A slice of Silt

The racing here in the front range wasn’t going as planned for me, so when there was an opportunity to get out of town and race in Grand Junction, my friend Lars and I jumped on it. A few weeks before I decided to do this race, I had spent some time looking for new roads to ride on the western slope of Colorado.  Most of places west of Beaver Creek had only served as road signs and places to pull off and refuel as I headed towards destinations such as Grand Junction, Moab, and other points west.

I have used Strava to plot out routes around Denver in order to string together potential new roads.  I turned there again in hopes that I could find some hidden gems. In doing this, my starting point was the town of Silt, Colorado.  I had never even pulled off I 70 here before, so new roads where guaranteed.Fork

Where are we

I was grateful to have a co-pilot that could help me navigate these unknown stretches of tarmac.  As we drove around, I was ashamed that I had never stopped here before.  Quiet roads and unbelievable views greeted us around every bend.


Saab story

I was fairly certain that some of these roads that were going to be dirt or gravel and wanted to first have a chance to drive them to see if they were going to rideable by road bike.  stuck in a rut

With the threat of rain looming on the horizon, when we hit this section, I thought it wise to try this road another day.  We turned back and headed in the direction that we had come from.  This turned out to be a great decision.  The sun was descending and soon we’d be treated to what many call magic or golden hour.

road worthyThese ranch lands had almost no traffic and the road surfaces were nothing less than fantastic.  I was really wishing that had time to suit up and get some miles in, but I really just wanted to hang out and see what the sunset had in store for us.

horse play

grass land

cat tail

As you can see, once again, Colorado did not disappoint. The chirping of the birds, the moos of the cattle, and the light of the day had me relishing in my decision to get off the highway and see what this spot had to offer.

rock bottom

on the fence

golden road

oh hay

As we stood there and witnessed the quiet solitude of Silt, I knew that this was a place I would revisit and couldn’t wait to do so.  The fire of adventure had been stoked on this day!

in the chute

Free speed: Alchemy Arion

It all started with a trip to say hi to a friend.  My buddy Cody has been working for Alchemy bicycle company for a few years now, and I’ve always thought their bikes were so nice.  We’ve talked about the possibility of me being able to throw a leg over one someday, but I never knew when that might happen.  While I was there, Cody took the time to give me the full tour.  All the machining tools, the frame jigs, the carbon lay up process, the paint booth, and murder.  I was throughly impressed.  I started to see why custom bikes cost so much. There is a lot of work and love that goes into the process.  Cody told me it takes around 40 hours from start to finish to create these works of art, with about 40% of that time in paint.







Alchemy show room


We chatted for about an hour and when it was time to leave, he showed me this bike

Alchemy with white and aqua copy


I’ve been riding a Specialized Venge for the past 2 years and logged over 15,000 miles on it in that time.  I’ve got a pretty good idea of what that bike is and what it can do.  Cody was telling me what an incredible ride quality this bike possessed, but he also sells these bikes for a living.  I listened to what he had to say, but ultimately, I would form my own opinion.  He told me to take it for the weekend and enjoy it.  That’s precisely what I did.

The first ride, my friend Larsen and I headed up to Red Rocks.  It’s got great climbs and fun twistys to carve down.


into the dark


We were running low on daylight, so we just played around there for a few minute and then we did the 30min ride back to my house.

The next day provided a chance to take the Arion out on a local group ride.  There was to be a race on Saturday, but it got cancelled due to weather.  I knew there would be a good turn out because there’s just no stopping us Colorado cyclists.  I got lots of looks and compliments as I rolled up on the 15 or so riders that were already there.  “Beautiful bike, when did you get it”?  It’s not mine, I’m just riding it.  I said that a lot that weekend.





The bike was amazing!  It had all the stiffness and handling of my Venge, but much more forgiving.  Much less road buzz, and it just felt right.  Anytime I needed to put the power down, the bike was willing and able.  Moving up and down the line of riders seemed effortless.  There were quite a few strong riders out there that day, I might add.  We got rained, hailed, and eventually snowed on, but I couldn’t have cared less.  I was having the time of my life!  As we headed back east, there is a road that is mostly chip and seal and always provides a numbing effect.  I thought this would be the true test of how compliant the frame really was. As we turned left, I could immediately tell a difference from my other bikes.  The bike just seemed to float over the rough surface.  I had to look down to make sure the tires were actually in contact with the road.



I was so excited and full of energy, I decided to attack the group a few times.  So much fun!  After the ride I still needed more, so I went into to downtown Denver to take some glamour shots.  I wanted to really remember this experience.

Achemy on white wall

Alchemy bottom reflection

Alchemy and pipe

Alchemy on grey wall

It didn’t seem to matter where or how I placed this bike, it just looked good.

The day I was to give it back, I took it out for a 4 hour mountain ride that was full of long climbs and ripping descents.  I was tired from racing two crits the day before, but you only get a chance like this every once in a while.





It was hard to give the Arion back, but I hoped it wasn’t a good-bye,  just a see you later.