Steep prolonged climbs. Steep, prolonged (if you are lucky) descents. That pretty well summarizes most mountain biking in the Rockies.
If you want a break from that, but still want some interesting, FUN! and scenic singletrack, the Turkey Springs/Brockover Mesa Mountain Bike Network in the San Juan National Forest may be just what you are looking for.
The trailhead is only a few miles outside Pagosa Springs. Starting at an elevation of 7550 feet, these fairly flat, meandering trails only climb a
maximum of 600 feet to a high point of 8150 feet. There are gentle climbs (where you hardly notice you are going uphill) that drop into long, winding, shallow descents with plenty of tight, smooth corners to keep you paying attention.
Plan to make this a leisurely ride so you have time to look around. It is a very scenic trail with views of open Ponderosa forest glades, lush swale bottoms, rocky canyon rims, and long views of the continental divide. Or, if you need an adrenaline fix, this is can also be a fast, heart pumping multi-mile hoot!
This network allows for many different variations tying different trail segments together into different loops. 118 miles of possible routes are currently mapped on www.pagosatrails.net. (More trails will be added in the summer of 2011.) After you have done all of those, do all the loops backwards (they look and ride differently).
That is 236 miles of fun singletrack to entertain yourself with! Or explore and create your own route to fit your schedule and mood.
Interested? Visit www.pagosatrails.net if you want to read and print a copy of a map and route description to take with you. Be aware that neither the trailhead nor the route currently has any directional signage. Go there with a Boy Scout mindset: be prepared with map, compass, GPS, extra clothing, cell phone, water and whatever else you will need to stay safe in the forest. And wear a big smile!