Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Hut to Hut Backcountry Biking Day 1

From Fruita we headed out to what would either be the best part of the road trip or a 3 day nightmare death march. 3 days of self guided biking across the Colorado wilderness.

We booked the trip from Colorado Backcountry Biker a couple of weeks before we left. On booking we got sent a big document with a bunch of maps, directions, what to bring and what to expect. 

The format is really cool and ideal for what we wanted to do. You have what you need with you for a long day in the saddle - spare tubes, tools energy bars etc and when you arrive at the hut (assuming you can find it) is your bedding and a cool box full of fresh food and ice cold beer. 

It sounded great - ride backcountry singletrack all day long without carrying a ton of stuff and finish each day with food and beer.

Day 1 - Meet the Kevin aka 'The Hut Guy' at 7am with all our kit before setting off. He talked us through the route, the expected weather etc before slinging the bikes in the back of his truck and heading off into the hills. The first day was supposed to be pretty easy a 15 miler with some great singletrack to ease us into it gently. Kevin had other ideas and didn't want to "make it too easy" for us and dropped us at the bottom of a six mile climb to get us into the swing of things.

The first climb was pretty tough but the views were great, it was a strange feeling riding into the middle of nowhere with a list of directions and maps to get us safely to the hut, I hoped the directions were correct, failure was not an option!

The first taste of singletrack was not a disappointment about 4 miles of winding singletrack through a shady woodland area. The weather was sunny but not too hot and the trails were perfect.

 A few fire road climbs and some more tasty singletrack later we came to a beaver dam. I have never seen a beaver before let alone walked across a beaver dam. What if they are home?

As you can see from the angle of the photo I had to cross the dam first. Thankfully the dam was fairly solid and no beavers were home. Weather still looking good as well. 

After the beaver dam the trail cruises along in the open for a while before kicking uphill sharply. After a long and technical climb, the final climb of the day, the trail opens out. The last 2 miles is a long cruise out in the open on the top of the plateau. 

Assuming the directions are correct the hut should be around here somewhere. 1 complete, the singletrack was epic and the navigation went without a hitch. 

The hut was clean and fully stocked with everything you could want in the high calorie food department, perfect.

Beer and burgers x2 coming up!

The hut was carefully stocked with books and magazines containing articles about the local area, I went to sleep thinking about Anasazi indians hiding in cliff top fortresses. Big day tomorrow.

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