The back tire is supposed to go into the bike rack, and not the front tire. In order to put on your helmet, stand the bike upright. Do not attempt to hold the bike with one hand, and put on your helmet with the other. This almost always ends in disaster. Before leaving for a morning ride, check to make sure you brought everything. Any forgotten equipment may be purchased before the ride. Outside a local bike shop, the group is waiting for the guide to lead them. Each rider signs a standard waiver making sure the shop is not liable if something happens. That “something” is clearly defined in the waiver if anyone bothers to read it. The guide, a man, a woman, and a family of four are riding today. Before hand, it is customary for the guide to set a few limits and ensure that safety is the number one priority. He or she emphasizes that kids should have their own gear. They should carry a backpack with them and a bottle of water. The guide also says that riders should wear bright colors and stay away from black clothes. This allows cars to see them more easily. The ride takes off through a busy parking lot to a side street heading West, towards the mountains. This is a no drop ride, so the guide takes the last place in line, so that everyone keeps up with the pace. Several riders bring cell phones with GPS trackers that will keep track of their speed per hour and their mileage. The rider in front makes every effort not to take off without the group. Small talk between the riders becomes a natural part of riding for most. The conversation consists of professional employment, top grade bike equipment, past rides and favorite trails. One rider shares information about his favorite trail called “The Chutes.” It is a mountain bike ride somewhere near Cheyenne Mountain. The app Map My Ride is used among many to track frequent routes, calories and overall progress. It’s a free application that can be downloaded on any smart phone. The website is solely designed to make your ride more enjoyable and more personalized. Avoid puddles id possible. An inexperienced rider might not realize how much water the tires can generate. Too fast, will leave you with a splash of water all the way up your back. You should also have a bike fitting. Trained professionals will tell you to raise your seat, but only about 2 millimeters at a time. This tends to make you less tired. They will explain suspension and changing gears on different bikes. The gears can often be in different places on newer bikes. One rider, said his bike would jump three gears at a time.
As with most rides, the cyclist’s will be riding in a loop. The group decides how far and how fast they want to go. There are several rides to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty. Some riders will be willing to exchange information and possibly go on rides outside of the group as well. The first ride of the season starts this way for many. The riders who will take on thousands of miles this summer have been on the same trails and roads that a beginner would ride.
Unfortunately, for the first time in years, several trails are closed due to flooding and mud. The city asks that everyone obey the signs to ensure that no further damage will occur.
The Red Rock Canyon’s Section 16 Trailhead is one of the many open spaces that are closed. The City of Colorado Springs Parks Department will be repairing and paving the Section 16 Trailhead beginning Monday, July 6. This parking lot and access into Section 16 will be closed for approximately four weeks during construction.
Improvements will include:
- Curb and gutter
- Striped parking
- New asphalt
- A new concrete pan that will replace the crumbling asphalt along the road and provide safer travel off the main Section 16 trail and the newly constructed Section 16 bypass trail.
Funding for this project comes from a 2013 Colorado State Trails grant, with a match by TOPS (Trails, Open Space and Parks) funding. Funding received through the Colorado State Trails grant has supported construction of the new Section 16 bypass trail, closure of an old mining road, construction of the new East Fork of Sand Canyon Trail and new Bock Trail, improvements to the existing old Quarry Trail on the east side of the open space, and improvements to drainage structures along the Greenlee Trail and Lions Trail.