I have just returned from a 10 day road trip through nine states and 4000 miles. Along the way I made sure to check out the local trails whenever possible. What a great experience to explore new trails and roads outside of my comfort zone.After stops in Arkanas & Texas I was finally able to get out for a couple of trail rides near Ft. Worth, Texas. My first ride was at Sansom Park in the 104 degree heat. It was a huge mistake not getting out earlier in the morning. The trails were dug out along the slopes of Lake Worth and were a crazy mix of insanely rocky and technical features with that Northshore feel. There were no trail signs and after 90 minutes of circling around lost, I was cooked. The only flat section of trail: Cedar Hill State Park. This D.O.R.B.A. (Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association) trail was recommended by many. I arrived at an empty trailhead and I was immediately impressed by the signage. This simple sign was a welcome sight.
Next, it was off to Cloudcroft, New Mexico (elevation 8600 feet) for a few days. My plan was to squeeze in a short ride before my brothers 3pm wedding on Saturday. I rode down to the local bike shop to ask for trail directions. The bored teen behind the counter gave be a map and pointed out the door of the shop to the valley across the road. Having followed his advice I was immediately lost within 15 minutes. Following the provided map was a mix of scavenger hunt and the Great Race. I slowly figured out the loop and battled the elevation and trail in the process. I knew I had to keep drinking to avoid dehydration, yet, I was heaving trouble drinking while I was gasping for air. I completed the short loop and made it back in time for the wedding. It was really great riding in the dry western forests. STRAVA link:After the wedding it was time to bail and head to Durango, Colorado. New Mexico was OK, but Colorado has always been a special place for me. I stayed at my brothers house between Durango & Silverton at an elevation of 8320 feet. I mention the altitude because it seemed like I was in a perpetual state of thirst combined with a low grade headache. I must be getting old as I have never felt the ill effects of altitude in such a way. My first outing was a road ride up Hwy. 550 north toward Silverton. What stood between me and Silverton was the steep grades of Coal Bank Pass and Molas Pass.
I swapped bikes and headed back up the road to the Durango Mountain Resort (Purgatory). The 1990 World Cup course is still marked and I rode the trail to the top of the mountain. Long, slow uphills followed by short, fast downhills. Repeat.