Monday, June 16, 2014

Canyon Perms Ready for You to Ride

While last September's flood still has an impact on our riding in local canyons, and a number of Permanents remain off the riding list, there are some you can ride now and have some fun with:

What these routes have in common - with their temporary re-routing - is scenic Lefthand Canyon (and yes, that's a dirt section in the photo):

Of course the re-routing means that the James Canyon Jaunt offers you just a brief glance at James Canyon, as you bike past - since it's only open to residents.   Same for the Brainard Lake Breeze.

The irony is that, despite its 29 dirt segments in the lower two-thirds of the canyon, in contrast to the CDOT highways which actively discourage cyclists, Lefthand is only signposted "possibly adverse" (to everyone).

What you will get ascending or descending Lefthand is less traffic (as Forest Service areas are closed, and  non-residents can't visit the Jamestown Mercantile) ... and a rustic ambience.  But descending, you need to read the dirt sections for washboard, potholes, irregular surfaces, and possible issues when wet.  And ascending or descending, where the flood scoured away the entire creekside lane, you will be sharing the road with oncoming traffic.

I rode the revised Brainard Lake Breeze on June 14, which reminded me how scintillating this ride can be:

Now is a great time of year to ride this one, because you can get wonderful conditions, but the road is still barricaded at the entrance, so you are only sharing the road with hikers, dogs, and some other cyclists. 

Then again, it may not be smooth sailing all the way to the Mitchell Lake trailhead:

Finally, it's worth mentioning another great canyon perm, a bit further west, Catherine Shenk's Vail - Glenwood Springs Vail (VGV) 200k:



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