If only I could have experienced my lifelong hobby of mountain-biking in reverse geographic order - the Rocky Mountains early in life, the glory of the Pacific Northwest and NorCal later. Alas - my early years of mountain-biking were spent on the fireroads around Silver Creek Falls, Abiqua Falls and Butte Creek Falls of the Willamette Valley foothills. It wasn't until the early 90's that I discovered single track by way of Central Oregon and eventually the valley. From there I've been on a continual exploration of the proliferate single track from as far north as Terrace, British Columbia, to as far south as the Monterrey/Laguna Seca trails made famous by Sea Otter. I've even managed a day of remote single track on the South Island of New Zealand.
So why this post. Well - after a solid 24 years of mountain-biking so much of that deluxe, buffed-out smooth-rolling single track (with favorites including Marin, Galbraith, Oakridge) - I now find myself exploring the abundant, but rocky, trails of the Front Range of Colorado. There are some bad ass trails along the Front Range - but this old man's lower back is having a hard time sucking up the abusive, unrelenting shocks of the baby-head-laden trails that riddle these trails. There are a few gems here and there - but by and large - they're all ridiculously rock infested and punishing. NOTHING like the fluffy downhill single track I'd grown accustomed to on the West Coast. And we're not talking about the occasional rock - we're talking chunky, solid granite in every shape and size imaginable, half-buried in all of the most inconvenient spots of the trail imaginable - miles of it. Am I complaining? Well... yes - a little. I am fortunate to have several good rides from my door in Boulder, but there really is a lack of smooth, bomber single track here. Will I get used to it? Probably not. Will I continue to complain? Probably. Will it turn me into a roadie? Not this decade - no thanks. :)