I suddenly wish I was pedaling

Call it “pedal envy” if you must. I saw this image this morning and said, damn. I wish I was on a bike instead of playing desk jockey here in the library again.


I don’t know much of anything about the Flat Tops Wilderness Area other than it is in Colorado. Wilderness generally means no bikey bikey. But that is a road. And road means car. Car means motorized. Motorized means mechanized. Mechanized means bicycle. Strange, l know, but that is the convoluted logic of the present situation. A motorcycle and a bicycle are much in the same under the current Wilderness Act guidelines.

Back to pics. Saw another of the same area, maybe even the same road. Man, that looks nice. It’s way over a hundred here in Phoenix, and a cool mountain meadow looks about perfect right now.


Where does that road go? What’s around the next bend? Over the next rise?

The wonders of the open country… They abound.

Happy Friday, everyone.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

14 thoughts on “I suddenly wish I was pedaling

  1. Ah, the Flattops. HOME.

    I’ve lived 3/4 of my life around the Flattops and have biked in many areas on many trails and jeep roads so I’ll share some info.

    The Flattops is a very large area of mountains in Northwest Colorado. Steamboat and Craig on the North side. Rifle, and Glenwood are on the south.
    It takes about 5 hours to drive the highways around them, there are several forest service and county roads through them (like the pic above).
    The Wilderness area is about 40 miles in diameter and can be approached pretty closely by car. There are alot of singletracks that you can ride to the boundry (but don’t cross it on bike please).
    Great hiking all over.
    They are about 5,000 to 11,000 in elevation. (10,500 is about the highest spot for bikes).

    Consider all rides epic, take a map, know your limits and how to get back. Alot of trails are old and see alot of hunter use (horses leaving trails, trails that fade…). Easy to get lost.

    Wed. I met a friend in Glenwood Canyon (I-70, Colorado River) which is the southern boundry of these mountains in the White River Nat. Forest. We rode up Grizzly Creek trail as far as possible. Was about 2,000 vert in 3 miles, rocky steep, gnarly. I’ve done it before but forgot how gnarly it was.
    Still, a beautiful spot that bikes barely ever reached and the hikers that saw us had huge question marks over their heads :)

    Ripple Creek pass is a great area with some good trails (Pagoda Peak), much more rideable.

    Anyway, I could go on all day. Have had some epic adventure riding over the years. It’ a beatiful place to experience.

  2. It’s Colorado’s 2nd largest area. No roads with bikes or cars allowed in officially designated wilderness areas (no exceptions, other than wheelchairs).

  3. hey Johnny;
    that’s the forest service road near the top of Dunkley Pass. it goes from the town of Yampa on the east side to Meeker on the west. as evidenced by the photo, there is no shortage of beautiful scenery. it’s less than 10 miles from where i live and i consider myself to be extremely fortunate because of this proximity.

    i just hope that it never makes it to the cover of Outside Magazine.

    here’s a link to my ‘blog (admittedly a blatant, self-promoting plug) which features a lot of photos of local riding and racing.


    all cyclists are invited to give a shout and join in our local road and mountain bike rides- and like Baddcog says, there are some epics to be had.
    and as an added bonus, the vehicle traffic is almost non-existent.

  4. …wow…how i’d love to just amble along that road, through that gorgeous landscape on my cyclo-cross rig…breathing in that fresh air, letting my mind scrapbook those visions for days when the pressure of life starts crowding in…


  5. Yeah, I wasn’t sure but I thought that was up on Dunkley. The Ripple Creek Pass I mentioned starts at the bottom of Dunkley.

    Look at skunk’s blog, the first pic is about the best view of the Flat tops Wilderness area you can get. All those tall peaks are the wilderness.

    @ George W. Hayduke,
    Just to clarify, there is the Flattops Mountain Range (which is forest, legal to bikes on all marked trails) and there is the Flattops Wilderness Area (in the middle of the mountain range) which is the off limits to bikes area. Most of the Wilderness is really rough terrain that is mostly unrideable anyway.
    But great hiking and camping are there.

    I don’t condone riding in wilderness or any non-bike areas.

  6. god I hate illinois. Although…I did have an awesome day trying out some new singletrack on an old singlespeed. Would have been much better 1000 miles or so west.

  7. Mustn’t miss the Gear Exchange in Glenwood SPringz,


    yup NiRad one of the GEarX owners did a 109 mi training ride in the flat tops from the shop preparing for leadville106- the blogpost) learned later that he would have done well to train at twice the distance of the ‘event’… check ’em out if you’re comin’ from that side and want to ride up there. Heading up coffee pot road at the east end of the glenwood canyon near Dotsero early-early is a lovely way to get atop the flatz, and having the fam and the beers out on one of the lakes sounds sniccceee

  8. IN the last pic…you are looking at the twisty ROAD!!! DID YOU MISS THE SICK NATURAL KICKER TO ROCK FUN TIME!!!

  9. Too funny. I immediately recognized the lake in the second photo as being north of Rifle up on a plateau where I SHOULD have turned around to keep my ride down to a planned 3-4 hours. Instead, I kept going to the end of the road/trail where I THOUGHT I’d be able to follow a snowmobile trail down into a canyon and back to Rifle. Had to backtrack the way I came and never found the singletrack I sought. I had enough water for four hours but I wound up back at my friend’s house very dehydrated after a six hour ride. My wife was pissed and made me promise to find a riding partner the next time I wanted to get lost in the mountains.

  10. I rode alone yesterday on the Allegrippis Trail. Eastern singletrack of the very sweetest, I kid you not.

    So I’m cruising along Dirt Surfer having a blast, and something goes abit wrong on the last whooptie. Yep, I ate it pretty hard. Still hurts. Bike was fine though. Checked it out before I checked myself out.

    Too sore to ride, I limped out. Found the road down to the trailhead and coasted back to the car. Now I’m beating myself up for being so damned irresponsible. Hell, I didn’t even let anyone know where I was going.

    Be safe out there, y’all, hear?