Buffalo Creek (Day 2)

I woke up the next day with a pair of sore shoulders. It turns out that despite carefully choosing the spot for my tent and buying a brand new bed roll a few days before that sleeping in my tent still felt worse than sleeping on concrete. It also turned out that I didn't put enough ice in my cooler and it had all melted leaving the milk with which I had intended to make my breakfest of dubious quality. At this point I seriously considered just packing up and heading home but then decided that would be stupid and a waste of a day. Instead I grabed a Clif Bar packed up my truck and jumped on my bike for one last run. 

This time I decided to take Baldy all the way up to where it meets up with Gashouse and decend the entirety of Gashouse. For some reason the hills didn't seem quite as steep this morning and I made a pretty good pace up the Baldy at first. It turned out however that Baldy was pretty much a constant climb up about 1,100 feet over roughly 4 miles and after about 20 minutes I was down in my lowest gear huffing and puffing. Still I was able to make the entire ascent with out any extended stops, though there were a few times I had to get off and walk for a minute or so. 

I made it to the top after about 45 minutes, excited to finally capture some decent footage with Go Pro when I heard the dreaded seven-fold beep. Despite charging it from my laptop last night my Go Pro had only about an hours worth of battery life and of course died right before the good part (just like in Breckenridge). Despite the lack of any video evidence I can assure you that the upper half of the Gashouse decent was even better than the lower half I had done the day before. It had nice flow with occasional technical features spred out far enough to allow a better rider than me to real get some speed going. If I had any doubts about why this set of trails was spoken of so highly they were eviserated by the gashouse decent.

Once I got back to the lower intersection between Gashouse and Baldy I wanted to go up again but as I had drank most of my water already and could feel my muscles starting to get fatigued I head back to the truck. After swaping my sweat drenched t-shirt for a clean one I threw my bike in the back of my truck and headed back down to Colorado Springs.

I really don't understand why any one lives any place that doesn't have mountains.  

Buffalo Creek (Day 1)

Got lucky last week and my two days off just happened to be on the 4th of July. Not wanting to waste such an opportunity to get out and enjoy America The Beautiful, I reserved a camp site at the Buffalo Campground.

I woke up early on the fourth (but not too early) threw my bike and my backpacking gear in my truck and headed up to the Buffalo Creek area to check out the #1 trail on Singletracks.com.

The Buffalo Creek area is only about an hour and a half away from Colorado Springs. You just head up Highway 24 hand a right on to Colorado 67 and keep going straight until you get there. Most of the trail heads and campgrounds are off of Forest Road 550, which isn't marked terribly well. If you hit the Historic Mountain "Town" of Buffalo Creek you have gone too far. There are quite a few single camp sites right off the road but the Buffalo Camground is about 5 miles down 550. Forest Road 550 is plenyt wide but has some of the worst washboarding I have ever experinced. 

The Buffalo campground it self it quite nice (my campsite is pictured above) and perfectly located for mountain biking. There is a spur behing camp site 22 and 20 which meets up with the colorado trail between the the two turn offs for the Green Mountain Loop and about 5 other trail heads are within 10 minutes by bike.

My first day I picked up a old fireroad about 50 yards west of the camground enterance and took that most of the way back to 67. Most of the Buffalo Creek trails cross or have a trail head on this fireroad so it makes a good starting point. After scouting out all the trails I decied to head back up the fireroad can grab the Baldy trail up to Lower Gashouse. After a pretty though ascent I made it to main Gashouse trail head. This trail head can be reached by car off of Forestroad 550 and is the demarcation line between lower and upper Gashouse. At this point I turned around a enjoyed a well earned and very easy descent down Lower Gashouse and head back to camp.

Buffalo Creek / Lower Gashouse / Mountain Bike from Ben Ulfers on Vimeo.

At this point it was getting pretty hot and I was pretty worn out after doing over 9 miles and 1,000 feet of ascent. Nap Ops were in order but the sun was now beating down directly on my tent. Luckily I drive a truck so I just grabed my pillow and my bedroll and took a quick snoozer in the truckbed.

After grabing some lunch (A sandwhich of Ham, Chicken, and Swiss toasted in a frying pan) a front of clouds rolled in and tempatures dropped a bit. I was a little concerned about the possibility of a storm but once I was fairly sure I wasn't going to get caugth in a thunderstorm I grabed my bike and headed out for a quick jaunt down the colorado trail. Rather than take the spur from the back of camp I headed west down 550 and picked up the trailhead proper. The colorado trail was definetly a step up in technical difficult from Baldy and Gashouse and there were more then a few spots I was forced to walk my bike. The real leason I learned however is that I need to carry extra batteries for my GoPro as it died right before getting to the interesting parts of this trail (Just like in Breckenridge...Grrr). I took the trail a couple miles just to the second turn off for the green mountain loop and then headed back and took the spur back down into the Buffalo Campground. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing, starting to read the Lord of the Rings again, and wishing that I had brought some type of chair to sit on. Mostly though I was thinking about what trails I would hit tomorrow.

 

Garden of The Gods as seen from a Mountain Bike

Took this video a week or so ago in the Mountain Bike area of Garden of the Gods. It is just a quick run around the main loop which put me on top of the leader board for this segment on strava. Which of course would be alot more impressive if I hadn't created the segment. 

If you haven't been to Garden of The Gods it really is a great park but only a small area of it is approved for mountain biking. This loop covers about a third of the Mountain Biking/Multi Use area. It isn't the most technical of areas but is a great place for beginners like me as it has a few challenging features as well as stretches of easier singletrack. No single trail is very long but there are quite a few crisscrossing loops which can be linked together to make runs of up to 4 or 5 miles without repeating any sections.

Twitter Gripe

I have two main gripes with twitter. First there is no way to sync which tweets I have read across clients and/or devices. So I end up spending a minute or so every time I switch to a different device just trying to find where I left off on my other devices. 
My other gripe is that some twitter clients read in chronological order, some in reverse chronological order and some (I am looking at you Mac OS X Twitter App) have you read in one direction or the other depending on how you switch to the app. 
Hit the blue birdie in your menu bar?
BAM right to the top of your Twitter feed, time to scroll down and find where you left off or read you tweets "backwards".
Switch to the Twitter app via ANY OTHER METHOD and the app picks up right from where you left it.

New Camera

Just picked up a new camera, a GoPro​ HD Hero 2. First impressions: awesome.  I picked up the outdoor edition which comes with a few adhesive mounts, a helmet mount, and a headlamp style mount. I also bought the GoPro suction sup mount which is well worth the $30. I doubt I will be making any videos quite as exciting as the one linked above but I hope to be able to use it to document and share my adventures around the great state of colorado

Squarespace 6

I got my squarespace 6 invite a few days ago and have since been messing around with the new platform over at betaulf.sqsp.com. I am going to be cross posting all of my post at both this new site and here at the old one. From the looks of it I will probably move this site over to squarespace 6 once it is out of beta (Assuming the pricing is similar). So for now feel free to continue to use this site or jump over to the new one. I am going to be setting up a domain (beta.ulfers.org) so if you would like to access the version 6 site directly that URL should be up and running in a couple days.