My new bike…..

Well, not quite!  I just couldn’t resist the chance of trying out a top of the range full suspension bike when offered.  At the Orange Peel bike shop, as its off season, they offered me the chance to rent $5000 worth of bike for just $40.  How could I resist?  So I gave my Mather (which I’ve named Pesto, because thats what she smells of since a jar of sauce spilled early in the trip) a break, and went up Warm Springs Trail here today.  I’d never ridden a bike this aggressive and full on before – I was tentative at first, but as soon as I realised that all that expensive bling made it easy to fly over rocks and slippy gravel I had a great time.  Hard not to when the trails are so wonderful here.

I’ve had a great few days here. Yesterday I had a beautiful hike up by Fish Creek. The forests here are lovely, a mix of aspen, birch, pine, oak and rowan. At this time of year the colours are quite stunning.

I’m feeling pretty good right now thanks to 2 hours of physio – I asked around and was recommended a local sports physio who works with lots of local skiers and triathletes. My back has been very stiff after carrying so much water across the Divide Basin. I was expecting a simple massage, but instead he pretty much turned me inside out from head to toe, stretching and pulling at everything – whatever he did, it worked, I feel much better now both walking and on the bike.

I now have to decide the way forward from here. I had intended to go onto the roads south, but a close look at the maps shows that whichever way I go I hit high passes, and if it freezes, I’d rather be on dirt trails than pavement – it doesn’t hurt so much when you fall off! So I will stick to the Divide trail at least until Silverthorne, the next town about 140 miles south. I’d love to make it at least to Salida, in southern Colorado, reputedly one of the nicest towns en route.

The big question is the weather. The guides say to get off the trail by mid October to avoid getting snowed in somewhere. but the longer range forecast is pretty good, so I think I’m pretty safe to ride on for now. There is a big high pressure zone settling in, which should raise the temperature, but for now, its pretty wet – yesterday there was a cold sleet here for hours, despite the official weather forecast insisting that it was sunny. Today was quite wet too (new bike is very muddy now!).

So for now the plan is to set off on the three day ride over Lynx pass and on to Silverthorne in the morning if the sky is clear. If it looks rainy, I might just extend the rental period for that new bike, there are no shortage of stunning trails to explore here, and the rain means they are nice and empty of tourists….

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