Friday, July 06, 2007

Biking down Barr: bad idea

So... The Gazette reported a guy from Montana knocked himself out cold while biking down the Barr Trail Thursday. He was helicoptered out. He apparently got about halfway down before the spill that stopped him, which is impressive.
I'm a mountain biker. I'm all for bikes on trails, but I'm totally against people driving up to the top of the peak and trying to ride down the Barr Trail for the following reasons:
1. It's too crowded.
2. It's too difficult for the majority of people it attracts.
3. The people it does attract are generally inexperienced, under-equipped, unfamiliar with the trail and riding bikes ill-suited for such an endeavor. In other words, yahoos.
A better way to go down is to ride the Elk Park Trail to Barr Camp, ride down Barr for a short while, then drop down Longs Ranch Road to Manitou. Great riding, less people.
By the way, I have mad respect for the guys who ride UP the Barr Trail.


UltraRob said...

I think you should have to ride up if you want to ride down. I took my bike to the top soon after I got my first mountain bike. I mainly walked it once I got a mile past Barr Camp. I decided I didn't want to do it again.

I have ridden down after doing the mountain bike race up the last 8 miles of the road but the race hasn't been held the last few years. Even the last time I did it I rode down to the Elk Park trail. I think that's more fun than doing the upper section of Barr.

When I was in high school, I was riding to Barr Camp once a week. My goal was to get my time down to an hour. I never got below an hour and 9 minutes. I made it down to the parking lot in 26 minutes once. It was cool and drizzling late on a weekday afternoon in September and I hadn't seen anyone else on the trail on the way up. I hit 50 mph at one point. That was 20 years ago and there's so many more people now that I wouldn't consider doing it plus I don't think I have the nerves to do it.

Dave Philipps said...

50 mph on a 1980s mtn bike. Now that's impressive

zen said...

LOL I still ride an 80s mountain bike. An 86 Schwinn to be exact. Shocks are for girly men. Real men blow out their elbows and like it. :0)

Steve Bremner said...

I stayed at Barr Camp last night and Neal and Theresa were pretty shaken up after helping with the rescue effort. The guy was wearing a helmet, but it was shattered as he plowed directly into a solid piece of Pikes Peak. He came from Elk Park trailhead and fell near the 1/2 mile to go sign to Barr Camp in an easy area.

I couldn't find the article on the Gazette web site. Can you give a link?

I heard there was also a road biker who got pretty messed up at Ruxton and Winter Streets about 5:30 P.M. last night.

Dena Rosenberry said...

I didn't see the link, either. It was a brief in Metro:

A mountain biker who crashed while riding down Pikes Peak's Barr Trail on Thursday afternoon was airlifted to Penrose Hospital for treatment.

Justin Moslet, 40, of Billings, Mont., was briefly knocked unconscious by the impact, according to rescuers, and he was loaded into a helicopter near Barr Camp.

It notes the rescue time, about 2 p.m., and that's about it.

Dave Philipps said...

I saw the road biker. It looked like he had an injured arm and face. Abulance showed up about 5:20. It looked like he had jack-knifed and gone over the bars.

CW said...

I agree with ultrarob; to go down, you gotta go up first.

Not sure how one can negotiate around the masses of people you encounter once you pass No Name Creek and start hitting the switch backs-not a lot of maneuver room.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,
Nate here. I rode up on Saturday early AM. I went all the way to the A-frame (hike a bike for a couple of miles) and then turned around. It was my first time riding the Barr and I had a blast. Coming down the upper section was tricky at the least. I was way conservative and dismounted a bunch. I stopped at Barr camp on the way down and heard the story. I was just trying to get some training in for my MS alpine ride coming up next week.
Hope I'm not a yahoo since I rode up. :-) Sorry we missed the pig roast. Mmmm, bacon.