This past week sure was a good time with little work, many family and friends, lots of good food and a bunch of riding. Being Thanksgiving and a time for family traditions, we at Rodeo Labs have a southern tradition of our own, the Black Friday Rodeo Rally. This tradition started a few years ago between Jeff Thayer and me looking for an escape from Thanksgiving activities, the need for being outdoors and training miles for the upcoming Snake Creek Gap Time Trial Series.
I remember seeing this ride pop up on Nick’s Strava in 2018. Phantom Canyon? Where is that? Out of nowhere he took off on a bike ride with some friends and came back with a huge load of beautiful images and a ride title to the effect of “So beautiful my eyes hurt”. I got that sort of bike envy that we all get when friends go off and do awesome things without us.
Black Friday Rodeo Rally
Hosted by: Rodeo Adventure Labs – https://www.rodeo-labs.com/
11/24/17 @ 8:30am
Start/Parking Location: Jake Mountain Parking Lot
Black Friday Rodeo Rally welcomes you to ride 47.3 miles with us amid North Georgia’s Blue Ridge WMA dirt roads, forests, streams and mountains instead of hordes of pushy shoppers, fake mall Santa’s and cheeseballs and summer sausages. The route is a good mix of gravel/pave (70/30) ranging from flat and smooth to remote forest service roads. Oh, and don’t mind the little climbs up Nimblewill and Noontoola they will give you plenty of time to look within….
The Rodeo Rally that we threw with Via Bicycle Cafe was too much fun for a single post, so here’s a second helping featuring our video edit of the day’s adventure. We had SO. Much. Fun. out there with everyone. See y’all soon!
Beer, watermelon, cool air, way-past-midnight tacos, are the natural ingredients to fuel the night ride. When the light fades and the dark blankets the trail, some go to bed. Others heed the rally cries to pedal. We all came looking for something – what I’m not sure – but I reveled in mystery riding at night. Rarely do I feel lost while riding a bike. When your vision is dulled, your other senses heighten, and your sense of place is muddied. Throw in good company, old + new, and you have a night rally.
Come ride one of Denver’s longest and most historic stretches of gravel with us… at night!
The Highline Canal is a gorgeous, serpentine gem of a route that cuts diagonally through Denver from Waterton Canyon all the way out past Aurora. The route is almost completely flat and promises to be a great time.
We’re riding south to north, meeting at Mineral Station in Littleton at 8:30pm.Feel free to ride down to Mineral station to the meetup just hop on the light rail and pop off to join up.
Josh is the ride leader on this one. His cell is: 303-807-6776.
Front and rear lights are a must. Perhaps a mid-ride stop for a quick beverage. Some general shenanigans along the way. And of course we will stop for every possible photo op imaginable…
The full Highline route is 75 miles with 1,400 ft. elevation gain, but with so many places to join or exit as needed you can tailor this ride to your ambition.
This is a “come one, come all” style rally. Speed isn’t the priority.
Extra style points for anyone dressed in rodeo-themed attire…
Planned for Oct 14, 2017, CO. Come rally with us in an entirely new area of Colorado. We’ve scouted the roads and conditions and views are more than prime. Check out the planned route after the break and stay tuned to this page for updates.
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.
Join us Saturday, June 10th, 2017 for a Rodeo Rally in and around the heart of Shenandoah County, VA. While slightly less challenging than it’s big brother, the 135-km Gravel Ring will challenge adventurous riders with multiple traverses of the east and west Massanutten ridges as it encircles Fort Valley and surrounding towns.
(click title for full post)
Today is almost exactly the three year anniversary of when we started Rodeo Labs in 2014. On that day Peder Horner and myself had some beer and ate some pie at Denver Bike Cafe while dreaming up the beginnings of this circus. We scribbled some names on some paper and laughed a lot as we considered the possibilities that starting from scratch allowed us.