Night Time at Red Rocks

I should know better then to try to lead a group ride at Red Rocks - I rarely ride there during the day and only know a few of the trails really well. So when Nick asked if I wanted chaperons (him and Cameron) for yesterday's ride, I quickly agreed. Stacy and Lonna don't usually ride there either and having the boys around would be good. They know all the trails and the easiest ways to connect between singletrack fun. With that said, it was the perfect night to ride at Red Rocks.

As we started on the first section of single track - Codell's trail, a newish trail that traces the top of one of the ridges, we were treated to the moon rise. The just past full moon gleamed pumpkin orange, ringed by low clouds. There were plenty of times I had to remind myself to keep my eyes on the trail instead of moon watching! A chilly wind cut through the air, but otherwise it was a perfect night for ride. Codell's is a fun trail and riding it at night was cool. One of the few trails in the area with white rocks and those rocks reflected our lights brilliantly. Night riding is a lot of fun and it's even better when there's fun people around to enjoy it

After the singletrack of Codell's it was time for a long dirt road climb that gave us all a chance to catch up. Stacy had plenty of tales from her Arizona adventures over Thanksgiving. There were a few more lights down below us, but we really had the trails to ourselves. Awesome - and the noise of the city was muffled by the clouds. We decided to ride the Hog's Back - a fun, rocky trail. It's one of those where you can't ride easy - you have to power through the rock gardens, but keep an eye on the timing of pedal strokes to be able to clean it. I frequently ride that trail to work on my technical skills and balance at slow speeds. But it's different at night - no distractions. Just me and the ribbon of rock filled single track. Focus on the trail and where you want to put your bike.

Once we dropped back down into the quarry area and Red Rocks proper, I started seeing wildlife. A fox ran up the trail in front of us for a while - I got a good glimpse of his bushy tail and red fur. There were plenty of deer bedding down for the night, at least two large herds. They all stared at us, watching us riding by. At first, all I could see were the eyes, glowing in the night. But looking closer, the rest of the animal could be seen. Some of them were sitting down, so it just looked like a field of eyes in the grass. I did see one other predator set of eyes - the forward set, both eyes staring at me in the darkness was the give away. Bigger then a fox, but all I caught was the short glimpse.... Most likely a coyote! Nick, Cam and I got serenaded by a pack of coyotes as we rode through Bear Creek to get home!

Next week - another night ride, but with new trails to explore.

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