Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fruita's Kokopelli Trail and Loops

Last weekend I finally made it to Fruita/Loma to ride on the Kokopelli trail and the trail loops in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. My ride followed the entire Mack Ridge and back along the canyon above the Colorado River. I started at the Lion's Loop trail head parking area, as suggested by a nice guy working at Over the Edge Sports in Fruita, starting with the most difficult trail Moore Fun while your fresh. Great suggestion because it was a no joke mtn bike trail with lots of hike-a-bike. I was riding solo and had a long day in front of me, I didn't need to fall and tune my bean so I was riding pretty conservative. The first loop was Rustlers, easy kid stuff, but beautiful scenery all the same. Mary's Loop to Horsethief Bench. Horsethief Bench was hands down my favorite loop out there right from the get-go. A huge boulder wall you must climb down with your bike on your back gets you to the start of the trail, then it's spectacular single track with just the right amount of challenging obstacles for a fast pace, Oh it was on! Mary's Loop to Steve's Loop, another spectacular loop. Lions Loop to Troy Built Loop. Up a wall with over 20 percent grades they call Lions Loop to Mack Ridge. Mack Ridge back the Lion's Loop trail head parking area. I rode it on my Gary Fisher 9er hardtail and it was perfect, I can't wait to go back. I camped at the Highline Lake State Park in Loma, do yourself a favor and stay there if you're camping, it's complete with showers and trees...

Distance, 31.5 miles
Elevation Gain, 3,819
Ride Time, 4:50
Elapsed Time, 6:23 with breaks, lunch, and a lot of photos

On Moore Fun, looking back on Mack Ridge, the
Lions Loop trail head parking area is in that draw.
 Moore Fun looking East.
 Steve's Loop, yes I'm on the trail.

 Raft's on the Colorado River.
 On top of Mack Ridge looking down on Steve's Loop.
 On Mack Ridge looking East as the sun was going down, the ridge on the left is Moore Fun.
 Timed that about right...

Serotta Ti frame Restoration

Earlier in the year I was looking for a good quality used frameset for fast road rides, ideally it would handle a 28c tire and also work as a dirt road Randonneuring bike as well. Titanium wasn’t my priority, but something custom built with a 60cm seat tube and a short top tube to match my non-standard build was. As luck would have it I found just the frame set from Clay at Velo Soul in Denver, he specializes in parting out high end bikes, we also went to high school together. He had a 25th Anniversary 1997 Serotta Ti frame from a guy with a similar build wanting to sell and move on, so I bought it. It had everything I was looking for, a 60cm seat tube, 56cm TT, and it was Titanium. I knew Ti would work especially well for long and rough roads if it was built for a person of similar weight, they can also be extremely stiff if built for a big guy. I built it up and tried it out before spending any real time, money or excitement on a frame that might not work. It rode great, unbelievable, I scored a long term bike for myself. Time to clean it up and build a proper bicycle.   

It was painted dark blue with a factory polished rear end, and the original paint was in poor shape. I used a chemical stripper first, removing a lot of the paint and oxidation from the raw Ti.

I re-polished the rear triangle with 220-600 grit wet paper, steel wool and Mothers Polish.

Then I taped off the newly polished rear triangle with masking tape so I could control the lines and protect those anniversary decals.

Followed by two layers of black Gorilla tape to protect the polished finish and the factory decals. The bead blast process is very aggressive and any parts that aren't protected will get blasted.

I took the frame to my powder coat shop here in Golden for the hook up on a $20 aluminum oxide bead blast.

The end result was amazing, it looks brand new! Titanium frames truly are built to last a lifetime.

On the dirt trail...