A place to share words and pics. Mostly bikes, but my photog eye does wander.

Bikes let the good times roll. In solitude or with friends. For a half hour or 8 hours. Pedals become the gears that turn the earth as the sun seems to track their motion, day after day. Miles become food, and you're hungry. The bike stops being a vehicle, or toy, or transportation and becomes an extension of will, allowing you to journey beyond the pain of self into the realm of almighty, joyous nature, she that feeds our souls. Pedal yourself into the maw of creation. Pedal yourself silly.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Who's World? Phil's World!

What goes around, comes around, and sometimes it comes around pretty quick! I gave a tour of PMP earlier in the year to GilaMonster and his pal from Cortez, JJB. "If you're ever in Cortez, I'll show you around!" Little did I know but a few months later we'd  be up in Cortez! JJB made his day available and not only showed us around Phil's World in proper order, but offered a second trip for the day to the Canyon of the Ancients which we jumped on. We were planning another early Durango local ride, but a guided tour through old ruins that aren't ridden that often? Yes, please! To start, we headed to Phil's World which was built by this guy named Jake....no, really, it was Phil, and it is all mountain bike specific trail, one way flow and lots of natural banks, turns and jumps. They had some tussles early on with the shooting range next door, but it seems that they came to an agreement and everyone shoots and rides to their pleasure, without danger of being perforated by lead....Hello? Table Mesa?....

Heading out of Durango, we caught the Durango-Silverton train on it's way out of town. I rode it about 24 years ago, and as I remember, it was pretty cool.

Not the Tetas of San Carlos, but rather the Twin Buttes of Durango. There's also some good riding there we heard, but opted to save it for the next trip and add in the Canyon of the Ancients.

A tourist trap if I've ever seen one. How did the natives every lose with arrows that big? Those are almost WMDs!

Phil's World is only about 45 minutes from Durango, so we were there in no time.

It's a pretty robust system, with about 30 miles of singletrack if you get everything. I doubt you would though as you would probably spend ample time doing repeats on Ribcage. That piece is worth a revisit!

JJB the tour guide! Showing us up on his SS. He's also the water bottle master. Getting weight off the back is always key.

The trail out there is packed and fast.

The mesa has some cool rocks formations on it, and it lent itself to rocky trail as we went out on the Ledges Loop.

Bike on crack!

A few drops here and there to keep it fun.  Photo by Schillingsworth.

A small set of stair steps over near Elbow/Ledges somewhere. Look at that weather moving in!  Photo by Schillingsworth..
Coming up from the far end of the Ledges, we were treated to a little burn area. The wind had been howling since we started, with probably 35mpg gusts and it looked like a big system was moving in to drench us. We continued forth.

We made our way off of the Ledges to make sure we could get the good stuff before the skies opened up on us.

But the skies never did open up on us! Some drizzle then all of a sudden bluebird skies! Here, John rides with the Sleeping Ute in the background.

Here I'm meandering along Stinky Spring Loop. Photo by Schillingsworth.
The system missed us. The weather Gods are still giving blessings this weekend.

JJB leading the way. Great guide the whole day, putting up with our picture stops and generally chill pace. There's just so much to see!

We eventually made our way back to Ribcage, the star trail of the system, and I can see why. It was pavement packed, and fast as it rolled up and down small drainages that came off the mesa. Many chances of air time, of which I probably took my largest jump ever (which isn't that big at all, really). I sure felt like I was flying!
Lots of fast undulating trail.

Ready for lift-off! I got some major air off of this one. Major for me, anyway.  Photo by Schillingsworth.

JJB was a little more conservative.

John was employing those BMX track skills again.
After hitting Ribcage twice, we headed back to the parking lot to get some lunch and head over to ride #2, Canyon of the Ancients. You can do a Ribcage loop in about 20 minutes as well. I would have been happy doing it a third time!
Our Phil's World Journey. We parked at the south end, near 160 which travels east/west across the bottom of the map. The Ledges Loop is the far loop to the north, and the Stinky Spring loop is the little one on the east side sticking out.

There's not too much elevation to be had out there, but it makes up for it in flow. Right out of the parking lot is was a flowing hoot. The Lemon Head Loop in the southwest of the system was fun too.

Lots of ups and downs but over 21 miles we only climbed about 1,500 ft. Fine with me. I was a little pooped from the 9k we did the two days earlier, and was also happy to take it easy on my knee, even though it was behaving very well.
Phil's World is fast, flowy and grin inspiring. Well worth the stop on your way to Durango. If you just blast through it you could be done with it all in less than three hours. Be sure to add in a few Ribcage loops though. It is pretty damn fun. Lots of trail names out there too, but sure don't remember many of them. A successful stop #1 for Sunday.

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