Riding in Heaven


One word alone can Describe Saturday Morning.


Driving to Green Mountain and Dakota Ridge to meet Bad Andy! at 5am I had to have my fog lights on to cut through the perpetual soup that hung in the air. This is rare for Colorado and I felt a twinge of homesickness as it reminded me of many east coast mornings. My dash thermostat kept dropping and by the time I hit the parking lot it read 20 degrees.

I had originally planned on keeping a steady pace with minimal stops but the day dictated otherwise and anyone who would not of stopped to soak it all in would of been a fool. We started our morning on the Lower Traverse of Green Mtn, our headlights barely breaking the soup in the air and the trail became new again, each turn a wonder of where it would lead us.

A quick stop at the bottom of Hayden and we found everything on us frosted over so we quickly took off up the mountain. Little did we know we had a treat waiting for us at the top. Climbing Hayden the fog broke and we were riding about the clouds. The sun was just starting to climb the eastern sky and by the time we reached the top we were in heaven.


We couldn't believe our eyes. It was like a sea of clouds beneath us and we stopped every few minutes to soak it in and feel the grandeur of it all.


We dropped down Rooney Valley and closer into the clouds where Bad Andy told me maybe once before in his life(Andy is a local, raised in Colorado) had he seen it ever look like this. It was a rare Colorado treat.


As soon as we entered the cloud bank it became mind numbingly cold again. I've said before that 20 degrees in Colorado isn't that bad due to the dry air but add some good ol humidity to it and its suffering. We stopped by our vehicles and dropped off lights and other tidbits and then I made a sprint for Zorro. Not to drop Bad Andy but to get out of the clouds since anytime we got above the cloud bank, life and the cold became tolerable again.


Zorro became a slingshot for us since the endless see of clouds below us became to irresistible for us not to stop, take some pictures and laugh at the others who decided it better to sleep in(like PBR).



By the time reached Dakota Ridge we found ourselves looking over an endless sea of clouds to the east and blue cloudless skies to the west. It was like Dakota was a dam, holding back the sea.


For those of you that haven't heard or haven't seen pictures of Dakota before...its a technical playground of rock...sometimes narrowing to 6 feet wide or so, with both sides of the ridge dropping off to either side of you. It is my favorite Front Range trail and it is only 3 miles from my house.


If you were ever wondering why I posted that picture of Dinosaur ridge as my first picture of this post....you have to understand that Dakota Ridge has another name...that of Dinosaur Ridge.


Fossilized footprints of the Igaunodon, ancient crocodiles, and other dinosaurs have been found on the ridge along with bones of the Stegosaurus, and proof of an inland sea that is said to cover 1/3 of Colorado with sharks teeth, fossilized sea animals and plant life.


Since we're on our history lesson, bones of a Triceratops were found in downtown Denver and fossilized footprints of a Triceratops and a T Rex were found in Golden.


Dropping off Dakota Ridge we made our way over to the Red Rocks and Matthew Winters where the sun was shining and the Cloud Sea was hiding on the other side of Dakota Ridge.


We made quick work of Matthew Winters and peddled a bit of singletrack that rarely gets used on the north side of I-70. Bad Andy had to be home by 9:30 so I left him there, being 5 minutes from his house. I made my way back to Dakota Ridge where I saw a group of half a dozen or more riders climbing up the steep road connecting to the ridge, already a hundred yards up. I considered this a last message from the trail goddess that I should attack....and attack I did...reeling in every last rider till the top of the ridge where I heard the lead rider proclaim, " good climbing singlespeed"....the internal gear fools them all.

Be sure to check out Bad Andy's MTBR posting about this ride as well.


  The Vegan Vagabond

February 7, 2010 at 7:33 AM

heaven, indeed.


February 7, 2010 at 8:22 AM

i guess i ate my words as i talked shit that morning about you and your crazy ass ride times. nice post.


February 8, 2010 at 7:13 AM

Nice post there Jeremy. Reminds me of some of the rare times I have been out west and skied above the clouds.

  the original big ring

February 8, 2010 at 1:56 PM

holi-o crap dude! that banner photo at the top of your blog says it all - freakin unbelievable!


February 8, 2010 at 4:10 PM

good stuff Jeremy, great photos

green with envy.



  Steve Mitchener

February 8, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Fantastic shots Goat!!! Someday I will take up the sport of MTBing and ride with you guys...I think there is one in there of BadAndy that should certainly be on the cover of Bike.

  Luis G.

February 9, 2010 at 10:59 AM

WOW seriously!