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Monday, April 27, 2009

This is just getting old now

So yesterday I get it in my head that I want to do a big loop at Monte Sano. No problem. I have been doing okay on the standard rides. I can handle it. Well, I bogged around in the morning until afternoon working on the lawnmower, yes again. Had a couple of beers. Just general waste of time on a Sunday.

Ended up hitting the biker's parking lot at about 2:30. Gary showed up a few minutes later. We hung out in the lot getting ready and shootin the breeze with a couple of other riders. All in all we weren't riding until 3pm. Plenty of time right?

So out past the lookout we headed onto the N.Platue Loop, down Cold Springs. First missed turn of the day. I always miss the turn off to make it up to the gate. At any rate, we climb back up and then hike a bike for a few to check out an alternative line. No go, just wasted time. Oh well, ride the fire road out to the road and ride up to the gate on pavement into the Land Trust. Alright, first hurdle down, we made it into the Land Trust. Nice blast down Tollgate to High Trail. Stopped at the intersection of BLuffline to grab a couple of pictures.

Gary and some of the weird armoring on the Land Trust.

Looking back up at the entrance to High Trail.

Onward we went, climbed out Bluffline to Monte Sano Blvd. It pops out right by Burrit Museum. I headed towards Natural Well, wrong turn number2. Fortunately Gary had ridden the Arrowhead extension trail before and roped me in. It is a good little trail, maybe 1-1.5mi of single track. In true Monte Sano form the best boulder to launch off has an uphill run-in. The trail winds along the bluff and even has a fun rock channel to go through.

Complete with friends...

From the extension you get dropped right onto Natural Well at the start of the original Arrowhead trail. We take a break and Gary starts talking about some jumps coming up. I look down the hill thinking someone added something exciting. No such luck, but I do notice a couple of rocks in a corner. Those could make a jump I guess. So we proceeded to make a take-off from the existing terrain to gap the corner. Turned out pretty well considering we were working with sticks and rocks, not proper tools. I hit it a few times. Give a little lift, but mainly the slope of the hill gives the height on the way down. Maybe 2-3ft vertical and 10-12ft horizontal by the time you touch back down on the trail.

checking it out for the first time.

Throwing some style at it and pulling a bit more air.

We raced down Arrowhead, stopping at the bottom for a rest. Of course this is not a good sign when you are stopping for a rest at the bottom of a downhill and only about half way through the loop we were on. At this point we are committed and just need to hammer it out. So we trogged on. The next 4-5mi are all in the low end of the park and it is still pretty soft, muddy, and slow moving. Pretty much saps out the energy we had left. At about 7pm we hit the bottom of Warpath. No energy, not much water left, and nowhere to go but up about 800-1000ft vertical to get back to the cars. We rode what we could of Warpath. As dusk crept over us we hiked up the last couple hundred vertical feet to O'Shaughnessy Point.

It was now dark and we were both running on our last legs. Bonked, on the fire road and heading for home. It was a painful couple of miles on a fairly flat road. But we made it back to tell the tale. Overall I think it clocked out to 15-16mi. That is about as much mileage as I have ever put in up on Monte Sano. I felt like crap for the rest of the evening and am pretty tired out even today.

a look at the loop...

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