Mountain Biking Reservoir Ridge - Horsetooth Reservoir - Fort Collins
It's always a pleasant surprise when you find a trail right in your own backyard. What defines a trick ass trail you might ask? Well, the trail needs to be stimulating yet grueling. Long rock gardens, sketchy, narrow chutes and just a pinch of flow- usually the combo I seek out to fulfill my endless desire for adrenaline. Luckily for me, the amazing paradise of Horsetooth Reservoir sits right in my backyard and this place is jam packed with the technical trials I love. I, Mikey B., present to you an excellent adventure on the Reservoir Ridge in sunny Fort Collins, CO.
Apparently some people don't get too stoked about slow, technical climbs. On the other hand, those who do will find this trail great for improving balance, line selection and pedal timing. Not every trail will be built with perfect, easily chosen lines. That is why its important to practice on complex trails.Then, when caught in a rigorous situation you'll be ready. Reservoir Ridge is a slow going, very technical single track with an emphasis on pedal timing.
This trail receives terrible reviews for all the wrong reasons. Although it does require lots of balance and multiple rides to find the flow through all the rough terrain, to me it shines as a tough test piece for breakaway riders. Right off the bat the climb begins with a pedal timing sequence that sets the tone for whats to come. Next comes the mid section, here you will encounter long rock gardens with very little room for mistakes, in some sections it is impossible to start back up once you have unclipped. These bits will require flawless balance and powerful pedaling. From there you will come to a left or right split in the trail, take a right and continue up an extremely loose, rocky climb. Be careful here as there will most liekly be a rattlesnake or two hiding on the trail.
Once you reach the top you will be welcomed with an amazing view of the epic, man made, Horsetooth Reservoir. This is a great spot to kick back for a minute and enjoy a "roadie" brewski. After you have soaked up all the views, its time to resume the best part of the trail. The famous ridge includes multiple precarious steps and off-camber sections that will easily throw off your balance if you do not stay on point. There are some sweet off line variations that will take you on a rocky bridge but will quickly set you back on the trail. Hit the flow section and bomb some gnarly rock croppings and take the first left you encounter - shift down quickly as you will be challenged with a steep washed out chute. Now at the top of this climb you will have finally reached the true start of the downhill portion. Jet down the first fast, loose section and take an immediate left. If you're like me you will be screaming down the trail trying your best to carry the momentum you have built. Quickly balance your way through one more tight right turn and haul ass down the trail you have traveled up. From this point, you should reach your vehicle in less than 15 minutes (depending on your ability).
Remember, push yourself and keep your momentum, otherwise you will lock up your front wheel and endo like a loser. Thanks to the helpful hands at Overland bike Club there is a new variation in the middle of the trail, this variation is an amazing change of pace from the overbearing technical mid-section. They built it up with a couple fun drops and a great rocky ridge that will summon a great deal of stability. This is easily my favorite short trail to build power, balance and selection. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think!