Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Favorite Bike Ride

Yesterday I realized how lucky I am to live in Colorado. I had 3 hours to spare between work and music practice at church. Since it would take an hour to get home and an hour to get back to Golden I decided to just go on a bike ride. I commuted to work that morning, so I had my bike and lots of time. So I put together a route that looked interesting.

It went from my office to Bear Creek Lake Park in Morrison and back. Down and back rides are always a bit lame, so I changed the route so I went down to the park on the east side of the hogback and came back to Golden on the west side of the hogback. For the non-Coloradans, a hogback is a long, narrow ridge that is caused by lava coming up a long crack in the rock. That would give me some variation in scenery. It turned out to be a very good thing.

I left Mines with a bit of a headache. As I rode uphill towards the Jefferson County building it got worse and worse. By the time I got to the top of the hill my headache was really bothering me. The blaring sun didn't help. I started going downhill along C-470, but it was the least enjoyable downhill I had had in a long time (second to the time I ate brats for dinner and then had to turn back on Chimney Gulch after a quarter mile). Thank God I was reminded that there's a gas station in Morrison that would likely have Snickers bars (the solve-all candy bar). So after struggling down what would normally be considered and incredibly relaxing long downhill, I stopped by the gas station and bought me a king sized Snickers bar and some Tylenol. I just rode a bit further to Bear Creek Lake Park, O.D.ed on the Tylenol (3 tablets) and ate my giant Snickers bar.

Feeling a bit better, I left the park and headed towards the tiny town of Morrison. For such a tiny town it was amazing how easy it was for me to miss my turn. I had planned on taking the Hogback Road back to Golden, but missed the turn. I rode a few blocks, left the town and took the next right, which lead to Red Rocks Amphitheater. So I rode up some pretty steep hills and got to the park. If you live in the area, you know that this park is, hands down, the most beautiful place in the Denver area. And the road I accidentally took takes you right through the massive sandstone rocks. It was absolutely beautiful and I didn't mind in the least bit that I was going uphill through the park because it just meant I had more time to look around.

I got through the park and back onto the highway, from which the views are only averagely beautiful with hogbacks to the right and mountains to the left. I saw the mountain bikers on the Red Rocks trail and was ridiculously jealous. Now that I've become obsessed with road biking on smooth pavement surfaces I'm just now realizing how amazing mountain biking is. It was really just a matter of getting in shape and forcing myself to ride often enough that I became obsessed with it. Back when I mountain biked, I never became obsessed, but if road biking can be this fun, then mountain biking can be twice as fun! My next big investment would be a mountain bike, but I need a car much more, so my second next big investment will be to buy a mountain bike! I miss mountain biking.

I rode back to Heritage Square and hopped on a nice little bike trail, hidden between a bunch of houses. Zach and I always rode this paved trail after doing the up-Chimney Gulch, down-Apex mountain bike ride. The trail is the perfect way to end a ride. You just cruise down the windy path all the way back to Golden. I learned that cantilever brakes aren't quite as powerful as v-brakes and that road bikes aren't as good as mountain bikes for handling fast sharp turns.

Even with the incredible headache this ride was awesome. It's definitely my favorite road ride in the area. I'm really quite privileged to live in a place so beautiful and so perfect for biking.

1 comment:

  1. Jon, How do I subscribe to your blog by email? Since you are not posting on FB I never know when you blog. Can you add my email somehow?