On the way to Estes Park, Colorado we stopped by a new trail for us. Centennial Cone Park is rated by most as an intermediate level trail and is about 13 miles in length. My main goal today was to have Carolynn ride the entire trail system. On past rides out here in Colorado altitude seems to get the best of her and she ends up not riding the entire planned route. Today would be different, I could just feel it.
Located in Idaho Springs, Colorado, Centennial Cone Park is a Jefferson County Open space park. We decided to run the trails clockwise and started with some easy double track across some open fields and ranches. There was some climbing, but nothing bad. It was actually a little boring and Christopher sure did not look like he was having fun. For a few miles there I was thinking "how did this trail get such high rankings?"
We made it across the old homesteads and fields to another trailhead. We decided to wait until Carolynn arrived and regroup. Travois trail was up next. This is the main trail and hopefully it was single track because I could tell Christopher's motivation was lacking after he completed the Elk Range trail.
Luck for us the Travois trails is awesome. Plenty of great single track with great views. Some of the trails are rather technical and Carolynn did a great job on her new Giant 29er.
After taking the Evening sun loop we caught up to Carolynn. Just 10 minutes prior Christopher was ready to head back and now just look at him - all smiles and ready for a great day of riding. Carolynn continued on the Travois trail and we opted for another quick loop of the Evening sun.
Christopher settled into the climbs and I had a very hard time staying with him. I did very well on the steady climbs, but the step rocky stuff he left me behind (hence no pictures of him climbing the rocks).
The climbs are not bad on the trail which was good for all of us. Like I mentioned before, I really wanted Carolynn to do the entire loop by herself. I think my positive reinforcement before the ride really helped. On top of the second climb she was doing great and riding strong.
Yes I made it.....it is always a great feeling reaching the top of any climb. Time to celebrate for sure.
A short stop on top and then we headed back downhill for a couple of miles of just beautiful riding. We really got hauling on these downhills. It scared the heck out of me a couple of times. I put a good gap on Christopher on one section, but later found out it was because his rear end broke lose due to over braking and he nearly went off the side of the mountain. After that he took it easy the remainder of the ride
Carolynn continued to ride well and handled the fast descents well.
A the bottom we were treated to a little rest and a cool bridge. Time for a few photos and refuel for the next long climb.
The next few miles were all up hill. Plenty of switchbacks which caused me trouble. Christopher seems to handle them much better. Balance is key and commitment is key to make them, especially if you crash you could fall a few hundred feet.
Another fast and very fun descent was the reward after our long climb.
The views are great and every couple of miles I would stop and wait for Carolynn, and let my brakes cool down just enjoy the view.
Carolynn at the finish was tired and her legs were dead, but she did it. She kept her fuel intake up and stayed hydrated just like I told her to and she was able to conquer Centennial Cone and most importantly high altitude riding.