Monday, November 16, 2015

Riding the Stove Prairie Circumlocution 202k!

If you thought you might like a Perm version of the scenic but "hilly" Stove Prairie 200k brevet, here it is: the Stove Prairie Circumlocution 202km Permanent.

I tried it out on a a bright, sunny day in November, but with snow cover which riders on September's Stove Prairie brevet did not experience.

As always, click on any photo for a gallery of enlarged images!

After a 28º start at dawn, temperatures eventually budged enough to take off some layers for the climbs over Horsetooth Reservoir.

Horsetooth - especially the Centennial Road segments - 
contains some of the stiffest climbs on the route. 

After a stop for a burrito at Vern's in LaPorte, it's up Poudre Canyon, 
pretty quiet without the rafting but still plenty of folks hiking trails.

The sunny spots of the canyon were balmy, 
but at this season, there are plenty of shadowy sections,
retaining snow from the midweek snowfall last week,
with a touch or two of ice on the road 
although the plows did a good job.

One of those sunny spots is at the turn for the climb up Stove Prairie Road 
which riders tend to think about for some miles in advance.

After the initial, sustained 3-mile climb, there's a dip before the final mile to the summit. There you can see an ambitious ski fence.

The final mile opens onto a broad swath of prairie at 7,300 ft. 
Being the north face, there's the snow cover.

At Stove Prairie School, a Winter Festival is on the slate for December 5.

The fourteen-mile descent to Masonville include two or three
stiff climbs, this being the final one.

From there, it's through red rocks country on to Masonville.

Even the final segment, looking out at Long's and Meeker,
are infused with sun, joy, and expanse.

You may have to wait until late winter for doing this ride, 
but who knows?