Thursday, July 15, 2010

Boreas Pass adventure ride

The mountains of Colorado are not conducive to road rides that are anything but out-and-back, and I much prefer loops. In my quest to do a loop, I plotted out a ride that included a dirt road over Boreas Pass out of Breckenridge. Unfortunately I only brought my road bike with narrow tire and caliper clearances. Fortunately I was able to find some 700x28 hybrid tires that were on clearance for half off that just barely fit! I asked around and heard that the road was very do-able; it follows a former railroad grade, and is all hard-packed dirt.

I was pretty excited to make this ride happen, and I'm glad I did. Boreas Pass Rd. offered amazing views, and it was a very non-technical road. I was able to cruise along nicely on the road bike, and got quite a few looks from hikers and mountain bikers as I zipped by. The descent was a lot of fun too; nice and straight and gradual, and very do-able in my highest gear. Right near the top was a a section that would be bad for those with vertigo, as the road narrowed and the side dropped straight down!

The route between the end of Boreas Pass and was not particularly pleasant; 285 was a busy highway with no shoulder, and Hwy 9 was also busy with an annoying "bike path" beside it. Because of a stiff headwind and no shoulder on Hwy 9, I used the bike path into Alma. There were a couple nice views, and Fairplay had a fun sign that showed Kenny from South Park pointing to some local businesses. Fairplay is the town in Park County on which the South Park show is based. Nearby is an historic town called South Park.

In Alma I met up with Sascha who had come there over Hoosier Pass from Breckenridge. After some coffee we headed back to Breckenridge over Hoosier Pass, which is on the Continental Divide. A fun and scenic ride today!