Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Monarch Crest

With Leadville coming up, I decided I should probably ride a little easier than the all day rides we've been doing. So....Matt lined up a shuttle to take us up to Monarch Pass today. The plan was to ride the CO Trail/ Continental Divide trail 18 miles south, then hit Silver Creek Trail, then Rainbow Trail, then ride Hwy 285 back to Salida. 2,300 ft of mild climbing with 5,000 feet of descending. Awesome....other than the fact that I rode in a van instead of climbing up to the pass. Tough pill to swallow.....until I started riding and my legs felt great! We pretty much rode beautiful, shallow grade singletrack above treeline at 11,500- 12,200ft for about 18 miles. Fast, flowy trail was mixed in with some technical rocky, rooty downhill. Good stuff. Silver Creek Trail turned off the crest and dropped like a rock for several thousand feet. The further down we went, the steeper and rockier it got until our wheels were surfing on loose rock. After this trail we hit up Rainbow Trail and spent the next 9 miles on a dirt rollercoaster. Great dirt, berms, and lots of high speed delivered us back to 285 quickly. Legs felt great over 11,000 today and felt like I could actually throw down some sprints on the climbs without blowing sky high. Hope that holds up till Leadville! DH

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