Hike-a-bike

Usually, it's something to be avoided. The dreaded hike-a-bike. Instead of steady pedaling up fun trails, hike-a-bike involves pushing, carrying or dragging my bike up unridable trails - or trails that would take more energy then it's worth to ride. Most people - myself included - try to plan routes to ride our bikes, not take them for a stroll. But...

There are two seperate hike-a-bikes seperating aid station one and aid station two during Vapor Trail 125. A short, maybe 10 minutes to the roof of the continent over the Alpine Tunnel. And then dreaded Canyon Creek - 30 minutes at least of shelping my bike over rocky steps and up boulders. At night, at 12,000 feet.  Those two sections are both challenging under any circumstances - it will be a different world at night, with miles under the tires already. Hike-a-bike is a skill, like hucking off rocks or finding the right lines thru tight trails. But it's not a fun skill, so gets neglected until absolutely needed and then we find ourselves cursing the same machine that will provide hours of fun.

We wanted to make sure that doesn't happen. So instead of avoiding the hike-a-bike and searching out fun singletrack, this weekend was all about the hike-a-bike. On Saturday, we had a nice plan on the map with two separate sections of hike-a-bike. The first, in the shadow of St Peters's dome, was actually mostly rideable, but that wasn't the point. The point was to get comfortable pushing or carrying my bike. I know that the Stumpy carries a little differently then my Camber, but the general idea is the same. That was a pretty easy little chunk of hiking, but Nick warned me the next would be harder. And it was - a wide, rock filled trail marked by cairns, leading straight up the slope. It was like a mini canyon creek, but without the altitude! And it was hard - finding solid footing among the loose rocks, and figuring out how to drag the bike up the slope. Practice for later...
Pushing my bike near the top of the second hike-a-bike. Practice makes easier...


The trail led to an overlook reviealing views of the city and surrounding mountains. We could see the next trail we wanted - across the valley. We needed to get on one of the jeep roads to get back to the trail. But it was a network of faint roads back there - we took a few sucker trails, but finally made it to the trail junction. Just like at canyon creek, the hike-a-bike would be followed by a fun descent. We ended up taking St Mary's down instead of Pipeline - it was getting late and storms were building..
 
Nick surveying the spiderweb of trails and roads from the top of the hike-a-bike


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