It was April or May when I registered for Unpaved Pennsylvania. Jason Malec, a friend and Flaanimal pilot form Philadelphia had invited me to the ride, or was it a race? I wasn’t sure. What I did know was that Jason said that the day would be super challenging, beautiful, and would fill up quickly. There wasn’t much time to consider whether or not to go so I made haste to put my name on the starter’s list.
Fall tricks you into welcoming it with a fleeting bouquet, then unceremoniously hands you off to winter before you know what happened. Its the world’s best bait and switch.
Bailey Grinder, CO, Sept 30th 2017
Come join us for 110km (67 miles) of mixed terrain riding through Colorado’s high country during peak fall color.
Two route options will allow riders to keep things mellow and sublime on a route consisting primarily of gravel and paved backroads, or to chose a route that adds some of Colorado’s finest flowing singletrack into the overall mix.
This will be the first year of the Bailey Grind so we’re keeping it simple.
Please RSVP here so that we can get a sense of attendance. Registration is free.
We need to cap this ride at around 60 people per insurance and courtesy to other trail and road users. If registration fills up we can’t force people to stay away but it would be best to stagger the start.
- The Bailey Grinder starts at 9:00am on Saturday, Sept 30th.
- This ride is not a race. It is not timed and there are no prizes.
- This ride is self supported with water / food available at the start, at the lower parking lot of Buffalo Creek (bring a little bit of cash to donate), at the store where we join Platte River Road, in Deckers, or at the finish near Bailey. Plan on multi hour stretches before refuels!
- The course will not be marked but GPS files will be provided and cue sheets can be printed if you follow the maps below.
- This is a day to ride bikes with friends, challenge yourself, see the aspen trees turning, and sample some of Colorado’s best offerings.
- Bring clothing for inclement weather. Conditions change very quickly up high. A sunny morning can change to thunder snow in the afternoon with little warning. Consider bringing a headlight just in case.
- A cyclocross bike, gravel bike, or mountain bike will be suitable for this ride. A road bike might survive but isn’t really ideal, and definitely not on the route option that includes singletrack. A mountain bike will survive but might feel a bit sluggish out on the mellow road sections.
- The start / finish area is the same as the Bailey Hundo and has been generously donated by private owners. Be sure to be courteous and respectful of ALL private and public land that we ride on the 30th to ensure that we can continue to do this event in subsequent years with the good graces of the entire community that shares these lands and trails.
- We aren’t tracking starters and finishers. Cell phone service will be limited or completely unavailable. We won’t be out rescuing people on the course if they have a bad day so be prepared for anything, be self sufficient, and bring a friend to ride with you.
To download maps or cue sheets click on over to Blackriver.cc below.
GPS File: LINK
Cue Sheet: LINK
We start in Bailey and take gravel roads towards Wellington Lake before descending through the Buffalo Creek area into Sandy Wash. The donation supported tent provides an opportunity to fill up on water and fuel before continuing out along the Platte river where the road surface varies between degraded blacktop and gravel. Mellow, undulating roads arrive in Deckers, CO for another opportunity to refuel before heading up hero dirt roads and gravel to the Hayman Burn area. Continue climbing and descending through quiet backroads and increasing stands of aspen before climbing up and over Stoney Pass. Hang on for the ripping fun dirt descent to Wellington lake and onwards towards the finish. After ride food options in Bailey will refuel tired legs and bodies.
GPS File: LINK
We start in Bailey and take gravel roads towards Wellington Lake before dropping onto a section of Colorado Trail Segment 3. Wipe the grin off of your face then climb up some of Buff Creek’s finest singletrack before descending the main North Side singletrack descent. Re-join Sandy Wash to the Buff Creek parking lot. The donation supported tent at the lot provides an opportunity to fill up on water and fuel before continuing out along the Platte river where the road surface varies between degraded blacktop and gravel. Mellow, undulating roads arrive in Deckers, CO for another opportunity to refuel before heading up hero dirt roads and gravel to the Hayman Burn area. Continue climbing and descending through quiet backroads and increasing stands of aspen before climbing up and over Stoney Pass. Hang on for the ripping fun dirt descent to Wellington lake and onwards towards the finish. After ride food options in Bailey will refuel tired legs and bodies.
Can you do Route 2 on a CX or gravel bike? Yes! We do all the time. It takes some finesse (and as big of tires as you’d like) but rewards the adventurous rider with an incredibly fun route where even the climbs are fun. Less experienced mountain bikers may need to dismount certain sections but there is plenty of flowing singletrack on this option.
questions? contact us through the site.
Here is a sampling of what conditions may be like on the ride. The route for this year is completely unique and not identical to these videos, but these both show the Bailey, Buff Creek, Pine, Deckers, and Stoney Pass area.
Don’t expect rugged hike a bike conditions on this ride. This one is all rideable and we were careful to make it so.
The Road Not Taken
A poem by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Fall In The Rockies
Once a year, just as the aspen leaves are changing, C Lazy U Ranch opens up their network of trails to a small group of mountain bikers, or as it were in this case, a Traildonkey.