Would you rather hike or mountain bike 20+ miles? Would you rather carry all your gear with you, or have someone deliver it to your campsite? Would you rather sleep in a tent or in a bed in a dry cabin? This may not be very 'Colorado' of me, but I choose the latter option on all these questions! Lucky for me, and the four others that joined me on my most recent adventure, Colorado Backcountry Biker had the perfect set-up for me and my needs. Our only job was to bike 15-27 miles between huts and carry just enough water and snacks to get us through it. For me, that meant a 15L pack with a 1.5L water bladder, a couple of snicker bars and a PB&J sandwich. My provisions were totally perfect....except for the day my husband got us "lost"!
We started bright and early at CBB's bike shop in Fruita, Colorado to review the map and get some helpful hints about interesting parts of the trail. I got a little worried when Kevin, CBB owner and the mastermind of these trips, told us that a beaver dam, 7 miles into our first day, would require some ingenuity to get across it, but assured us we would find our way, somehow. He was right!
In addition to crossing a beaver dam, our first day involved 15 miles of biking, some hike a bike up a short canyon wall, some lovely cross country trails, a little bit of slick rock, and a few miles on a backcountry road. Riding up to the hut was a relief; I was tired from the early morning wake-up call and from the heat. Luckily for all of us, the hut was well stocked with beer, Truly, sweet treats, chips and salsa, burgers, corn on the cob, brussel sprouts, and several types of fresh fruit. Food always taste better after a day of physical activity, but this food seriously tasted great; better than most things I make for myself at home! After filling our bellies with plenty of food and drink, we had a nice visit from the 'neighborhood horses' followed by a lovely sunset and a comfortable sleep in the cozy hut.
Day two allowed us several route choices of various lengths and experiences. As a group we choose the 'medium length' trip of 20 miles that involved a fantastic section of single track through the aspens, some technical downhill, and a mid-day stop at a reservoir. We had grandiose plans of swimming and washing our hair in the water but neither of those things happened due to the green algae look of the water. After the reservoir we got 'off track' (aka LOST!) which led to an additional 7 miles of biking! If it was amazing single track, I would be less upset, but it was on a dirt thoroughfare for RVs and Razors which resulted in plenty of dust in my mouth, ears, and eyes. And then I ran out of water! Luckily, one of my group members had some extra and was kind enough to share with me. We eventually made it to hut #2 and the scenery was even more impressive than the first night. And so was the food! The menu for the second night included kebobs, cedar planked salmon, and asparagus followed by nearly endless options for sweet treats. Another night around the fire and a much needed good night's sleep in the dry cabin helped us prepare for our third and final day.
Day three started with another delicious breakfast of cheesy eggs, hashbrowns, avocados, and toast which was perfect preparation for another 25 miles of mountain biking. Overall, it was a great day for our group, just not for me. My rear brakes decided they were done working about 5 miles into the day. No rear breaks are not ideal in most biking situations, but it was especially not ideal for our day of biking that involved 4500ft of elevation loss. After a few sketchy moves I decided to change my tactic and spent more time walking with my bike than I care to admit. It was still a great day with some epic views on the Uncompahgre Plateau through the Dominguez Canyon. We all arrived safely at our destination just in time for lunch and a cocktail at Gateway Canyons Resort.
Then we did the most Colorado thing of the weekend...we sat on I70 in traffic for several hours on the way home to Denver.
Overall, I give our mountain bike hut trip experience at 10 out of 10. Although the mountain biking wasn't as spectacular as the purpose built single track meccas of Fruita and Moab, the cross-country trails and the comfort of the huts made up for it.
NEXT UP: Grand Canyon RV Trip to run Rim to Rim (north to south) in 3 weeks!
Dr Jessica Klain PT, DPT, COMT, CSCS, OCS, CNPT
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT)
Certified Nutritional Physical Therapist (CNPT)
Certified Vestibular Specialist
Certified Concussion Specialist
Trigger Point Dry Needling Certified, Level 1&2
Certified Yoga Teacher
University of Florida, Doctorate in Physical Therapy (2009)
The Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science in Biology (2006) Jessica@physioyogaandwellness.com