Oh my gosh you guys I just rode the most incredible trail EVER! It is 30 miles of pure singletrack bliss! Plus the extra 20 miles of road commuting, today was a pretty good day of riding, for a Zero day, lol! The trail I rode is called the Monarch Crest Epic and it consists of 3 trails: Monarch Crest Trail, Silver Creek Trail, and Rainbow Trail. MTBproject.com has a pretty awesome description of it here:
I got a shuttle up there, and I was able to leave all my gear in Salida. Which was AWESOME. Because riding this trail with all my crap would have absolutely sucked! Lol.
As you can see, it’s a VERY popular trail. Plus, it is Labor Day weekend so many people were in from out of town. I saw one of the IMBA people there! Her name is Wendy and I worked with her for a bit at the registration table during the Summit. :). I waited til everyone else took off down the trail, since I’m a slow rider. Here we go!
The first 11 or so miles of the trail roller coasters between 12,000′ and 11,000′ elevation. It was absolutely exhilarating to be riding on the ridge of these enormous mountains. But OH MAN the climbs at elevation were TOUGH! Whew!! Lol!
I was in absolute mountain biking bliss on this ride. 🙂 It was so great because while it was a very challanging trail (for me, anyways), it was still doable. And boy did I learn a lot. Lol! You know one of my favorite things about riding (and life in general, really) is when I successfully get past an obstacle that is scary/difficult. It’s the little daily minor victories in life that are sometimes the most joyful 🙂
I didn’t take many photos from the 2nd half of the ride, because that’s when it got pretty gnarly. Plenty rock gardens, and going down a couple scree fields where your brakes just don’t really work and you just slide and all you can do is steer and hope you don’t go sideways. Lol. Happy fun times! The last 10 miles or so was the Rainbow Trail. That section I didn’t like too much. Not because it wasn’t good, but it was suuuuuper rocky and I was worried about keeping my bike in good working condition. If I didn’t have another 1,000 miles to go, sure I would have no problems mashing up my bike. Lol! Seriously tho, oh man it was pretty rough and spine rattling on a hardtail. 🙂 I saw one guy who was riding a fully rigid bike. Wow, props to him. You gotta be so skilled and precise in picking your lines! That guy was a really good rider. I ended up walking a lot of sections towards the end, because I wanted to take care of my bike. Lol! I think perhaps I overly baby my bike sometimes, but hey, it has not failed me yet! Plus, Wendy’s husband broke his chain and derailleur on this ride, so yeah…. I’ll walk the gnarly sections. Thanks. 🙂
I pretty much rode from the end of the trail all the way back to Salida. On the way was the 3rd brewery in the salida area. Naturally, I had to stop in. It was busy!! I was very amused when I saw the parking lot. It looks like a trailhead parking lot, right? But alas, it’s a brewery! Damn mountain bikers, what a bunch of beer-heads. Lolol!! :D. Elevation Brew Company is what this place was called, and the beer was absolutely FANTASTIC! They have a lot of Belgian style brews, which is my favorite kind. This is my favorite brewery thus far. 🙂
Whew what a fantastic day!! And tomorrow, I’m going to do some baby whitewater SUP paddling! YIPEE!! 😀