Colorado’s high plains provide ample space to conceal…just about anything. With surly ranchers to the east and mountains to the west, it is all but ensured that most citizens will travel & recreate west of Denver, and yet the thousands of square miles of rural landscape looking towards the Nebraska/Kansas border contains a sprawling network of drill rigs and dirt roads, reveling in its own kind of bleak and uncertain beauty…
We will ramble on from Legends Coffee — meet at 8, roll around 8:30 — near Aurora Reservoir towards Bijou Basin and Ridge Rd. for a 90-mile lollipop, imagining glimmers of hope in a closed-to-the-public open space, and getting the scoop on the intent behind the intent of the Great Escape mustang sanctuary and any possible connections to Bluecifer and big oil. Is this a sanctuary, or a BLM subterfuge? Is one a result of the other? And just who owns all this land, anyway? [UPDATE: we have been most graciously invited to tour the Sanctuary and learn more about The Great Escape’s mission, which should help to shed some light on these troubling questions. It is conveniently located at the route’s halfway point for a perfect cake break.] Winding back towards civilization, the Jewel Trail doubletrack promises to be particularly beguiling this time of year before it spits us out into Comanche Creek and the long road home.
82% of the route is unpaved/mixed-surface. At mile 33 we are more or less committed to finishing the loop; the only bailout is to reverse the route. Note, some sections have not been tested for bicycle travel. PLEASE COME PREPARED — There are potentially no resupply points on this route; you are responsible for your own tire/gear/food/h20 choices.
Route map HERE.
*The Denver Winter Ralleye is a monthly unsanctioned, all-weather, self-supported social ride with a focus on adventure and exploring new terrain while gaining knowledge and appreciation for the area.