Foose's Loop

Day two. After a quiet night camped at the base of Fooses, we woke to a thick layer of clouds coating the mountains. Hummm ... We were planning on climbing back up into those clouds. As we ate breakfast and got organized to ride, we watched the clouds floating by -forming and dissipate only to reform. All the while, blue sky teased us from behind the clouds. We dressed a little warmer and set off back up North Fooses - this time we would take the power line road all the way. More steady pedaling and climbing. Once we hit the gate and started climbing in earnest, it was mix of pedaling and pushing. Easier then following the stream the day before, but still a hard stretch. The clouds closed down for a bit, fine rain misting down all around us. As we reached the Crest Trail, the sun finally broke through but it wasn't warm. I put on my wind jacket and we headed down the trail. We were just in front of the 10:00 shuttle and Nick wanted to stay that way. I was trying, but tired. A few guys from the 10:00 shuttle did catch us - oh well. We must have been riding different trails - both Nick and I were bundled up and all the guys who caught us were just in shorts and jerseys. I can't imagine - the wind was biting and the temperature plummeted with every cloud that drifted across the sky. 
One of the few glimpses we had of the mountains - after the ride.
Then came the drop into Fooses. I've only ridden past it - once or twice stopping to look at the steep, rocky descent. The trail plummets from the alpine tundra down into the trees. It looks like miles below the main trail. Nick didn't give me a chance to look and get freaked out. He just dropped in, leaving me to follow him. Seat down all the way, eyes on the trail, let the bike roll. After the intial steep drop, we were protected from the wind. Time to add a layer or two for the rest of the ride.

Pushing up the powerline road. Yes - it's that steep!
Fooses was so different then Greens. Greens was fast, flowing with roots and rocks and pushed me to my limits in speed and processing. Fooses was still rooty, but also wet and chunky. Big chunky rocks littering narrow singletrack. My processing and line assessment was still pushed to the limit, but more with picking the right line and smoothest line. I had to slow down more then I wanted to be able to find my lines. No soil sampling this time, but I had to unclip and walk a few sections. It was a challenge for sure, but worth the climb. As we dropped lower and lower into the trees, the trail smoothed out a little. I was able to open up a little and let the Camber fly. Aspen leaves littered the trail, a corridor of gold. There was no time to take photos - instead just a quick glance around to remember the image. Then attention back to the trail. I could tell we were getting closer as we crisscrossed the creek and the grade lessened. I was almost sorry to see it end - and immediately began plotting ways to utilize the North Fooses climb to link together some awesome big days. Yikes.
Coming down Foose's - trying to stay focused through one of many rock gardens

If there's a rock, he will ride over it...
We did finish just in time. Back in Salida, discussing plans for some monster rides next year, we watched the heavens open and a downpour engulf the mountains where we'd been riding. 


  1. Gr8 Photos From Colorado!! Thanx So Much For Sharing!! Stay Strong


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