Biking Vail Pass: The Easy Way

Last week Ratz and some of his partners in crime biked up Vail Pass. CJ and I decided that looked fun. Or rather, half of it looked like fun. So when our good friends next door at Charter Sports offered to give us a ride up to the top of the pass, a couple bikes, and let gravity take care of the rest, and feed us beer and bbq at the bottom, so we jumped at the offer. We met up with a few of the fine ladies from Sage Outdoor Adventures Our driver Jaimis (I have no idea how to spell it, but its pronounced Jay-mus) knows pretty much every thing there is to know about Vail and is a great resource to have for the half-hour ride to the top. The views up there are pretty amazing. I was suitably impressed:

For just 45 bucks Charter Sports will hook you up with a comfort cruiser bike, helmet, water, and a ride to the top of the pass. It’ll take you about two and a half hours for the whole activity, depending on how much you use your brakes, and you can make an afternoon of it if you stop at bighorn park at the bottom of the pass and bbq, like we did.

View Vail Pass Bike path in a larger map

Vail mountain biking

Vail mountain biking is finally underway in Vail Colorado. We’ve had quite the wet and cold spring, but the sun is finally out this weekend and the trails are drying out. Not only is the sun out, but so are the animals. On our recent mountain bike ride we saw a beaver in the river near the Antlers pool, a fox 200 meters to the west of the Antlers and four different deer up on the hill. Chris R.

Riding up village trail, plenty of snow up on the Gore Range

Fox crossing the street

Moving so fast the picture is blurry

Deer heading into the woods (can barely see it, trust me)

Vail mountain biking

We are still mountain biking in Vail. In the background of the picture you can see Vail ski mountain where there is a light dusting of snow on some of the ski slopes. We have been having cold evenings in Vail, but the hiking and biking has been great from 10am – 4pm. Beautiful Colorado sunshine. This photos was taken from the Son of Middle Creek single track. It joins into the Vail North Trail and is about an hour ride. If you need trail ideas on where to ride your mountain bike in Vail, ask Chris or Rob at the Frontdesk.

2008 Colorado River Ride

Every year for the past four years, some variation of Team Antlers has ridden in the late-July Colorado River Ride … one of the best and most fun bicycle centuries there is. In addition to the 100 mile route being spectacular (much of it paralleling the Colorado River from Burns to Dotsero) the aid stations are more like big parties then most other rides. That’s because a significant number of the 1,000+ riders are locals that all know each other.
This year was Team Antlers’ finest hour (so far) with 15 people riding in Antlers jerseys. It was an all-star lineup, including:
Randi Davis (our controller) and her architect husband Danny on their tandem (hanging out about six inches off of their back wheel is truly one of my most happy places in the whole world)
Bert Farin … the most fun-loving employee in the history of the Antlers. Period.
Kent Rose … past mayor of Vail, a stalwart of our regular Wednesday night mountain biking group, and the only guy I know to once ride to Steamboat and back (200 miles) in one day
Ray Tuomey … Bert’s friend (and ours) from Chautauqua in Boulder and now solar panel guru (pictured here using his “portable changing room” aka a Mexican poncho)
Erin Kelly … son in law of Ebby and Lex Pinson (of Vail Symposium fame and Wednesday nights respectively)
Lee Rimel & Charlie Dolan … Both Wednesday night vets. Charlie’s a builder extraordinaire and Lee built and owns the 10th Mountain Division Hut System’s newest hut at the top of Tennesee Pass … the Continental Divide Hut
Cathy Craig … Durango’s finest product ever and one of my very best buds from Colorado College
Nate Free … past Antlers employee (last millenium), who now runs club sales for the Sonnenalp golf club and frequent biking pal of Randi & Danny
and yours truly
Sadly, Ratz, Sarah and Marco Pierotti decided to start from Beaver Creek, whereas the rest of us started and finished in Eagle … so we missed them. Deputy Sherriff Jeff Layman, caught us midway as well. So too bad … no photos, but they all proudly wore the Antlers Burgundy and Cream as well.
Coming out of Eagle we were full of piss and vinegar … constantly challenging each other for the head of the paceline. Well, maybe not … but you get the idea.
However by the end of the ride, it was a slightly different story.
Thanks to Kent and Rayma Rose who threw an AWESOME post ride cookout and picnic at their magnificent Eagle Ranch home, the wear and tear of all those road (rode?) miles wore off pretty quickly. On the other hand, I suspect everyone slept pretty darn well that night … I know I did.
By the way, we’ve got some open slots for next year’s ride …

Vail road biking

It is time for Colorado “touring”, both with the car and with the bike. Independence Pass and Trail Ridge road are now open after the record snows this past winter. It sure is a fun time to ride to the top of some of the Colorado passes and then throw some snowballs around or do a little sledding. The pic above is from Loveland Pass near the Eisenhower tunnel. I and a few friends did a training ride from Idaho Springs up to the top on Wednesday. 30 miles up in about 3 hours. All the way down in about 1 hour 10 minutes. It was work. Chris R.