picturesque mountains. There's a group of riders in front of us, but lots coming towards us, not that the going is in any way tough. Sorta like going uphill on Mac 1. Then we cross the river, and the climb begins. This would be great as a downhill......and up, not hard but perhaps better the other way, and perhaps we will get some downhill.... Nope. We had gone the wrong way. Oh well. We'll just have to stay another day and do it in the opposite direction.
One bonus was the downhill on the sealed cycle path between Mt Crested Butte village and Crested Butte, and the Half dozen snakes that we saw on the track. They were up to about a foot long, and moved really fast.
So the day really fined up, and we got our washing done, had showers, cleaned the bikes, and found a great campsite (free for up to 14 days) at the foot of Oh Be Joyful valley, about 8km from the village. Reckon we might have to stay another couple of days, still heaps to do, and the weather looks great.
Don't know who recommended today's ride, but it was a doozy. Headed back up Cement Creek to Walrod trailhead. A jeep road, a little rutted and rocky for 3km. Then the "Wall". Our first "hikabike". 200m of very steep, rutted, rocky rail....that you walk. Then 3km of rutted (we are sharing the track with motorbikes), muddy wet trail, going up. Ju was heard to grumble, and at 10700 feet I can understand why. It was tough going. Eventually we summitted and started a sort of traverse, only to find the new track wasn't yet connected. A couple of good looking young local guys advised that it was about half a mile from finished, and we could follow the flags cross country to the trail. Thanks boys. Worked well. Meet the track builder on the way down. Nice fella, huge job, great track potentially. We were finally on 409 and heading south, and then we hit Cave. Yeha. Finally some downhill. Great swishbacks, lots of descent, about time.
Really glad to get back to the van. A big day of only 20km, and we are both knackered. Hot Chocolate time.
Did I mention that since Denver I have been riding on my new Brooks leather saddle...love it.