Day 3 of riding
Prairie Creek/powderface ridge - 26.5km 1615-2195m 580m (1205m total so far...)
This loop offers a good variety of trails, climbs and views. We saw only one rider on this trail, and 3 groups of hikers. The rider was preriding a race that was held on Aug 22. It would have been a very difficult race given the climbs you had to do! This was our first nice day of riding with no threat or rain, which doesn't really mean much in the Rockys.
We started off down Powderface Trail, which is a road between the Nahahi ridge and Powderface/Jumpingpound and Coxhill. With Lee constanly threatening to talk to me during the climbs, I always tried to send him off to hammer up the steep little pitches to take pictures.
The rode is wide, up and down and endless. We finally got to the start of the trail after about 10km. Not to pass up a chance to do a wheelie drop, Hadi shows us how its done.
Prairie Creek trail is pretty up and down and muddy with all this rain, but fun. We got to Prairie Creek which we crossed and rode along Prairie Link,
which went UP, then DOWN, then UP then back down along a trail lined with thin pines that actually hurt when you brushed by them, but would offer some protection during the rain storms, or if a bear were to come around.
At the intersection with Powderface Creek was where the first part of THE climb began. In 3km we climbed about 300meters, even Lee had to use his granny gear!! At the intersection with Powderface Ridge we were almost out of the trees and the horseflies were getting ugly.
Our climbing was not yet finished. We rode and pushed the rest of the 200meters of climbing up loose rocks and steep pitches,
Even Lee had to work up these hills, granted he was having trouble with his NEW Shimano 9 Speed chain that would BREAK whenever he tried to power up the steep pitches. Gotta love shimano!
We finally got to the top and were rewarded with an AMAZING view of the whole area!! To the east we could see Calgary, closer in we could see Moose mountain, which is the highest point you could ride to in this area, South was the forgetmenot mountains, where I rode in 1994, another epic ride.
We took in the view at the top before starting the descent. The first part was DOWN DOWN DOWN dropping 500 meters in 7.5km!! We rode along the side of the ridge along switchbacks and some smaller uphills.
We then got to the end of the ridge when it started to get STEEP,YE HA!!! Hadi and I took off and Lee took a picture then tried to catch us. The Valley ahead is the Big Elbow river valley, what we rode back along at the end of the Little Elbow loop.
Hadi had to stop at one point to uncramp his hands, fortunately the Magura's saved my hands so I could just continue on until I got a flat! Then Lee and Hadi caught up, we fixed the flat and carried on with Lee in the lead and me hot on his little yellow ass! all the way to the bottom. A truly Classic Rocky mountain descent!
Then back to the campsite for curry and more campfire discussion, and communing with the natives