A little a.m. XC love

Dude: I really love mountain biking. Every once in a while Life pushes me toward a worse place, but all it takes is some nice singletrack, and I’m stoked.

Ariel Lindsley rocks the rocks.

This morning I dropped The Boy off at school then drove to Hall Ranch up in Lyons, CO. This rocky/turny/flowy/technical trail is my local favorite. While the 20-degree thermometer reading gave me pause, I’m so glad I went for it.

The sun was low, and the shadows were long. Orange-ish light played across the bluffs. The dirt was frozen hard and very tacky. Trailside snow reflected warmth at my face.

I’m still riding the 2007 Stumpjumper Expert, and the bike killed it today. I regularly ride this climb on an Enduro SL or a Demo 8. The bigger bikes feel really good on the super-rough uphills; just point them and pull the big gear. I applied the same style to the Stumpy today, and the thing leapt at will.

Any Boulderite will tell you the descent is pretty serious as XC trails go; the kind of trail that lets you use any bike you bring. It mixes swoopy berms, flat/sandy turns, big pump-able rocks, random rock fields and a fair amount of pedaling. Like I said, I typically ride this trail on a bigger bike. While I found myself slowing more than usual for some sections, I cannot say the Stumpy diminished the fun.

It felt absolutely awesome: Braaap through a berm and get a Brain-assisted surge into the next turn. Jump a rock garden to sandstone backside. Just let bike and body do their thing.

When I hammer the main decent on my Enduro, it takes about 8:30. Today I cruised the Stumpy in 9:00 (with snow patches). It’s time to hammer the Stumpy and see what the clock says.

Whatever the clock says, it’ll be sweet!

5 replies
  1. zach says:

    This sounds like a good time for sure. Now you should do it on the P. bike and see what times you can turn out on that? Throw a slick on the rear and get nuts……. I’ll bet you can still run it in the mid 8’s….. Just remember to smile…..

  2. liqwid says:

    You can ride up Hall Ranch with a big bike?!? I’ve never been there (I’m a Denverite) but I just bought a big bike and am dieing to take it out. There isn’t much I would think of pedaling up with the 40 tooth front gear.

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    Hall Ranch can be climbed on a DH bike. Consider:

    – I run a 36 x 11-25. Let’s hope you run an 11-34 with that 40.

    – For this adventure, I clip in.

    – The climb has a steady, mellow grade with lots of technical sprints. You have to GIVE IT on the tech sections.

    – I run a Maverick Speedball, which lets me sit and “recover” between sprints. I actually lower my seat for the tech uphills; I’m out of the saddle anyway, and this gives me room to work.

    – This will not be easy!

    – It’s OK to walk. Call it 4X/DS practice.

    – DO NOT hammer the descent while civilians are on the trail. Be cool. Yield to everyone. Say hello. Don’t run a full face helmet; it scares people.

  4. liqwid says:

    Awesome, thanks for the info! I’m running a 12-26 so there’s probably going to be a lot of pushing. I want to get rid of the 40 tooth anyway, maybe I should replace the cassette too. Is there really any time with no one one a front range trail? 🙂 Now for a couple more days of sun to get rid of this lingering snow.

  5. leelikesbikes says:

    A 36 x 11-34 will have almost the same top gear, plus much more versatile low gears.

    The front of Hall is in great shape right now.

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