Cheat the Desk Job: Biking Loveland and Berthoud Pass

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Cheat the desk job: MTB Loveland & Berthoud Passes on a Worknight

For a long time I’d been wanting to bike on the Loveland Pass (~12,000ft) ridge as well as the Berthoud Pass (~11,000 ft) ridge, both crossing the Continental Divide in Colorado. However, these aren’t really destination MTB spots, and I didn’t want to drag people along if it turned out to suck.  I also don’t want to use a precious weekend day when I could be out doing something with friends that I know will be good.  Then I realized I could do this in the middle of the week, despite my 8-5.  I wouldn’t have a lot time, but I’d have enough to scope it out and see if its worth pursuing in more depth later.  I didn’t get real far on either, but being out in the high alpine on a bike on a Wednesday night and Thursday morning is worth it. It feels amazing.

The initial climb up Loveland pass was steep and loose.  Once up I was rewarded with awesome views and surprisingly good riding along the ridge south.

loveland-pass-co-griz-tory-gray

This was one of my first rides without my medical boot after snapping my Achilles at A-Basin, which was right in view. I’d been biking with flats and wearing one of those big boots for a few months.  I did a couple decent rides including the Kenosha to Georgia Pass w/ W. Jefferson descent, and Copper to Searle Pass sections of the Colorado Trail with that boot on.

achilles-a-basin

It was a cold night on Berthoud Pass, and between the super-bright moon and passing trucks all night I didn’t get a great sleep, but I didn’t care. I was just happy to be there.

vacation-home-berthoud-pass

I was pretty slow heading up in the morning in the dark and this limited how far I got.  However, I did get far enough to enjoy some buff singletrack and a magnificent sunrise.  It was hard to leave, especially knowing that I was going to be sitting in front of a computer all day, but hey, at least I got out and had fun.

It was a successful mission, I even got to work on time.  My verdict is that both of these places are worth looking into more.  Particularly Berthoud Pass, because it can either be ridden west along the divide and connect into Herman Gulch, landing at I-70, or it can be ridden north along the divide to Rollins Pass, from where I could drop down into Nederland, and from there back to my home in Boulder.  Maybe if I get a shuttle figured out I’ll make a trip report about that :)

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