Recently resolved myself to discovering the infamous mountain bike route from Boulder to Nederland--unfortunately, it's winter, and my persistence only lasts as long as my hands and feet are somewhat warm... so, I took the warmest day in January and did with it what I could--the following is what ensued.
Hobbled my way up Flagstaff after over a month off the bike, feeling confident and happy to be back on two wheels in the sunshine.
It was a beautiful day--mid 40's with minimal wind out of the North-west. Climbing required little more than knee-warmers and a vest.
After about an hour of riding, I had made it to Gross Reservoir--from here, I made the improper assumption that the rest of the route would be moderately easy--some climbing, but nothing too fancy, since my current elevation was above that of Nederland... I was wrong.
CR 63 from Lakeshore Neighborhood to Magnolia Road is overridden with "No Trespassing" signs--a recent development since my map was drawn in 2007... I decided to take the risk, however, and stick to the low-lying brush for cover from any rabid redneck dogs and their owners with shotguns. Needless to say, I made it through untouched, landing myself on some forgotten spur off Magnolia, not knowing how far I had to the road proper.
At this time, I could see the imminent storm peeking it's nasty head over the continental divide. I was reaching what I supposed would be my time-wise halfway point, and so I didn't think much of the coming weather, since it would undoubtedly be stuck west-side of the divide for quite some time until it lightened up enough to dissipate or slide over and down into the Front Range.
In the Twin Sisters Peak area, I ran into some very interesting geologic formations from the Pleistocene Ice Age, including these very nice roche moutonnée.
Time and time again, I get stuck out on these long rides with nothing but Welch's Fruit Snacks to keep me going... and trust me, they keep me going.
Reaching Magnolia Rd, I took the left-route, hoping to come across the singletrack system that would take me into Ned--upon reaching the trailhead, I discovered that the snow was starting to become more prevalent...
I was undeterred, however, and continued to snake my way through the many trails and jeep-roads that lead into Nederland along the South Side of Boulder Canyon. I was ignorant (purposefully, perhaps) to the fact that the trail was becoming snowier and snowier, as it was shaded more and more on the North-facing slope, and to the fact that it was nearly four and I was quickly running out of daylight.
The Single-track allure kept me thinking that ignorance was bliss.
The route along the Blue-dot trail was a success--it landed me right in my half-way destination, Nederland, and though it was unrideable in a lot of areas due to snow, I was happy to finally find a plausible route between Boulder and Ned.
The aforementioned storm dropped about 10 inches on the Front Range, and so it looks like freezing my ass off down the 17-mile Boulder Canyon was definitely worth it, since I won't be riding singletrack again until mid-May it looks like. The temperature difference is evident--that Gross reservoir was still flowing and blowing, and Barker Res in Nederland is frozen stiff... welcome to the high country, I guess.
the ponderous k