As much as I love road riding, trail riding is even better, and there's no better place to ride a mountain bike than Southwestern Colorado. Durango in particular features an awesome array of trails nearby, including some of the finest in the world -- Hermosa, Haflin, the Colorado Trail, Jones Creek, Raider Ridge to name a small fraction of the mileage of top-notch singletrack in the area. Creating a guide for such trails was a dream come true. Unfortunately, I have been away from the San Juans for so long now that it really does seem like a dream, a mirage. Did it really happen? I'm not sure if I wrote a trail guide or the Chronicles of Narnia.

Like my other books, Mountain Biking Colorado's San Juan Mountains gets into the history behind the trails, in a land where the spirits of the Anasazi lurk obviously behind every sandstone slab. This is a land that feels, and looks, magical. It's also a land that was ruled in the not-so-distant past by bloody violence and brute force; that makes for good reading, doesn't it? We'll visit the deadly labor wars and avalanche chutes of To-Hell-You-Ride, the pot hunters of Durango, the ancient hang-out of Chimney Rock, the Last Grizzly, and much more.

The theme of this guide is singletrack, but there are also several rides on mining roads which would be suitable for beginning and intermediate bike handlers. A few of the mining road rides are classics. The climb up Engineer Pass (chapter 34) is incredibly scenic; it's long and challenging but not a killer. The steep and rough road up Imogene Pass above Telluride (chapter 29) is probably one of the more difficult jeep road climbs in the world for a bicyclist.

  Buy this book from Amazon / direct from the publisher / from Powell's / from Tattered Cover / from Barnes and Noble.

 


Photo by Rob Reid. See more.

 SEE ALSO THE ART OF MOUNTAIN BIKINGTHE CYCLIST'S MANIFESTO, ROAD BIKING COLORADO'S FRONT RANGE AND THE ART OF [URBAN] CYCLING.