Autumn Color

Fall 2008 - Rides and scenes from the season of color.

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Autumn in Colorado is a great time for riding. Partly because the season lasts soooo long. Usually starts in September in the high country, and can linger into... Well, it's November 22 as I write this, and there are still a few brightly colored trees around town here in Grand Junction. Temperatures are crisp and comfortable during the day. Skies are often bright and clear.

My autumn season started when I hitched a trip to Crested Butte with my riding buddy, Keith. We rode the famous 401 trail. Then on a quick afternoon jaunt around the Upper Loop trail, he fell and broke his hand. Dang. I got in another day of riding on the Dike Trail off Kebler Pass, then back to town, before we drove home. The aspen trees were stunning, and the riding, incredible.

The following weekend I hooked up with more friends to explore the Flowing Park Trail on top of Grand Mesa. The trail circumnavigates along the scenic cliff edges of the Mesa -- one of the world's largest flat-topped mountains. There's very little overall elevation change, but the rough, rocky surface keeps it challenging. It was an excellent ride for my belt-drive singlespeed 29-inch-wheel bike. Colors were bright anywhere the trail wandered through the many copses of aspen. At the end of the ride we were rewarded by being pelted with rain and icy hail. More colors filled the creek drainages when we drove back to town via Land's End Road.

In the desert surrounding town, autumn is a subtle season. The brown and beige of summer slip into the brown and beige of fall and into the brown and beige of winter. I managed to catch some small bushes changing color amid the desolate rock and tumble.

Around town and on a trip to Denver, the colors remained bright and continue to linger.