Mountain Trip Safety: What I Do Before I Go

Storm over Grays and Torreys

I’ve put myself into some pretty stupid situations of my own making. It’s sometimes amazing even to me that I’ve gotten out of a few of them relatively unscathed. Like that one time I thought it would be absolutely brilliant to ride from Denver pedaling a completely overloaded trailer-laden bike with all my gear, then make my camp on top of a ridgeline at 13,000′ where an old mining road ended, 60 miles later:

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Segment #4 posted – Bikepacking to the Colorado 14ers: Front Range

Creek Crossing on FS 505

I’ve released my first draft of Segment #4 of the Front Range bikepacking guide to the CO 14ers:

Tour 14er Front Range Segment 4
Tour 14er Front Range Segment 4

Segment #4 takes from around Georgetown to the base of Longs Peak! The MTB narrative rushes you down Argentine Pass to a resupply in Idaho Springs, then up Oh My God Road, to a mixed surface route to the trailhead.

Switchbacks with steep dropoffs! Ghost towns! 4WD mania! Alpine singletrack!

Creek Crossing on FS 505
Creek Crossing on FS 505

The Road narrative takes the same dizzying switchbacks of Oh My God Road to Richmond Street in Black Hawk, where you’ll wander up a steep, rough road up to the Peak to Peak highway. Peak to Peak is a ultra-classic road route in of itself, featuring wide-shouldered riding, perfect for all the rubber necking you’ll be doing because of the mountain views.

I’ve taken a ton of time to scout out free, dispersed, legal campsites near the East Longs Peak Trailhead – such opportunities get tight, as private property encroaches close to the route. But I think we’ve got some good ones.

Chasm Lake at sunrise, Longs Peak
Chasm Lake at sunrise, Longs Peak

Finish the Segment off with a summit of Longs Peak! The absolute Monarch of the Front Range and of Rocky Mountain National Park! All that’s left down is rocket you back to Golden – and that’ll be Segment #5.

Work in Progress

Bikepacking to the Colorado 14ers is currently being written and published publicly. Get news and updates by joining the Facebook group, Instagram, Twitter, subreddit, and mailing list.

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Segment #3 posted – Bikepacking to the Colorado 14ers: Front Range

Stevens Gulch from the east

I’ve released my first draft of Segment #3 of the Front Range bikepacking guide to the CO 14ers:

Tour 14er Front Range Segment 3
Tour 14er Front Range Segment 3

Segment #3 takes you from Guanella Pass, up and over Argentine Pass, and deposits you in Horseshoe Basin, to tackle Grays and Torreys from Grays’ South Ridge Route. Georgetown is used as a resupply point. Enjoy!

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Spotlight: Nite Ize Lights

Red Radiant 125 with an alternative bombproof mounting using a Nite Ize Gear Tie

Note: these products were provided to me by Nite Ize to demo without caveat. I would like to thank them for their generosity. All opinions are mine. Interested in me checking out your gear?

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Bikepacking Longs Peak Chapter has been Released

I’ve released the first draft chapter of what is hopefully going to be a full-fledged guidebook on bikepacking to the Colorado 14ers. It’s about my favorite mountain to ride bikes to: Longs Peak.

Check it out, and share your feedback. I’ll be moving forward with other mountains in the Front Range, as well as chapters on topics brought up from the survey.

I’ve decided to write this book in small pieces and share drafts of the chapters publicly. I’m doing so for a lot of reasons which I’ll expound upon in a separate post.

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Access

Mount Massive TH - the bike stays here.

The State of Colorado features a land mass that’s one third Public Land! This makes access to this land for hiking, camping, and riding extremely plentiful.

There are some finer points to consider when designing your own trip:

National Forest/BLM Land

Unless otherwise posted, access for dispersed camping is available on most National Forest and BLM land.

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