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Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Postby minnow_30 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:38 am

Has anyone ever tried mtn. biking up to Lake Como on Mt. Blanca? I know on the big rock obsticles i will most likely have to carry the bike through, but how is the rest of the road?

Thanks,
Michael

Re: Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Postby phillinley » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:41 am

It's pretty loose chunky gravel (as far as a mountain bike would be concerned on the last bit to Lake Como, but I think the first few miles would be fine if you carry it over the obstacles (jaws etc.) I was thinking how nice it would be to have a bike right now at a couple points on the way down the road on a hot day a couple years ago.

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Re: Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Postby geojed » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:55 am

• It's by getting away from life that we can see it most clearly... It's by depriving ourselves of the myriad of everyday experiences that we renew our appreciation for them...I've learned from my experiences in the mountains that I love life. — Dave Johnston
• Mountains are not climbed merely to reach a geographical location — but as personal and spiritual challenges to the participants. — David Stein
• The best climber in the world is the one who’s having the most fun.— Alex Lowe
• Why do I climb the mountain? Because I'm in love! — The Captain

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Re: Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Postby Tory Wells » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:46 pm

The river rock gets REALLY BAD the higher up you go. It would be aggravating and you'd have to be a pretty good rider to negotiate that stuff all the way to the lake.

I think it would be totally doable to bike up at least part of the way, lock your bike up, and then have it for a good chunk of the descent. That's my plan when I make my return to that craptastic road. :evil:
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

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Re: Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Postby blazintoes » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:32 am

Hey Michael,

I've MTBed up/down that road twice and can tell you that the uphill is worse than the downhill. Being loaded down with gear makes riding up nearly impossible so you'll hike-a-bike a lot. The worst part of the road isn't so much the rock but the off camber slippery gravel and switchbacks especially when the road is dry. Also, for me the "Jaws" were not as technical for a bike vs. ATV. Yes the large loose rock on the downhill will rattle you teeth but just like most downhill riding, the right speed will keep you safe and upright. Faster is better. One more thing, I don't bother with a lock instead I disassemble the bike, stash the parts and take my front wheel thru-axle/skewer with me.

Will you be clipped in or have flat pedals?

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Re: Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Postby andrewhamilton » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:27 pm

I once thought I had a brilliant plan. Do Lindsay, traverse to Blanca, then do Ellingwood and Little Bear. Then rather than trying to return to Huerfano valley, have a friend meet me at Lake Como with my bike so I could mountain bike down the nasty road. At the time I was a pretty good mountain biker, and used to compete in and finish in the top 5 of the solo division of the 24 hours of Moab.

Anyway, the short story is that I carried my pack AND my mountain bike pretty much all the way down the road. I was astounded at how a road can stay that rocky for so long and have so few rideable sections. I think on the few sections I was able to ride I got more beat up because of the jarring to my tendons and joints than on the spots where I went over my handlebars.

My advice is definitely to leave your bike at home...

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Re: Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Postby SkaredShtles » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:15 pm

This road is starting to sound more and more intriguing with regards to taking a bike. Maybe I can find someone to shuttle me to the top of it.

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Re: Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Postby mtree » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:16 pm

I can't imagine riding that "road". Unless you enjoy bouncing on babyheads most of the way. Seems more tedious than its worth.
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Re: Mtn. Biking up to Lake Como?

Postby blazintoes » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:28 pm

I must be a masochists b/c I actually really liked riding down Como. I posted this info on a MTBer forum a couple months ago. There are a few roads you can MTB to get to a 14er.

I started this endeavor last year. I had a buddy that was crazy like me say, "hey, let's ride our bikes to Mt. Missouri and back". I thought, "this is nuts". But we did it and I was instantly hooked. I've learned over the last year that most of the approaches to the 14ers are bikeable. Above treeline, not so much. It's best to stash the bike and hike to the top. The ride down is your reward.

Amy's top 10:

#1. Mt. Princeton: park at the main lot at 8,900 on road 322. You can ride all the way to ~12,000 and stash the bike. The trail to the top is not bikeable or safe with all the traffic. The ride back down 322 is BEST downhill where brakes are not required. Also you could connect to the Colorado Trail on this road if so desired.

#2. Gray's/Torreys: You can ride all the way to the top of Gray's from the Keystone side. This is the Continental Divide. Torrey's is not bikeable IMO.

#3. Pike's Peak: Barr Trail. Yes there is a lot of traffic but just be nice and the hikers will be impressed. This is the best 10 miles of downhill singletrack on any 14er.

#4. Mt. Sherman. You can stash your bike in over by the old mine shacks at about 12,800'. The ride down is loose and slippery.

#5. Castle Peak: You can ride all the way to 12,800 on the road. The rest is not bikeable. The ride down is technical. I say, hold on tight and go for it.

#6. Como road takes you to Little Bear, Blanca and Ellingwood. This road is touted as Colorado's nastiest road. You can ride all the way to the lake at 11,750. The peaks are not bikeable, at all. The ride back down will rattle your teeth.

#7. Missouri: the West ridge will take you to Clohesy lake. The other routes are in wilderness. No bikes allowed.

#8. Mt. Elbert: it's more technical than you'd expect but bikeable to the top. Not my favorite because of all the traffic and narrow trail to share.

#9. Mt. Antero option #1: park at the Colorado Trail via Chalk lake and ride to Brown's lake. The approach to Brown's lake sees a lot of equestrian usage and they of course hate bikers. Also, it's a lot of hike-a-bike. After Brown's lake you can ride all the way to 13,700'! Awesome. The summit is not bikeable.

#10. Mt Antero option #2: the standard approach up the West slopes via Baldwin Gulch. Again you can get to 13,700. The ride down is rougher than Como road IMO. Or...you could connect #9 and #10 for a loop vs. an out-n-back. A whole day of suffering. Just what you like, right?

The rest of the 14ers either I haven't done yet or are in wilderness.

Watch out, you'll get hooked like me.

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