Zen On Dirt

CDT Day 39 – Rainbows, Patios, and Absolute bliss

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Rainbow trail. There’s no real way to describe the brilliance of that trail. It has a higher GPM (giggles per mile) than any other trail out there. At nine miles long, the only time it seems too long is at the end of the Vapor Trail 125. Even then, the flowing, contouring sections are fun. The climbs and the rough downhills…not so much.


We woke up out of a deep camp sleep. That’s what happens with a nearly new moon, warm temps, and no wind. 11 hours of riding the day before also helps. After a few sub-stellar nights of sleep up high, good snoozes are welcomed.

Scott posed the question well this morning. It wasn’t, “Should we ride the road or the trail into town?” but “Should we get up and ride Rainbow to Patio Pancake?”

We should.


We ate what food we could stomach. I, for the first time in my life, am fighting a case of food fatigue. Shhhh…don’t tell any one. Nothing looked appetizing even though I was hungry. This is a very strange state for me to be in.

I got down some decent calories in the form of Luna Bars and dried apricots and took a moment to appreciate how much I like the ritual of starting the stove up to cook breakfast in the morning.

We were flying down the trail just minutes later. Flying. It feels like flying. Or maybe like riding one of those landspeeders from Starwars through the Ewok forest. Yeah. Like that!


9 miles flew by and soon we were on the final drop to the highway, fully satiated with giggles and with stomachs grumbling.

We headed straight for Patio Pancake, quite possibly my favorite diner on the planet. For $5.65, you can get two eggs (cook screwed something up and gave me three), a generous helping of hashbrowns, and two giant pancakes. For $1.50 extra, you can get chocolate chips in your pancakes. I did. Living large.


Satiated, but far from full, we headed over to Absolute Bikes. It always feels like coming home when I go into that shop. Many hours have been spent there getting bikes worked on or waiting anxiously for the start of Vapor Trail. (“Hey Scot, could you make my brakes work? I’m starting the CTR tomorrow” or “Steepies? Did Tom just call a hill a steepie?”)


Every time I come to this town, I don’t want to ever leave.

We grabbed showers and settled into our place of residence for the week, the upstairs of Shawn’s guesthouse.

Stomachs started complaining almost immediately. Off to Amicas for pizza. Food fatigue? Who said anything about food fatigue?

We’re definitely feeling a little worked over. All I can say is that Colorado is currently kicking my ass. The climbs are steep and long, the altitudes are high, and the hike-a-bikes are relentless. I think a few days of rest, and resisting any stupid rides while we’re here, will do me a world of good.

I can’t think of a better place to hang out.


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