Every year, the early spring kills me.
As the buzz from the ski and snowboard season fades out, I get all my old hankerings to be out on the mountain bike. Colorado’s brief mud season means bad news bears for trail conditions (anyone who has navigated the deep, hardened ruts on the Nelson Loop at Hall Ranch can attest to this). It’s not all bad, though — spring conditions are a great time to take a road trip: Grand Junction, Fruita, Sedona, Moab and Colorado Springs all have pre-season trails that are ready to ride. However, it’s not like you (well, me) can just whisk away every weekend, so I have to get a semi-fix from the dry, sunny dirt roads and trails in north Boulder around the Sage Trail and Wonderland Lake until things dry out.
But the good news is most of the Boulder area bike trails are looking good and ready to ride!
I tend to use Walker Ranch above Flagstaff Road as my litmus test, due to its higher elevation and shady sections. Once it’s ready to ride, the season is officially underway. This weekend, the trail was in great shape with only a few spongey patches. There was only a few small pockets of snow, so I had no excuses for the raw burning in my lungs on Walker’s infamous climbs. The firey, molten silver sensation in my chest couldn’t be blamed on ice or mud slowing me down. I think that’s a good thing. Likewise, Hall Ranch is looking good, Betasso is just about clear and Heil Ranch/Wild Turkey/Picture Rock are all in good shape. The only local trails that still need some thawing are Nederland West Mag Trails, so I’m giving them a few more weeks.
In the spirit of Boulder Mountain Biking, in the next few weeks I’ll be highlighting some of the best parts of our favorite trails here at Elevation Outdoors. And the top super secret project I’ll be working on is grabbing my GPS and making a 2010 map of the jumbled network of West Mag Trails. Should be fun — check in on the blog to see how it’s coming along!