February 19, 2013
I have just started back in mountain biking after a 12 year hiatus and I have recently ridden Ute Valley as well as Red Rocks and I will say that for me this was one of the most fun rides I have been on in a ling time. Being 20 pounds overweight I have a hard time with some of the hills - while I did have to walk a few times, the walks were short and did not distract form the ride in any way. This will be my marker for performance this summer - I will ride this trail clean and quickly in no time!
I parked in the lower parking lot and rode; N. Zook > Medicine Wheel > S. Blackmer (up) > N. Blackmer (down) > S. Zook > back to Parking
I encountered lots of sweeping single-track, nice soft dirt, rock gardens, good climbs, sweet downhills, challenging technical sections and lots of trees. I did not see many hikers despite that it was 60° out. Being winter here in Colorado, I did run into a lot of packed snow on the North facing slopes - but very packed and easy to ride. Also, there was a lot of mud form the snow that was melting; I only had to bounce my bike once to get it off - most of the time it just came off on it's own.
Medicine Wheel - this is a very technical rocky section (basketballs to boulders in size) and I rode it up form North to South - an obvious mistake - this trail was designed to be ridden down form South to North. It parallels N. Zook - so if you are with less experienced riders, you can take this fun 1/2 mile detour while they follow Zook and meet you at the intersection.
I did get a rear flat about 3.75 miles in, don't know why yet, but since my son had my pump I had to walk the last mile out.
1:13 minutes (including the walk)
892 total elevation gain
Max Elevation 6,636 ft