THE ROAD TO LEADVILLE: Steamboat Singletrack
Saturday August 7, 2010 part II – I had a great ride in Steamboat Springs today. I headed out alone around 1pm with a loose plan of taking the bike path to Howleson Hill and then checking out the trail system to the west. Howleson is a crazy place. It’s where the Nordic ski jumps are and I think they have a summer jump that’s coated with plastic. But there’s also a chairlift and an alpine slide, Triple A kids baseball tournaments going in constantly, horse rides, mountain bikers, hikers, people tubing in the Yampa River and a rodeo every night.
Of course, like many trailheads, once I was a few minutes into the trail system, a barely saw a soul. I didn’t know my way around and there were lots of trails and roads and not all of them were signed. I found my way to the very top of the mountain, rode down a ridge on a logging road and ended up at a trailhead for Ridge Trail on BLM lands. It seemed to drop off the backside of the mountain. That would ensure a trip around to get back to town. There were some threatening clouds around but none right in my face. I went ahead and dropped in and the trail was a long, fun descent all the way down into the valley on the other side of the mountain from Steamboat. I nice little cruise on dirt and pavement through beautiful rural setting brought me back into town from the north. Perfect.
I took the bike path back up to Casa Coates and I guess I was out for 2 or 2.5 hours. I don’t know exactly how long it was since, in addition to Coop’s tennis racquet, I also forgot to bring a watch. Sure I had my phone but if it’s not right in front of my face, I don’t really look at it. As for training, here are the stats, Data: 2-2.5 hours; no HR monitor; no altimeter (I’ll estimate 1,500 vertical); pace was very easy with lots of stops. Tomorrow is the Ride 4 Yellow Divide Ride. I did this ride years ago in the Mercury Tour and it’s a classic. I’m pumped! Now, off to eat some steak at Maribou.