Day 9 - Reno - Flag - Bear - Rosebud - Deadman's Gulch Mountain Bike Ride (CO)

I woke up to another lovely day, today I decided to go and ride a trail i'd done a few years back - Reno - Flag - Bear - Deadman's gulch. The last time I'd ridden it - the weather had been bad and the trail had been a mud fest and not very enjoyable. Also this time I was planning on riding up Rosebud as well.
After parking at the Deadman's Gulch car park I rode off up Cement Creek Road at about 10:50, the road climbed upwards along side a river.
After about 2 miles I turned off right and started to head up the Reno Divide road, this climbed up through the trees, It was quite a tough climb due to the thin air , and my legs were tired from my ride the day before. Quite a few Motorbikes and a jeep went past me, along with a couple of retro mountain bikers.
The climb goes on for quite a while near the top you break out of the trees and get some nice views of the surrounding mountains.
After About 5.7 miles @ 12:40 I reached the top of the road and went through a gate to the start of the Flag Creek Trail 422. Quite a few Motor bikers were having a rest here , along with a group of mountain bikers, I didn't hang around as I wanted to get down the singletrack before the Motorbikes.
The initial descent was great nice fast twisty singletrack heading down the valley, so much fun that I didn't stop to take any pictures until I quite a way down the trail. There were quite a few creek crossings and as I didn't have spare lube , I hoped off my bike and pushed my bike across on the deeper crossings.
Unfortunately what goes up must come down , and after about 8.5 mile as the trail headed up the Bear Creek Trail there was quite a bit of climbing.
I had to do my first hike a bike on this ride on one particularly steep loose section of trail , as it climbed up towards to where the trail breaks out into a wide open meadow. After climbing up along the edge of a meadow you join Forest Road 744 this is about 11 miles into the ride.

There a pile of large logs above the road, where I stopped and eat some food to keep me going on the trail, In the distance I could see another group of riders heading up through the meadow.

After riding along the ride for about .6 of mile you come to the Signed bear Creek trail, This trail is quite wide in place due to the dirt bikes but is still a fun trail to ride down, as it follows bear creek before cutting away from the creek and heading across a wide meadow with a hump in the middle of it.
Just after the Hump is the turn for Deadman Gulch on the right, I carried on straight down to head towards the RoseBud trail, the trail was nice and narrow here and slightly waterlogged in places due to beaver activity.
At close to 16 miles I turned right and started to head up the Rosebud trail @ 14:48, this trail did not look like it received much MTB traffic - I'd soon discover why. The trail climbed up quite steeply , with quite a loose rocky surface, and in a number of places I ended up hike a biking as it was quite challenging.
I had my first injury of my trip when I banged my knee under my handlebar on my brake reservoir, when I almost fell off when my wheels slipped on a steep loose section.
The Rosebud trail was a lot of hard work , as it was almost all up hill , but it was quite scenic, and apart from lots of the bugs i've attached pictures off , I had it all to my self.
The trail towards the top got pretty steep and very rocky and I spent a fair bit of time pushing my bike, Until I finally reached Cement Mtn trail after about 18.5 miles of riding / pushing @ 16:26. It had taken me 1hr 38 minutes to get up the Rosebud trail (That includes the time taken to take pics etc)
The effort taken to get up to the Cement Mountain trail had been well worth it though as there were amazing views, and great narrow fast singletrack across alpine meadows, Tom told me latter that locals call this trail Sound of Music.


The Cement Mtn trail had even more climbing on it, but it was all rideable unlike Rosebud.


There is a brilliant fast descent through some dark forest which, which I didn't stop and take any pictures in as I was having too much fun heading down hill. There were a couple of muddy sections were the dirt bikes had ripped up the trail.
After the descent through the woods the trail intersected with The Deadman Gulch trail after around 22.5 miles of riding. It then climbed steeply up to the Deadman Gulch switchbacks, I was too tired to ride up the last switch backs and pushed my bike up.
The descent down the Deadman Gulch switchbacks was really good, countless switch backs down through the aspens. I stopped once to take a few pictures.
I finally arrived back at the car park at 17:45 after riding 25.53 miles. My topo profile said I had i climbed 4126 ft and descended 4216 ft on this ride. It had been one of the most demanding rides of my trip so far, But I would definitely do it again (Maybe with a pair of trainers in my pack for walking up rosebud though)

Ride Profile

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After packing up my Bike I hit the road and drove back to Gunnison. I stopped off at supermarket and bought some nice big juciy Organic Buffalo Rib-eye Steaks and asparagus, which Courtney then cooked on the bar-b-q for us all back at Tom & Courtneys place, they tasted great.

Click here for Day 10