We left shuttle vehicles at Ruedi Reservoir's boat ramp (FYI: you'll need to pay an entrance fee) and biked the Mt. Thomas Trail from Crooked Creek Pass, down the Ruedi Trail #1912, and back to the reservoir. This is perhaps one of the most scenic trails in the state. Unfortunately, there are numerous long stretches of rock fields that'll work you over. The climbs up Mt. Thomas and Ruedi Peak (both near 12,000') are unrideable due to the thin air, steep terrain, and loose rocks that just slip and slide under your wheels (or feet, because you'll be hiking at this point). Downhills are rideable but still very rocky. Note: Ruedi Trail was the only way down to the reservoir. We went down Ruedi Creek Road but were stopped by a dense blowdown of trees which barred any further biking. Ruedi Trail is NOT well marked, so make sure you know where you're going. We left a pile of rocks and logs at the trailhead on the side of the road but it won't stay there forever. Ruedi Trail itself is an incredible blast of a downhill, zipping and switchbacking though dense pine and aspen forests. Once in a while the trail will poke out of the trees, and you'll be shocked to see just how high up you are from the reservoir, even after MUCH downhilling. We clocked over 6000 insane feet of total downhill and 3500 uphill on this ride. Don't let the modest mileage fool you. This is indeed a once in a lifetime ride. It's hard as hell to do, but the views you'll experience will make it a trail you'll NEVER forget. A shuttle arrangement at the reservoir is a must. Do not think of doing this as a loop and riding back up to Crooked Creek Pass.
From Eagle, travel down Brush Creek Road (Forest Service Road 400) towards Sylvan Lake State Park. Continue on FS 400, past the park, up to Crooked Creek Pass. Just beyond the pass, after the cattle guard/gate, veer right onto a jeep trail. Stay on this main jeep trail until you come to the trailhead's parking area on your right, under some power lines. You can also reach Crooked Creek Pass from Basalt by taking Fryingpan River Road, past Ruedi Reservoir, and going up FS 400 from the other direction. Warning: FS 400 is undriveable when wet due to extreme mud.
Summary: This was an extremely difficult ride. Be prepared to hike several miles of this trail through the loose talus fields. Don't get discouraged though. The scenery was simply spectacular with impressive overlooks of Sylvan Lake, Ruedi Reservoir, and all the surrounding mountain ranges. On a clear day, you should be able to see the Maroon Bells far away. It was too hazy for us. We stopped for lunch atop Ruedi Peak while enjoying the awesome view of Ruedi Reservoir far, far below. After a final climb up a short section of jeep trail, we connected with the Ruedi Trail. While its top was fairly rocky, the Ruedi Trail was a welcomed relief, as we were all dead tired by now and had run out of water miles earlier. The Ruedi Trail was totally decadent, dishing out its 4000' vertical drop over several miles with bearly a stomp on our bike pedals. It took us 8 hours to ride from Crooked Creek Pass to the reservoir at a pretty leisurely pace. While this was a strenuous ride, the scenery and the awesome downhill made it all worthwhile.
Recommended Route: A shuttle is highly recommended, as described initially. Do not be fooled by another website's trail description into thinking this is a moderate ride or doing the whole thing as a loop.
Other recommended trails in the same area: The numerous forest service roads in the area provide ample opportunities for scenic, fairly easy rides.