Getting into the Backcountry

On this years Fourth of July I went for a bike ride with my co-workers to Dexter Park.  So far in Colorado this is the my number one place to ride.  It’s everything I expected when I read Mountain Flyer Magazine all those times sitting in Seattle dreaming of actually being there.  The four of us didn’t see a single person on that trail the whole day.  Not seeing others is just part of what made this ride so great. It’s remote, the views are amazing, lots of hard riding, and you really need to have your shit together or you could be caught out in a bad way.

There is no map and data for this ride as it’s kind of hush hush.

We're going up there!

Aaron, myself, Justin and Darren

Aaron, myself, Justin and Darren

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Just this past weekend I went on a solo ride to Basalt Mountain.  I had been once before last year but as it was elk hunting season we were limited in how much we could ride.  This time I planned a much large loop but in reality I had no idea how many miles it would be.  I would find out after it was all done it was around 33 miles.  Many more miles than I had food or water for.  Lucky for me there was a stream on my ride but unfortunately it was 90% into my ride, forcing me to conserve my water all day. Unlike Dexter Park I did see others on this ride but I did go many hours between sightings.  Early on I saw a husband and wife walking their two hours, three dogs, and yearling DONKEY!  Donkeys are one of a few animals that always make me smile and laugh.  Later in the day I saw one of the others, PIKAS!  It was my first pika of the year so I was pretty excited.  If you followed my PCT hike then you know how much I love the pikas.  Enjoy these pictures and map from this ride.

 

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Best view of the ride. You can’t see him but there’s a marmot on the red rocks on the right.

Loving life.

Loving life.

 

My view of Mt. Sopris and the Roaring Fork Valley

My view of Mt. Sopris and the Roaring Fork Valley

The thin line.

The thin line.

 

Look at the green!

Look at the green!

A look at the interior of my loop.

A look at the interior of my loop.

 

There were many beautiful high alpine meadows like this one.

There were many beautiful high alpine meadows like this one.

One of a few old lava fields.

One of a few old lava fields.

It seemed like all the road were sunny and exposed.

It seemed like all the road were sunny and exposed.

Taking a break.  The flies were terrible so it was short.

Taking a break. The flies were terrible so it was short.

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What I realized between these two rides is I’m happiest when I’m exploring.  Even though I had ridden the first ride before we did take a wrong turn and it opened my eyes to other options in the area.  It was shortly later I laid in bed and thought about my current thought process on riding.  For most of the year I have been driven to just put in mile after mile.  After realizing I’m happiest when I’m exploring my thought process has swung to tallying up what I’m now calling “Virgin Miles”  I would say that 30 of the 34 were “Virgin Miles” on this second ride.

Scatman

Get out there!

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