Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Several weeks ago Captain Hike-a-Bike sent me a very direct email. He'd just finished the Colorado Trail Race and insisted that I "run, don't walk" down to ride and gawk on the Coney/Cataract section of that route.

It took me 10 days to get it together enough to get out of the shop, but just a few days ago Moobs, Jabroni, and myself made it down there for an overnight bikepacking trip.

The Captain was correct--it is worth running, not walking to.

See for yourself:

We started in Silverton and rode over Cinnamon Pass and down (almost) to Lake City before peeling off onto a doubletrack and climbing. And climbing. And climbing some more to intersect the Colorado Trail, which we then rode (after camping, the next day) back to Silverton.

That climbing paid off with the views you saw above. What the views don't show is the amount and quality of *rideable* singletrack above 12,000 and even 13,000'. I'd guesstimate that we spent 8+ hours above 12k on the CT, and maybe as much as 2 hours above 13k. Just astonishing to be *up* that high and cruising along in your middle ring.

Make no mistake--it's not a cake walk. Lots of hike a bike. Hours upon hours of steep, granny gear climbing. Limited filterable water up high. Huge (potential) exposure to t-storms.

And worth every iota of sweat that it cost. This one will become an annual for me, no doubt about it.




  1. was the most memorable part of the CT for me!!

    Enjoyed reliving it watching your pics scroll by, very nice…..thanks

  2. Outstanding pics. Me wanna go now...

  3. Awesome, the last pic is just inspiring.

  4. Very nicely put together! Great photos. BTW, what camera are you using? Cheers.

  5. Amazing! Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I grew up in Idaho and spent days in the high mountains there, Wyoming, Utah; I bought my first mountain bike in 1979 knowing it could get me to those places. Then I moved to coastal California. This makes me ache for those high exposed alpine areas, where you feel you were granted special permission to pass, and that nature could remove you from this earth in an instant. Wonderful, humbling, inspiring. Thanks!

  7. MC - Thanks for posting your fantastic photos and trip report on The Colorado Trail. Our organization and our volunteers put real heart and soul into building and maintaining this wonder. Glad you're experiencing and enjoying it.

    Bill Manning, Mg Dir
    The Colorado Trail Foundation

  8. Man that was an enjoyable ~8 minutes. Some of that seems like a dream to me, and seeing your
    pics confirms the reality while somehow making it more intangible at the same time.

    In short, very nice. Good to see Moobie riding again, too.

    -Captain Hike-a-Bike

    PS - Bill, thanks for all your work on the CT. It's an amazing trail. Good to see you picking up some of the bikepacker's CT passion.

  9. That is a BEAUTIFUL PICTURE! Was it taken here in Colorado?

  10. Just amazing. Living I Florida I can only dream of vistas like that.

    If you ever want to camp in scrub pines or a swamp though, let me know. I can totally hook you up on that one.

  11. Really Gr8 ! Thanks For sharing..

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