The air temp was somewhere around 40 at the house, where the altitude is around 9340 feet up in the Colorado sky. It was a bluebird sky.
We lifted our bikes over the gate behind the house and set out on the forest road up and over Bald Mountain.
The forest road surface was dry in places, but most of it was hard pack snow and a little icy. We pedaled on and picked up Shubarth Road (forest road) and eventually Shubarth Trail.
We needed to loop around to pick up the forest road that went back up to the house, which required going over the ridge. We consulted the topo map.
We stepped through another gate and rode through snow, trudged through snow and, every now and then, the tires got to taste dirt. My feet were cold. I forgot to put my booties on.
Eventually we dropped down to Rampart Reservoir, where a trail bends in and out of the fingers and coves. We couldn’t find the trail, hike-a-biking up and around house-sized boulders and through pines.
We found the trail. Where the sun shined for several hours of the day, it was dry and fast.
And then we’d turn a corner into the shade and the front tire would sink into 8 inches of snow.
In the distance for the entire ride, was Pike’s Peak.
Two and a half hours later, we were climbing back up the forest road and hopping through the gate at the house, our winter mtb adventure on the Front Range coming to an end.