Spring Bikepacking Trip
This last weekend Nic Handy led a group on a bikepacking trip on the Colorado Trail. For a few of the riders it was their first time loading up their bikes to go camping. Five of us started at the base of Waterton Canyon Friday late afternoon.
We pedaled and pushed up the switchbacks and rocky climbs, challenging each other to pedal farther and farther over each difficult section. We made it to just below the high point of Seg.1 and set up camp for the night just in time to see the
clouds change color before light faded. Once everyone found their spot for the night we broke out our stoves and/or bags of food and had a meal. A couple turned in early for the night and the rest of us chatted into the night while looking through the trees at the city lights.
After a very windy night we woke up to the light of the early morning sun. Once everyone was awake and wandering around we gathered for some breakfast and coffee. We loaded our bikes up and two of the five rode back to Waterton Canyon. The rest of us rode down to Platte River to meet up with a couple that couldn’t make it up for the first night. It was chilly down by the river so they rode up and met us halfway down. We regrouped at the river and chatted a bit before started the climb up Seg.2. The weather was perfect for long climb to Wellington Lake. Do to time constraints, one from the group split off and rode ahead up to Buffalo Creek to meet his ride home. We got the FS Rd 543 and Colorado Trail intersection and sat down for some lunch and water. Another one from the group couldn’t camp the second night so he turned around and rode the whole way back to Castle Pines from there. The three of us then headed up FS RD 543 to Wellington Lake to meet up with everyone else from the shop that drove up Saturday morning.
The three of us arrived to Wellington Lake while everyone else was out on a day ride. Our Salsa Cycles rep brought a couple Salsa Horsethiefs for us to ride. So we rode those around for a bit till everyone else returned from their ride. We got the campfire going and cooked up some dinner. The wind was blowing very hard and in every direction. Which meant you couldn’t really relax by the fire because the wind was doing 360s around the fire pit. Throughout the night the wind kept howling through the trees and the temp dropped to 28 degree with rain and corn snow bouncing off the tents.
We woke up to a chilly morning with frost on the ground and trees. So we huddled into the green Alpha Bicycle tent with three walls on it and had a warm breakfast out of the wind. The three of us that rode up the day before started riding back the same way we came. Starting off with a 3 mile downhill in 35 degree temps made it difficult to get warmed up. As the climbs started then the layers started coming off. We made great time flowing through Seg.2 with the cooler temps and cloud cover. The sun came out off and on while we made our way down to the Platte River where their vehicle was parked. Nic then rode solo over Seg.1 back to Waterton Canyon.
Overall it was great trip and fun was had by all. No injuries and nobody got lost. It was an awesome experience to share the joy of bikepacking with some that had never done it before and some that are well versed in it.