Sanders: WTB ride, be prepared for emergencies
Mountain Biking with Keith
This weekend looks to be hot and dry. Ok, hot by our standards does not equate too many other parts of the world. Mid to upper 80s is just about perfect! I love the days when putting on sunscreen may be the hardest decision you will make. Last week I focused on an epic ride up Rogers Pass. While Rogers Pass remains one of those must-do rides often we just don’t have most of the day to commit to the ride. I’d like to suggest something a bit closer to town yet fun and challenging!
This ride starts in the Town of Winter Park and like almost all of our rides you don’t need to drive to get to the trails. Ride up Vasquez Road until it turns to dirt. After a few hundred yards turn right on Sunset Pink. Ride up Sunset Pink which is an old 2 track that rides like a singletrack. Turn right on Akimas Way. Akimas Way is just technical enough to make you pay attention without being steep. I like to roll over the bigger rocks in the trail to add a bit of fun to the ride. When you reach WTB, turn right. WTB will open up your lungs and test your climbing skills due to the steepness and erosion of the trail. Keep pedaling hard and you can ride the entire section to the top. This is a great place to take a look around and see the views as your heart pounds in your chest. To the west you can see Byers Peak. Take a moment to turn around and you will see James and Perry as they tower over the valley. If you look closely you can see the road cut that creates the Rogers Pass trail to the north of James Peak.
Roll down WTB which has some fun rocky sections and tight turns. WTB merges with D2 so take a bit of reward by riding down D2. Pay attention as D2 can be fast and there are some very eroded sections. Cross the stream and then look for Elk Meadows on right. Ride down Elk Meadows and enjoy the nice rolling singletrack. At the end of Elk Meadows turn right on the Elk Creek Road then left on Chainsaw. Chainsaw climbs a bit through Aspens then across some open areas. Stay right at the intersection with Zoom. Soon you will crest the top of Chainsaw. Enjoy the great singletrack as you go in and out of the woods and over a couple of boardwalks built by volunteers through the Headwaters Trails Alliance Adopt a Trail program and the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance organization. The bottom of Chainsaw rolls on an old logging road. When you reach the Flume trail turn right and go over St. Louis Creek. Continue to the St. Louis Creek Campground; turn right and another right on County Road 73. County Road 73. You can pick up the Givelo Trail at the intersection with Northwest Passage and ride the Givelo Trail all the way into Fraser.
Prepare for Emergencies
Last weekend I assisted in helping EMS reach an injured biker to evacuate them off of the trail. Since then I have heard of at least one other instance where a rider had to be helped out to receive medical attention. On that note, be sure to be prepared for emergencies when you ride. Most of us don’t ride with full first aid kits and that is unlikely to change for short rides. There are few things that you can do in the event of an injury.
• Don’t move the rider when they are injured. You just don’t know what the extent of the injuries are.
• Remain calm.
• Carry your cell phone. Although there are many places you do not get a cell signal if need be someone could ride until they are able to place a call for help.
• Let others know where you are going. They may be able to assist in finding you.
• Know where you are. Being able to accurately communicate your location is vital in not only reaching you but determining the best access points for emergency personnel.
• If you don’t know the area pick up a map at your local bike shop.
• Take a first aid class. It only takes a few hours and the life you save could be your own.
This is hardly a complete list but a few things that can help if you ever need to assist an injured rider.
Looking for more information or want to get involved as a mountain biker? Like Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA) on Facebook. GMBA is your local mountain bike group. Check out Mountainbikecapitalusa.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Due to current public health guidance, there will not be an in-person wilderness campsite lottery for Rocky Mountain National Park this year.