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Longmont // Colorado
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I went to the store to check out the kevlar velociraptors and had a big DUH moment. They do not have a full kevlar belt. When they say "kevlar", they’re only talking about the bead – of course – those have been around for years & I’ve had at least two pairs.
So with ample egg on my face, allow me to backpedal to my original assertion; If they ever come out with a velociraptor with a kevlar belt, I’ll be the first in line to buy them.
My wife has the true-goo on her townie and so far no flats. Here in Erie, I think we must be the goat’s head capital of the world so that’s quite an endorsement. My townie has kevlar Bontrager Comforts on it and I have pulled literally dozens of thorns out of those things without a single puncture. Bear in mind that these are cross tires – smooth in the middle so there’s no tread to speak of. If the thorns don’t puncture that, then the kevlar must be working.
I can list three things that do not work; Slime, Mr. Tuffy’s and puncture resistant tubes. All three are disappointing insofar as preventing flats caused by goat’s heads. They sometimes work some of the time but imo, that’s nearly worthless.
My first pick is kevlar because it doesn’t require that you have liquid rolling around in your wheels. Now that WTB makes a kevlar Velociraptor, I’m pretty sure I know what my next tires will be.
One thing that worried me about the USTs was the inevitability of goat’s heads around here. I put Stan’s sealant in these the Weirwolves when I mounted them but I was pretty nervous about it – after all my every experience with Slime has convinced me that it’s absolutely worthless gunk. It has never once saved me from a goat’s head. The Stan’s, on the other hand, has worked like a charm through no fewer than ten full-on, big, hissing punctures. It’s really amazing stuff. That being said, I know that WTB is now making a kevlar velociraptor. Likely that’ll be my next set of tires.
In late June, I would avoid Fruita, Moab and the 4-corners area. If we have another hot summer (likely), those low-elevation areas are going to be brutal.
Buffalo Creek would be my first suggestion. That area probably has the highest concentration of excellent trails in the state, with the possible exception of Fruita. It’s also near Evergreen, which has a lot of amazing dirt too.
Salida would be my second pick. There may not be as many great trails as Buffalo Creek, but it’s is a really fun town and gives you the option of hitting one of the nearby hot-springs after your ride.
I rode velociraptors up and down the Front Range for several years and loved them – they were, imo, like the old smoke/dart but better in every way. Last year I switched to the WTB weirwolfs since they’re tubeless. I’m finding that I miss the velociraptors. Could be that I’m just used to them.
Now that I’ve had a gps for a couple of months and the full membership I got for posting files, I have to admit that my perspective is different now. For example, I can now see that the elevation profiles are not only what I was asking for but are better than most books’.
In terms of Trek7’s idea of having two maps, if the Raleigh and Haw Ridge maps represented the online and take-along versions, respectively, I’d say that it was a better value than what I can get at Barnes & Noble.
I find that while I ride with my gps on my handlebar (which I’ve found to replace my brain’s need for a simple map more often than detailed map, ironically) I still have the same tearproof map that I’ve had for years in my pack. I was about to come here and say that I still haven’t seen anything online (at singletracks or elsewhere) that would compel me to print it out instead using of the map I already have. After all, the map is already printed, covers a larger area, is possibly already in my pack and it has lasted for years, suffering all my mistreatment. An online offering would have to be considerably better than the map to make it worth the effort.
And then I saw that Haw Ridge thing EZ posted and THAT is a whole other story. It’s better than most books and maps and better enough to replace both. I love the way it deals with the trail network and the green/blue/black designations are a nice touch. And despite the fact that some of the smaller type breaks up a bit, the overall clarity makes it read almost as quickly as a simple map. I’ve seen maps of the more popluar areas that are still better than this, but they are expensive and they only cover the more popular areas. I don’t know if Singletracks is yet equipped to produce maps of this quality, but the Haw ridge map is what it would take for me to replace my maps. Maybe that student needs an internship?
The last Raleigh map is really, really nice. In retrospect, I think I liked the satellite background better if it doesn’t sacrifice the text. It would be really cool if there was a list of the waypoints & their respective comments. Maybe you could put that in a seperate text box under the elevation profile.
Assuming you can’t do Haw Ridge-quality maps for everything on the website (at least not yet), maybe you could just do as many as is feasible and sell them a la carte. I would probably buy them from you above and beyond my subscription and I’m the guy who owns a gajillion plastic maps.
Zip code. Of course. Duh. Alright, problem fixed, never mind. Works at least as well as a map, if not better.
Forget the pushpins, but what about this; what about a corresponding downloadable set of way points for the same search? This might be asking too much of your software, but what if, suppose I ask for trails within a 25 mile radius of Colorado Springs and along with the list of trails, I get an automatically generated gpx file that has waypoints that correspond with the trailheads on the list?
..and if you already have it and I haven’t seen it, I get two more "duh"s.
Come to think of it, every time I’ve seen one of those pushpin type things, they really are painfully slow and often congested well past the point of uselessness.
Still, filtering your directory by "Colorado" alone doesn’t narrow down the search as far as I wish it would. Even the list of cities is a bit much. And of course I’m glad there are lots of trails but more than 100 listings within a drive time of up to 9 hours is a lot to sift through. Rhode Island riders get about 25 rides that are within, what does it take, 15 seconds to get across the state? But just looking at my own habits as a user, the size of our list often motivates me to pick up a book before coming to your site. I don’t mean to sound crass in saying that, it’s just intended as feedback, yet as we add more trails to the database, the more of an issue this will become.
So I’m wondering would your software allow you to split some of the larger states and have, for instance, eastern and western Colorado? I’m sure you’ve seen the way mtbr does it, and know full well that it’s a complete and total nightmare. About 30% of the trails are in the wrong section and many are listed twice so I have to assume it’s user-generated & I think that’s the wrong way to go because of regional subjectivity. But it would be really cool if you could do yet one more thing better than them by giving us reliable sub-regions. Ideally, clicking on Colorado would give me the same list that it currently does, but you would add regional sub-categories to the list of filters you already have on the left side of the page. So along with "Ride Type, Cities, Length, Tread, Configuration", there would be "Region". Under region, there would be "Front Range, Northwest. Southwest, East and All Colorado Trails". If you did that, I would consistently consult your website before picking up a book.
Just one more quicker thing that’s just slightly OT. Is there any way you can corrrect the spelling for Matthews Winters Park, which is listed as "Mathew Winters"? I quadruple-checked my spelling just to make sure I’m not further minsinforming you. Tourists pronounce it "Mathew Winters" because "Matthews" seems awkward. Even a few locals here and there say it that way but most of the people who spend much time up there spell and pronounce it right. It was named after a couple doods named Matthews and Winters, as opposed to one doood named Mathew Winters.
Here’s a link to a site about the dooods: http://co.jefferson.co.us/openspace/ope … T56_R1.htm
How about an interactive map with little pushpins over all the trails that could be linked to by clicking on them?
Ideally, you would start with a map of North America, then click on a state or province, then click on a smaller area – maybe a county or geographical area and then you would see all the push-pins. This would also be useful for someone who wants to go check out a general area but doesn’t want to sift through all the cities’ individual listings. As more trails get added to the database, it’s going to become increasingly cumbersome to navigate. Colorado is already starting to get a bit thick (don’t get me wrong – that’s a GOOD thing & I plan to continue to be one of the culprits).
I’ve just recently started uploading and downloading gps data and I’m curious to know if there’s a way to add legs or routes to existing trail entries. Take, for instance, Elk Meadow Park. Suppose someone wanted to add the Bergen Peak option, which many people consider to be some of the best riding in the area. What would be the best way for one to go about that? I suppose there’s always the option of adding a new ride altogether and naming it "Bergen Peak", but then someone who might’ve heard that there’s this great ride up at Elk Meadow Park would miss it.
You guys suck. I was at REI yesterday and found a great deal on a GPS. I was one of those guys who had sworn to never buy one of those contraptions, but I was thinking about some of the stuff I’ve seen in this discussion and, curse you all, I bought the danged thing.
And yes, I admit it; it’s really fun. I took it for a ride today and recorded a trip and as soon as I figure out all the details, you can all look forward to seeing some of my gpx files up here.
…curse you tech weenies…curse you all…
No offense taken on any account.
In looking at my own habits, I generally look at a simple map before the ride and then bring a detailed map with me on the ride. When I’m on the ride, I usually never look at the map because I only really need it when I’m unsure of where to go. Some people are more cartophillic and like taking out the map during the ride just to compare it with their environment and I can totally appreciate that as I am geeky in oh, so many other ways. That just doesn’t happen to be one of them. I’m not really interested in knowing exactly where in the ride to expect a stream crossing, suffice to know that there are a few to be expected in this or that general part of the ride.
I already own detailed maps for almost every ride on this website that’s in my area so the question of my having to go to the store to buy a map is moot.
Just to reiterate EZ’s gracious civility, none of this is to say that my attitudes about riding or any of my habits are correct or better than anyone elses. This is just to represent my perspective as a matter of discussion.
I’m sorry but the emporer is really naked here. JJ’s map is so impressive. I mean that sincerely, it’s freaking artistic.
But Trek7k was right in the first place in that simple maps are the way to go. I think this conversation has beeen seduced by the sexiness of all these professional images, becasuse, admitedly the technology is so, so so cool.
But technology is only better when it’s truely better and none of these examples have provided me with the information I’m looking for when I come to this website.
[u]I don’t come to this site to replace the maps that I already own. [/u]
I come here to check out ideas for new rides. The only times I have ever brought a printout from a website with me on a ride has been when it was tucked inside my map the same way I sometimes tuck a photocopy from a book.
I don’t think you should try to compete with waterproof, tearproof maps or professional mapping software unless you genuinely believe that you can give me better value than the big players can. Pretty soon, we’ll all have GPSs in our cell phones anyway so that market is destined to become even less lucrative for you.
What I want from you is to tell me how to get to the trail, how to navigate the route once I’m there and some subjective semblance of what to expect. I also think it would be really groovy if you had elevation profiles like a lot of books have with the elevation/miles graph. That’s a much quicker way to get an idea of how a trail rides than any topo map.
Don’t try to replace my maps. I’d rather that you replaced my books by giving me more up to date and comprehensive information than they can and a group of people I can exchange information with. The high tech graphics are really seductive, but are still less useful.