Crested Butte...

Two days - two classic rides based on the intel we had. I'm sure there's other, more epic loops we could have done, but  that will come another day. After saying goodbye to Gunnison and the comforts of the KOA, it was time to head up to see the Doctor. Doctor's Park, that is. After parking at the end of the trail, it was time to climb. A nice steady road climb up Spring Creek Canyon gave us plenty of time to scope out possible campsites for the night. Since neither one of us knew what the coming singletrack would be like, we kept the pace easy. Just pedaling, enjoying the quite and the scenery. The road was pretty gentle and we made decent time to the creek crossing. Then came the jeep road climb - a little steeper and a little harder! Without a really good map, we stuck to the main route - even though other trails and roads led temptingly off in other directions. We did to the bonus loop, out overlooking the valley and where the Gunnison spur of the CT headed north. Fun riding - narrow singletrack alternating between meadows and trees, with the remnants of the flowers still showing some brilliance. The views were huge and the amount of traffic was perfect - even on a Sunday afternoon, the only group of people we saw were a bunch of motos. And they were cool - they were coming down one of the climbs as we were climbing up. All of them pulled over to the side of the trail to let us come through - not something you see everywhere.
Nick actually posing for a photo! On the Doctor's bonus loop

And then came the descent. Interesting to say the least. Nothing super challenging at the speed I was riding at, but it could get tricky in a hurry as you went faster. There were quite a few places where over the rocks and in the air were definitely the best lines. Fun, but over too quickly as we dropped the switchbacks into the campground.
The apex predator of the campsite - a fearsome chipmunk!

The following day was the Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman's loop, except we did it as Bear-Deadman's-Reno-Flag, without going up or down the 28 switchbacks at the start and end. We were already on Spring Creek Road, so it wasn't much to drive the rest of the way up to the reservoir and start the loop there. Much easier then driving back into town and figuring out where to park for the "traditional" start. We had been told that this was another one of the awesome loops that CB offered, with prime singletrack, great views and fun descents. By starting out on Bear Creek Trail we got the best descent done early in the ride, just before the climb up out of Deadman's Gulch.

One of the views from Reno Ridge road. There were plenty more just like this one.
Again, we stayed on the main route and didn't get tempted by the other trails leading off into the forests. Deadman and Reno seemed like all climbing - steady ascents of the meadowed gulches, winding in and out of the aspen and pin groves. The dirt was good and the trails fun. A long stretch of road along Reno Ridge and finally the last descent down Flag Creek. With all the climbing we'd been doing, we were both hoping for a big payoff like at Doctor's Park. No luck - just another fast, flowing trail through meadows and crossing the creek. It was fun, but just didn't seem worth the elevation gain (I say that now...) Part of it was where we started - Bear Creek trail was fantastic and super fun. And that's supposed to be near the finish of the loop.

So we need to go back to CB, with a better map and more time to play. I know there's a lot more riding there and we haven't even touched the options of trails and epic loops.


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