Sunday, November 27, 2011

Foxton South Platte

Stellar route! Overall more pavement than gravel by far, but the scenery was amazing.

I discovered this route from reading CDRR - many thanks! There's a great write up of his blog so I won't rehash an already fantastic ride report. The route follows the South Fork of the South Platte river beginning at Foxton, heading to Buffalo Creek on to Deckers and back to the car at Foxton. There are plenty of places to park along the road. While you could certainly do the loop in either direction, the benefit of going counterclockwise is doing the one big hill early.

 I traded pictures with some motorcyclists on the false summit and was rewarded with this odd smirk. 

This ride is about 75% paved and 25% very easy gravel. I was a bit surprised to find that the gravel portion actually has a layer of pavement that comes and goes. Even when it goes the road was well packed. I rode Virgil (my Salsa Vaya) with 42c Continental Tour Ride tires and it seemed like serious overkill.

There are several additions you can make to this route that would increase the gravel and extend the ride. First is an obvious gravel turn off to the East on CO Hwy 67 from S Platt River Rd. A right turn here then a left on W Pine Creek would easily add another 5-8 miles to the total distance, increase the gravel ratio and add a bit more climbing. There are also options to the West that involve heading towards Wellington Lake. I'll need to get up a bit earlier or get a better lighting system to work those in. Something I'm likely to do in the near future if the weather holds.

View ride on Strava.

Beginning the quest

A year ago I started biking after demoing a mountain bike in Bend, Oregon. I raced my mountain bike and developed a fondness for other out of the way routes (rail trails, gravel roads, and long singletrack).

2011 Sisters Stampede

In October 2011 I moved to Boulder, CO. When I'm not working I'm riding as much as I can. I plan to enter both marathon XC races and gravel grinders in 2012. My body hasn't quite caught up with my ambition so I'm doing my best to fill that gap with training. The shortest event I'm entering is 50 miles so I'll have a lot of seat time for training.

The rides I enjoy are long and unpaved . I'm on something of a quest to find great gravel and dirt road routes for training, riding, racing and just having fun. One of the challenges has been finding these routes. This blog is a place where I'll post some of the better routes I've found and enjoyed. If you're on the front range and enjoy gravel and trail riding you might look here for a new route. If you've got a few routes you've done that I might enjoy I love to hear about em. It's a way for me to share what I've found and hopefully connect with others who might enjoy the same sort of rides.