Ear to the ground:

"It's like herpes. It's forever."
– Durango transplant discussing the longevity of the unmistakable Midwestern accent

A good day for a road ride

Attention weekend warriors: the Big Mountain Enduro is coming to a trail near you this weekend.

The Durango Enduro, which is a two-day, two-stage mountain bike race, takes off from Kennebec Pass on the Colorado Trail on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and shifts gears to Horse Gulch starting at 9 a.m. Sunday.

The Forest Service is informing trail users that 20 miles of the CT from Kennebec to Junction Creek Campground will be closed to the public from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday. Junction Creek Road (Forest Road 171) will be open to traffic, but people should expect heavy bicyclist traffic on race day between the campground and the trailhead. The parking lot at the Colorado Trail trailhead will also be open.

Although the trails in Horse Gulch will not officially be closed Sunday, trail users are advised to be on the lookout for screaming downhillers from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. or better yet, to choose an alternate route. Maybe a more relaxing ride in the Mountain Park?

According to Big Enduro officials, Sunday's route will include trails around Fort Lewis College as well as the Rim, Squawker, Raider's Ridge, Snakecharmer, Telegraph, Crites and Carbon Junction.  

As many as 180 riders are expected to participate in this weekend's race, which is the second of five stops on the race's circuit. Other venues include Snowmass, Keystone, Moab and Crested Butte.

For the uninitiated or old school, "enduro" is a hybrid of cross country and downhill. Unlike downhill, where racers are shuttled to the top, enduro racers are required to power themselves up (nontimed) and down (timed), thus requiring a high threshold of pain and pucker. "The rapidly growing discipline combines the physical endurance of cross-country riding with the technical difficulty and excitement of downhill racing," boasts the Enduro website.

The Big Mountain Enduro is presented by Yeti Cycles and bills itself as offering "some of the biggest and most challenging terrain in and around these mountainous landscapes." When the dust settles in September, the 2014 Big Mountain Enduro Series will have dropped some 50,000 vertical feet "that test athletes' pure strength, endurance and bike handling skills."