I was sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself because Bogus Basin still isn't open, and I decided that rather than moping, the glass needed to be half full somehow, someway. So I dusted off my fully rigid Surly 1X1, checked trail conditions on the Ridge to Rivers website, and headed off for Hulls Gulch in 40-ish-degree weather.
Not surprisingly, I wasn't the only person out making the most the unseasonably nice weather. It was strangely reminiscent of an early spring ride, with hundreds of people flowing to and from Camel's Back Park via the Foothills trail system. And generally, the trails were in great shape—frozen to tacky depending on how much shade they'd had.
As luck would have it, I happened upon Darren Lightfield, owner of the Wild Rockies mountain bike race series, near the intersection of the Crestline and Lower Hulls Gulch trails. He and company were making the most of the fine weather—en route to Bob's Trail. Apparently it's never too early to get in shape for racing season.
Here's a snippet of what you will find on the R2R site:
Trails are Drying, but Choose Your Route Carefully
Basically a carbon copy of yesterday's report ... most trails will continue to dry out with the sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures. However, trails that contain significant clay in the soil such as Old Pen and Cottonwood Creek continue to hold moisture and should be avoided after noon. Also be wary of running into mud further out on the Polecat Loop. Please turn around if you do. As always, please choose routes accordingly to avoid potentially muddy trails.
updated - 1/7/2012