Sanders: Riding Leland Creek trail in the fall |

Sanders: Riding Leland Creek trail in the fall

Keith Sanders
Mountain Biking with Keith
High school coach, Ian Jardine on a fall evening ride.
Photo Courtesy of Keith Sanders |

Sometimes you just need to get out and ride.

Wednesday, Oct. 12 was not different.

First it started with the emails. Where are we riding when are we meeting? Soon we discovered that no one could make a clear decision so we decided on meeting at my bike shop at the exact time of 4:52 p.m. I think that time was selected as a few of us are always a bit late. This allowed us to leave at a reasonable time.

Preparing the bike only took a few minutes. A quick check of the tire pressure, some lube on the chain and adding the fenders was all that was needed. Most of the snow from Tuesday night had melted but still left some of the shaded trails with a bit of mud. One of the big decisions would be deciding where to go.

Finding dry trails was not a problem.

The late afternoon start had allowed the sun to melt much of the new snow. Our bike group’s decision was to ride the Leland Creek area. These trails tend to be out in the sun and shed water well due to trail layout and soil composition. Our choice worked well. The new moisture created almost perfect trail conditions; great traction with the occasional puddle. We started up Sundog rolling easily to warm up the legs. The pace quickened a bit when we merged with Sunset Pink. Sunset Pink’s typically loose rock seemed anchored to the ground giving you that feeling of having much greater skills than you actually have. A quick roll up D3 then onto D4 as we continued to climb. Our next destination was Leap Frog and Take the Leap. Last year’s trail expansion in the Leap Frog area would make for some great conditions. Leap Frog never disappoints. Rolling rocks, technical challenges combined with subtle but effective trail design keeps the trail from being muddy while testing our skills. Our exit onto Vasquez Road left us enough time to roll to the top of Blue Sky for one last descent. Blue Sky is one of those feel good trails when you descend. Fast enough to be fun but smooth enough to give you the feeling that your skill set is actually much greater than it really is. One last roll back to the starting point and our ride was complete.

Don’t let the fall change of weather keep you off of the bike. This can be one of the best times to ride. Plan ahead, make the time and have some fun!

Don’t forget that the first rifle hunting season starts Saturday. Be sure to wear bright clothing just to be safe.

Our Middle Park High School Mountain Bike Team had its last series race of the year on Saturday. Next up is the State Championships!! Our team raced amazingly well. You should be very proud of your local athletes as the put forth a huge commitment to training and racing.

Darby Howard, Kimo Sullivan, Cole Wettersten, Emma LaRue, Tyler Scholl, Aaron Sanders, Brendan Droll, Will Cleveland and Elli Osborne raced one of the fastest courses of the year. We’ll have our final selection for the State Championships by Tuesday October 18th. I will give the final selection for the State Championships team next week.

Looking for more information? Like Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA) on Facebook. GMBA is your local mountain bike group. Check out Great site by the Winter Park Chamber. Keith Sanders is the President of the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, 3x US National Mountain Bike Champion and owner of Beavers Sports Shop. You can reach me at

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