When you’re an experienced rider, finding new and exciting trails is always a great opportunity. One of the best areas for this on the entire North American continent is Monarch Crest, located in Colorado. Here is everything you need to know about mountain biking on Monarch Crest, as well as tips on how to prepare.
About the Monarch Crest Trail
Colorado is the perfect destination for any avid extreme sports fan. There are plenty of opportunities for both ice and rock climbing, as well as rafting, skiing, mountain biking and so on. In the case of MTB, enthusiasts will surely fall in love with Monarch Crest. This trail makes for multiple options, such as:
- Fooses Creek. This is a great ride downhill even for beginners or lesser experienced enthusiasts of the sport. It is also the shortest option.
- Green’s Creek. If you’re looking for more of a downhill specific area, then this is the one for you.
- Agate Creek. This one ends a bit farther away from the actual Monarch Pass, but you will catch some fantastic views along the way.
- Silver Creek. The longest and most common one, this seven-mile downhill descent offers you the option to continue alongside a secondary trail or stop at the bottom.
Depending on your skillset and downhill ride preferences, either one of these four options is great. And the amazing thing is that you can keep coming back to try them all out.
How to Prepare for Mountain Biking On Monarch Crest
Here are five essential tips to help you get ready for mountain biking on Monarch Crest, regardless of which creek trail you choose.
1. Use Appropriate Gear
First and foremost, put on your helmet, riding gloves, protective glasses and cycling pants. Depending on the weather, a windbreaker is also a good piece of clothing to have on you.
Appropriate equipment, along with a sturdy and reliable mountain bike can make all the difference in the world while riding on this trail.
According to MountainBikeReviewed, the Roadmaster Granite Peak is a durable and affordable mountain bike with great features such as powerful brakes, high-quality suspension fork, and steel frame. It’s the ideal choice for any passionate rider.
2. Hydration Is Essential
When hearing that Monarch Crest is an MTB shuttle, many people tend to be dismissive and think that it’s all over in no time at all. But you need to remember that the trail still qualifies as an extreme cross-country ride, which means that having plenty of water on hand is essential if you want to make it through successfully.
Of course, you shouldn’t exaggerate. It’s important to travel light so that your cycling isn’t impeded by extra weight. Thus, getting one of the larger 1000ml water bottles for your bike is the best idea. And if you plan to stay out there for longer, carry a smaller flask or an isotonic sports drink in your backpack as well for additional fluid replenishment.
3. Have Plenty of Snacks
Nutrition is equally important in this situation. And as it is the case with water, you also need to pack lightly when it comes to snacks to not destabilize your bike. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the best foods to bring along while cycling is bananas, trail mix, and, of course, energy bars. And if you want some sandwiches as well, peanut butter and jelly is the perfect option.
4. Bring Self-Service Tools
While out on any type of ride, being able to repair any possible malfunctions even temporarily is crucial. Therefore, you need to bring a small, yet handy self-service toolkit. To keep it small scale, a minipump, a couple of wrenches, special scissors and a bike multitool should serve you well. And, as always, perform a maintenance check on your MTB before heading out.
5. Account for Extreme Weather
As described on the trail’s webpage, Monarch Crest is renowned for its afternoon thunderstorms. Although the chances of getting caught amid one are unexpectedly small, it can still happen. Therefore, it’s recommendable to be prepared for such situations.
It’s undoubtedly a lot harder to cycle through the rain, but if you bring some extra protection you can make it to safety. Even something as simple as a rain cap can help tremendously.
When mountain biking on Monarch Crest, you need to make sure that all your gear is in order. Don’t be fooled by it being a shuttle ride; bring plenty of snacks and water along so that optimal hydration and nutrition are maintained throughout. Have all the tools on hand for trail self-service, and always account for fickle weather. And don’t forget to have fun!