Labor Day 2013: Monarch trail and the Crested Butte 401
If there is one thing I know, its that mountain bikes are ridiculously over-priced. And if I know two things, its that they’re totally worth it. We loaded up two bikes, worth about $5K a piece onto the back of Pierce’s new 4runner (which was barely worth what one bike cost), and headed out. Our sights were set on the 34 mile Monarch Crest trail outside of Salida, and Crested Butte’s infamous 401. Along with the awesome biking, we ended up with some killer night scapes on the drive back, and a camp site infested with cows. Recipe for fun right?!
We were both pretty spoiled after doing all of our mountain biking in Hood River (Pierce for the whole summer, Zach for just a few weeks). But the two rides still impressed. Monarch Crest was not nearly as difficult as the warning internet pages led us to believe, and it had some killer technical sections. Perfect for our nice overpriced 29ers! Pics below:
The 401 though, was awesome. Definitely Zach’s favorite ride in CO. The scenery was ridiculous, the trails super flowy, and unusually free of rocks for a single track route in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.
Zach managed to do about 500$ in damage after he kicked up a tree branch into his rear derailleur while going Mach 1. This isn’t new for him, he pretty much breaks something every time he rides. At least that gave the rest of a group a chance to catch up to him while he had to kick and gallop the bike (now chain-less and derailleur-less ) across the flats.
He also somehow managed to shuffle/gallop about 4miles up a different trail than the rest of the group. Eventually it met up with the main road, but Pierce swept the rest of the trail to make sure Zach wasn’t stranded. Oh well, at least we got to do 4 extra miles than the rest of the crew!
Best of all might have been the dinners. We got a chance to show the other campers just how good some Chili/Oriental Ramen, Apple Chicken Sausage, and Goat Cheese can be after a calorie burning day on the trail. (Sorry no pics, too hungry).
Even the drive back home was pretty killer! Cool clouds and fog pouring over the peaks surrounding Cottonwood pass, then we got some of the clearest milky-way shooting I’ve had yet do find. Not a bad weekend we think!
Till next time!