Day 10 - Butter-Knife / The Ribbon & Holy Cross - Mountain bike rides (CO)


 
 
 
 
  
Today I had to move on from Gunnison as I had to be get to Utah to a Hike in the Zion Narrows which a friend over there had organised for me. I would have liked to stay longer in Gunnison as my friends Tom & Courtney had been amazing hosts , and my room had been really comfortable and nice, and the riding around where they live is fantastic. Before going though I made arrangement with Tom for him to meet me again in a few days time to ride the Whole Enchilda in Moab.
My planned destination today was Grand Junction, where I had arranged to meet some contacts from MTBR to do a night ride. And I left Gunnison at 10:30

 

After a pretty scenic drive I arrived in Grand Junction at 14:00, and I drove over to The Hotel I was staying at the residence Inn and checked into my room. Then I got my biking gear together to go do a day ride and then a night ride.
I drove up the Little Park road and then parked near the third flats trail area at around 14:30. In the picture to the right you can see the slick rock areas of the Ribbon trail , you can even see a trail across the slick made by bike tyres now.
It was really hot almost 90f when I started riding, I started the ride by doing the double track called Twist-N-Shout, after about 2 miles this connected onto butter knife a nice new singletrack trail I had not ridden before.
The Butterknife trail was really nice , very narrow singletrack with a few technical features thrown in, with views of the book cliffs off over Grand Junction.
The trail head's around the rim of various canyons while dropping downwards, with a few uphill sections as well along the way.
At about 8.25 miles the single track ends, I then made the mistake of following the Art Cooks double track as this was a very bumpy double track and in the heat was quite hard work to ride along, although there were some nice views along the way, and it was narrower than the jeep road.
When the trail reconnected to the Jeep trail, I got until this rather than continuing on the double track , as It was now really hot - and I even had to stop a couple times in the shade to cool down as I was really over heating.

 

I got back to my SUV with my bike computer reading 13.55 miles, the Butterknife trail had been really good, the only bad thing was the ride back up from the end of the trail, which wouldn't have been so bad if it had been a bit cooler. As after riding up in the mountains for the last week I wasn't ready for the heat in Grand Junction. I headed down to the garage at the bottom of the road and bought some cold drinks Coke and Chocolate Milkshake and then headed over to the lunch loops car park to meet up with Beanman and Cobi.

 

Butterknife Trail Map

Butterknife Profile

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Butterknife Video (Flash Player)

Cobi and Bean man both arrived at the car park on time just as the sun was setting, we loaded our bikes onto Beanman's truck and he drove us up to the Trail head for the ribbon. We started riding at 19:44 , The descent down the Ribbon was brilliant at night, and now the sun had gone down the heat wasn't so bad.
After riding down to the bottom of the ribbon with just one wrong turn along the way, we headed off along Andy's loop . The big down side of taking this route is there is quite a significant hike a bike up out of the wash. From there we rode up Eagles Wing and made our way over to Holy Cross.
The Holy cross trail by night was a hoot, While I didn't have the same skill level as the others for riding the more technical bits I was able to keep ahead going up hills.

While we were taking a breather, beanman spotted this interesting looking big bug , he tried to pick it up but it bit him 8-).

I'm not sure of the trail names for the route we took at the end of Holy Cross, but we did end up going down a very steep slope and then rode down one of the main trails back to the car park and got back at about 22:00 we only rode about 10.32 miles it seem 'd as though we had gone further.

 

I had really enjoyed my Ride with Cobi & beanman and will definitely look them up on my next visit to Grand Junction.

Cobi very kindly offered to take Beanman back up to his truck so I could go and get some food and get back to my hotel, as I was feeling quite tired.

I stopped at the Safeway on Horizon and bought some food , back at the Residence Inn I cooked a pack of Kashi South West Style Chicken in the microwave which was quite tasty, then I had a shower and got some sleep.

 

Click here for Day 11