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Team Velveeta™
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Did one of my favorite local rides yesterday. Cottonwoods are the second color sources around here: after the Aspen are done and stripped the Cottonwoods come on big time.

Photos from yesterday:


North Backbone just north of Salida, nice start

And then down in Cottonwood Gulch:







Today I'm working and it's raining. Perfect.
 

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Team Velveeta™
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mae B.

It was a great weekend down that way. Sadly, I choose to check out the Little Rainbow and was pretty disappointed... until the bottom half of Lost. Wished I'd spent more time up where you were at.
That looks like the photo is the Mae B trail. If so, it's on private land. Efforts are under way to get it blessed either by acquiring the land or an easement. It's pretty fun. Part of my routine after work ride. It was not build by SMT, but created quietly by local artisans about 7 years ago.

Little Rainbow is fine, it has its place. My GF really likes it because it's very moderate and there's much, much less traffic over there. But it's a little bland. I rode it at night then down Lost Trail one evening last week. Fun as a night ride. There are not quite as many big kitties over on that side.

Lost has been a classic for a long time. SMT didn't build that either. It was a no-tools effort, ridden in after Don McClung scouted it out and started riding it back in the 80s, or so goes the local lore.
 

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That looks like the photo is the Mae B trail. If so, it's on private land. Efforts are under way to get it blessed either by acquiring the land or an easement. It's pretty fun. Part of my routine after work ride. It was not build by SMT, but created quietly by local artisans about 7 years ago.
I've ridden it a few times, seems to hold up very well. Too bad it's not on public land, I'd hate to see it go away. Hopefully something will work out before no trespassing signs go up.

Little Rainbow is fine, it has its place. My GF really likes it because it's very moderate and there's much, much less traffic over there. But it's a little bland. I rode it at night then down Lost Trail one evening last week. Fun as a night ride. There are not quite as many big kitties over on that side.
I'm always attracted to new trails, so I couldn't resist. I told my wife she'd love it when she got done hiking S mountain with the 4 year old. That's also why we camped over by the Midland trail - so she could got a good ride in. Too bad she fell in a bunch of cactus along the way...

Lost has been a classic for a long time. SMT didn't build that either. It was a no-tools effort, ridden in after Don McClung scouted it out and started riding it back in the 80s, or so goes the local lore.
Cool. I got a tour years ago over that way and had a blast. Looks like the area I was in is closed now.
 

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Team Velveeta™
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mae B will be there

I've ridden it a few times, seems to hold up very well. Too bad it's not on public land, I'd hate to see it go away. Hopefully something will work out before no trespassing signs go up.
Doubtful that will ever happen. There would be no way to enforce it. Landowners over there are completely absent. It would be nice if we could put it on the map, but I can't see it ever being roped off.
I'm always attracted to new trails, so I couldn't resist. I told my wife she'd love it when she got done hiking S mountain with the 4 year old. That's also why we camped over by the Midland trail - so she could got a good ride in. Too bad she fell in a bunch of cactus along the way...
Owie. Ow. That's a gift that keeps on giving too. Almost impossible to get all the stickers out.
Cool. I got a tour years ago over that way and had a blast. Looks like the area I was in is closed now.
Castle Gardens was lost in the TMP about 4 years ago. It was a classic local ride, but we scored points with BLM by supporting the closure. There are still a couple nice descents off the powerline.
 

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Your bike is incorrigible
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What is Little Rainbow? I've ridden Rainbow from the top of the dirt road (210 or 212 can't remember) down to the highway. I've also ridden it from the top down a few miles to a cutoff that takes you back to the dirt road. Is that Little Rainbow? And what about this Lost? I need to know where it's located.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Little Rainbow

What is Little Rainbow? I've ridden Rainbow from the top of the dirt road (210 or 212 can't remember) down to the highway. I've also ridden it from the top down a few miles to a cutoff that takes you back to the dirt road. Is that Little Rainbow? And what about this Lost? I need to know where it's located.
The Little Rainbow was a Salida Mountain Trails project that was started and finished in late summer 2010. It's just above town to the south traversing at roughtly 7800 ft elevation, where the traditional Rainbow is around 9,000. We called it the Little Rainbow because it parallels the real Rainbow.

It's machine-built, which is what allowed it to be built so quickly. Machine build also makes it solidly beginner/intermediate, which is important for rounding out the available singletrack close to town. Seven miles of trail.

SMT's mission has always been to provide trails for all non-motorized users. The projects we undertook on the NE side of town were almost always meant to be easier than they wound up being. The terrain over there across the river is just too gnarly.

The terrain on the south side is more flowing, and the soil is glacial till, which means it's basically sand/gravel and rounded rock. So it has pretty much no exposure, it's wide, and it's relatively smooth. It can be fun taking the wide sweeping turns at speed, but it's also a great place to take kids, beginners, etc. And it rolls through some nice pinon/juniper forest.

You can get to it either from a trailhead east of town, south of hwy 50 just before the tire shop. Or you can get to the middle of it up the Burger King road. Or you can turn south just past the middle stoplight on 50 in Salida, stay straight onto the gravel and keep going to a trailhead up a couple miles from town. There are maps at salidamountaintrails.org.

A good way to use it for a more advanced ride is to go up to the big Rainbow using CR101 east of Salida, ride the Rainbow east to west, then roll down cr108 (aka the Burger King road) and hit Little Rainbow just past the powerline. Go east on Little Rainbow for about a mile then take Lost Trail on down. +- 3 hours.

That cutoff you're talking about is called California Loop, or Cali Loop in local jargon. That road is 101. It crosses into Fremont county and they may call it some other number, but it's Chaffee 101 off hwy 50, then turns into FS101 before it gets to the Rainbow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mmm, not exactly

Is Don the crazy old coot that, at least for a while, was riding a full rigid Giant ATX and slaying everyone on the trail?
Some might say Don is a little eccentric, probably curmudgeon is a more apt description. And he is not young by most definitions, and he does ride full rigid, but that's probably about all of that that applies.

Don is a framebuilder who has a bike in the Mtb Hall of Fame. He started building for the 29" wheel exclusively back before Fisher was doing it. He's a friend of Wes Williams, formerly of Crested Butte who started Willets. They both were tapped into what the 700c wheel could mean for the mountain bike quite a while before WTB was convinced by Gary Fisher to make "the tire" (the 29" Nanorapter).

Don, smoking past me on one of his bikes on the Rainbow 10 years ago, was my first exposure to the idea of building a mountain bike on the 700c wheel. He waited up for me near the end and introduced himself. His bikes are very distinctive retro designs. He makes his own strutted forks and bends seat tubes. Single speed. Horizontal Drops. No disc tabs. Believes that short cranks are the way to go.

Backyard Bike (#18) - a set on Flickr
 

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My favorite *new* ride from this summer was the Rainbow Trail starting from the top of Silver Creek Rd (CR 47?) down to Hwy 285. I was on my way home from a work trip in New Mexico and looking for a quick ride to break-up the drive. Saw a local rider parked on the side of 285 and managed to hook up with him for the ride up Silver Creek Rd and down Rainbow Trail. What an amazing stretch of single track, and easily accessible from 285.
 

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Rode Salida for the first time last weekend, well and truly enjoying Arkansas Hills and the Colorado Trail. But what really caught my attention was the brilliantly simple, elegant and effective right of way rule! Is this something completely revolutionary or do I just need to get out of Jeffco more often? :madman:
 

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Your bike is incorrigible
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Rode Salida for the first time last weekend, well and truly enjoying Arkansas Hills and the Colorado Trail. But what really caught my attention was the brilliantly simple, elegant and effective right of way rule! Is this something completely revolutionary or do I just need to get out of Jeffco more often? :madman:
You mean I have to yield to the traffic coming from up the hill?

I couldn't resist, but you know that's the way it would be interpreted by some on the front range. And, yes, I do agree that we need something simple like that on all trails.
 

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Some might say Don is a little eccentric, probably curmudgeon is a more apt description. And he is not young by most definitions, and he does ride full rigid, but that's probably about all of that that applies.

Don is a framebuilder who has a bike in the Mtb Hall of Fame. He started building for the 29" wheel exclusively back before Fisher was doing it. He's a friend of Wes Williams, formerly of Crested Butte who started Willets. They both were tapped into what the 700c wheel could mean for the mountain bike quite a while before WTB was convinced by Gary Fisher to make "the tire" (the 29" Nanorapter).

Don, smoking past me on one of his bikes on the Rainbow 10 years ago, was my first exposure to the idea of building a mountain bike on the 700c wheel. He waited up for me near the end and introduced himself. His bikes are very distinctive retro designs. He makes his own strutted forks and bends seat tubes. Single speed. Horizontal Drops. No disc tabs. Believes that short cranks are the way to go.

Backyard Bike (#18) - a set on Flickr
Met Don many years ago when he was building what I think he called "shorties", bike with super short chainstays. The bikes stem had an unusual but useful integrated feature. :lol: This was before I started boating and spending more time in Salida. Don showed a buddy of mine and I some trails and roads in the Arkansas hills area. Maybe late 80s early 90s, I can't remember for sure. It was back when Rob Walmer was putting on the CORPS race at Monarch.
 

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Team Velveeta™
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
that is a while ago

Met Don many years ago when he was building what I think he called "shorties", bike with super short chainstays. The bikes stem had an unusual but useful integrated feature. :lol: This was before I started boating and spending more time in Salida. Don showed a buddy of mine and I some trails and roads in the Arkansas hills area. Maybe late 80s early 90s, I can't remember for sure. It was back when Rob Walmer was putting on the CORPS race at Monarch.
A shortie is what he has in the MTB Hall of Fame museum. You still see a few of them around.

His 29er singlespeeds (locally known as "Don Bikes") have the wheelbase as short as he can make them. Steep-ish head tubes, bent seat tubes for tucking that rear wheel in under the rider's butt. They are a pretty harsh ride on our local rubble, but very quick and precise for a bigwheel.

That feature you refer to in the stem is still a common accoutrement of his bikes.

I think that CORPS Monarch Hill Climb race ended in around '95
 
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