Colorado

Colourful Colorado is a great state; they’ve got 14,000 footers, legalized marijuana, tons of ski towns, and miles of mountain bike trails.
It was hard to keep my eyes on the road as I drove East from Moab. The landscapes along highway 70 are pretty inviting to say the least: razor sharp ridge lines, perfectly sloped transitions and every shade of dirt you have ever seen make this area a freeride mountain biker’s wet dream.IMG_4387
Fernie Dave recommended I check out the Lunch Loop trails in Grand Junction. So I b-lined it there from Moab, getting to the trailhead in the late afternoon. Its a short climb up Tabeguache trail which gives access to tons of single track to either side. I took a left on Holy Cross near the top and had a blast on the swoopy turns that weave through house sized boulders of sandstone. I was having so much fun I missed the turn back to the parking lot and ended up down on Miramonte ridge trail as the sun dropped behind the horizon and it became dangerously dark for riding. With some bushwacking I finally crested a hill and could see the lights of the road back to the parking lot.hands-2IMG_4392My Godparents are great. I got in to Montrose and there was home-made pasta and a bike ride with the local Strava studs prepared for me.
IMG_4397 I got to sleep in a real bed for a few nights and eat proper meals at a table for a nice change. My godfather took me out for a familybikeride at Black Canyon National Park.
GOPR1225GOPR1227At Black Canyon, the Gunnison River has cut a gnarly gorge into the Precambrian gneiss and schist at a rate of 34 vertical ft/mile, making it the 5th steepest mountain descent in North America.
IMG_4433I took highway 550 South into the San Juan National Forest, through the old mining town, Silverton, and down into Durango.GOPR1288IMG_4419I passed some mining relics and stopped to climb around on the precarious old structures with some bad ass mountains in the background.
IMG_4406The good homies at Cascade Bicycles in Montrose pointed me towards Phil’s World in Cortez, CO. Touted as the “centre of the mountain biking universe”, I was suspicious to see what was hidden in the hills out here. Phil’s World is a great network of trails that wander around in the lowlands North of highway 160. The network allows for something like a 25 mile loop if you are really keen, and is designed to be ridden in one direction only.
GOPR1323I caught up with some great gals in Durango that hosted me as a couch surfer and took me out to sample some local beers. I tried a pumpkin cider that was way too good for the $3.50/pint price tag.
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The next morning I pedalled my ass up Horse Gulch: a technical 1.5hr climb with a few fun options for descending and a great view of the Durango Valley below.
GOPR1453The afternoon was spent bombing hills with this wild gal, Chanista. She’s got mad skills on a longboard, doing yoga moves and pinning while wearing next to no clothing. She was a great couch surfing hostess. Hit her up if you’re in Durango.
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More photos on facebook here. Next stop New Mexico: family roots, Breaking Bad, and fat bikes.

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