Sunday, September 30, 2012

I hope you're ready for some pictures.

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of Flag Pedals! Tonight: I ride a bike, I wear some lycra, and I take a bunch of pictures!

It sounds funnier if you imagine Jeremy Clarkson reading the above with Top Gear enthusiasm.

Well, it sounded funny in my head.

Mooving on... Fall colors are marching down the mountains, so, Friday, rather than ride to the mountains, I hopped on Surprise, and headed in the opposite direction, where everything seems to still be green.

Nope, Fall's not here yet.

Neither is it here.

Wait, I think I see it on those distant mountains! Why did I come this way?

Oh, yeah. Surprise gave me the bike eyes.
So, Saturday was trail day, (Which I ended up coming home from with free Krispy Kremes, score!) during which I was discussing the possibilities of being able to (legally) ride up Waterline Road to the Inner Basin. The end result of said discussion was probably not this year, though we were hoping for a quiet, surprise opening of the road, as it is pretty much done being rebuilt. (Reason for the continuing closure is hazard trees.)

So, today. I set off to ride to the Inner Basin, and possibly up Upper Waterline (Which is still open and rideable, not having been affected by the Schultz Fire.) How was I going to get out there? Via Schultz Pass Road, Lockett Meadow, and either the Inner Basin Trail, or the service road from Lockett Meadow to the Inner Basin.

In other words, a crazy long ride.

Though, admittedly, this route took me past waterline, juuuust in case it did open unannounced.

Elden in color, from Schultz Pass Road.

I've still gotta go around that.

The view north, from part way up Lockett Meadow Road.

If you look close, you can see the Painted Desert.
Towards the top of Lockett Meadow Road, some friends from Absolute passed me. I caught back up with them at the meadow, and we ended up riding to the Inner Basin together on the old service road.
Going up!

Looking up!

A golden cathedral of aspen.

Moonlandah! It's like a Pugsley, but bigger.


Made it to the cabins! Not much further now!

Don't see orange too often...

Getting there.... 




Nice fade.

Wait for it...

The view that makes the entire ride worth it, every time.


Nice layering.
We hung out at the Inner Basin for a bit, before heading back down to the cabins. I split off from the group, as they were heading back down, and I wanted to ride Upper Waterline. Along the way, I ran in to Anthony from Absolute and his wife. The greeting from him was "Oh, it's you again!" What, it's not my fault I keep finding him out in the middle of nowhere, in addition to the bike shop.

Ok, maybe it's partly my fault.

Interesting transitions, some yellow, some... not as yellow yet.


The opposite ridge.

*takkkatakkatakka* Enhance.


Lockett Meadow from Upper Waterline.
This was a viewpoint I've simultaneously wanted and dreaded to make it to for two years. It looks a little different than it did a week before the Schultz Fire, though, not as bad as I had imagined. (Blog post from that ride is here.)

After my moment of thought and reflection, I pressed on.

I love these views.


Made it to the top of Waterline, at Abineau Canyon!

Avalanche Zones.


Who needs red carpet when you can ride on golden aspen leaves?


So long Locket Meadow, and thanks for all the leaves.


Gooblergobbler birdskies!
The ride home was long and slow, with 50 miles behind me, at least until I got to Schultz Creek Trail. Something about the sweet sweet flow and thrill of downhill singletrack when I had done nothing but climb on roads all day just woke me up, and I felt like I floated down the trail. After that, it was the futs to town, through town and home.

I hope Waterline is open next year. That was a long ride for the leaves this year. Worth it, but a long ride. I'll probably be useless at work, and I will be relaxing, and riding a motorcycle in.

But I'd totally do it again.
Mileage: 66.1
Wait, wait! What was that about lycra?! 
 I don't wanna talk about it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall riding begins...
Signs of Fall... the little yellow flowers are out in force. 
  You may recall my recent reversion back to a rigid fork for the race last month. Well, I finally got the part ordered, and it arrived on Thursday. Manitou was kind enough to comp the new rebound assembly, despite my own stupidity. All I had to pay was shipping. That made me bringing a case of beer to Absolute when I went to pick up the part an even nicer thought.

By  Thursday evening, the new rebound assembly was installed, the fork was re-assembled, and Tri had his bounce back.
A note to remind me which way to turn it next time.

That's more like it.
 I suddenly want to ride the race course and see how much faster I would have been with suspension.

 Today... I couldn't decide just where to go, so I hopped on Slide, thinking a motorcycle ride would help.
The Peaks are turning colors!
One lap around the peaks later... and I still didn't know. The first weekend of Fall, and I almost didn't turn pedals at all. What a shame.


I ended up hopping on Tri and riding up Elden, and down Sunset and Schultz. While I didn't see much in the way of colorful leaves right where I was riding, there were some in the distance.
Colors up near the top.

Ok, some colorful leaves near me.

False sunset, from the top of Sunset.

The Peaks. 
The Loop Trail. More flowers!

It was a great ride. Not just because Tri's fork worked perfectly with the new part, not just for the scenery, but also for the downhill. Down Sunset, down Schultz, two of my favorites. Icing on the cake was catching up to two guys on full squishybikes rolling down Schultz Creek. It felt good.

Next weekend... the inner basin.
Mileage: 25.5