Lost lake loop Vail mountain biking trail

The Lost lake mountain bike trail is one of the top mountain bike trails in Vail Colorado.  It is quite a long loop depending on how many “add ons” you do.  It is a 3-4 hour 25 mile ride.  So bring food and water.  You start at the Antlers at Vail condominiums and conference center.  Head up the road, across the pedestrian bridge and take a left down the bike path for about a 1/4 of a mile.  Take a right up Red Sandstone road and continue up a couple of switch backs until you get to the rock/gravel road of Red Sandstone going to Piney lake.  You then travel up this road about 3 miles?  until you get to a fork.  Take the right fork to Lost Lake.  Continue for another 30 minutes or more until you get to Lost lake.  If you hit any forks, just stay on the most traveled path.  If you get off, virtually all the roads end up at the hiking trail head to Lost Lake anyhow.  From here on it is single track around the lake and back down to a parking lot off of Red Sandstone.  You might be 2-3 hours into your ride at this point.  Take a left on Red Sandstone but only go a block before taking a right onto another forest service road.  You are now heading south back to Vail on top of a big ridge.  When you top out at a camp site, take a left off the main road to a faint double track.  Follow the trail/road down until you pick up a crazy single track called Buffehr creek.  You’ll be taking a number of switch backs before intersecting the Vail North Trail on your left.  Follow this back for even more vertical downhill until you exit onto Red Sandstone road again near Vail village.

View Lost Lake Trail to North Trail Vail in a larger map
Map of the trail

An elk we saw along the trail almost at Lost Lake (perhaps it was sleeping?)
They should call this trail “one elk”

All smiles

Nice single track section

Big hairpin turns coming down into Vail

What is a Driver?

This is an account of what goes on behind the scenes.  I feel compelled to share with you some information that goes unnoticed, but certainly has an impact on a days event if some detail was missed.

This past Saturday the annual Triple By Pass bike race, event, excursion, whatever the participants call it, was scheduled from Evergreen, Colorado and terminated in Avon.  This is 100 miles of insufferable bike riding over 3 Colorado mountain passes.  Congratulations to the Antlers team that endured and completed the contest.  (I suppose I should name names.  Meridith, Rob, Kathy, Bert, Danny, Jimmy, Randi and Don.  Your commitment to your sport is admirable).

Now I would like to congratulate me.  The preparation to get these world class athletes in place for the days event is tireless.

First I have to get gas in the van.  Then I have to get up at 4:00 am to drive these people to the starting point in Evergreen.  Then I have to drive back. 

Mighty are the preparations for thier arrival back in Avon 10 hours later.  I have to get a spot for the gang in the picnic area.  Make sure the ice for the margaritas doesn’t melt, buy a watermelon, purchase some helium balloon’s and write countless text messages that no one answers.  I was exhausted. 

I suspect pictures will be posted soon dramatizing the day.  You will not see, however, any pictures of the “Driver”.  He simply goes about his business.  It is a thankless yet rewarding job and I am proud to be a small part of such a momentous day.

That is what a Driver is.


(This Post is filed under shamless plugs)

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.

It is time for mountain biking

O.k., the trails around Vail still need a few weeks of drying out before they’ll be good. However, the trails in Eagle (30 minutes from Vail) are in top notch condition. Very smooth, lots of green, views and new flowers. C. Ratz

Winter is finally exiting Vail

Wow, it is taking awhile, but winter is starting to leave Vail. The picture above is from the Antlers looking up towards the ski slopes. It was taken around May 18th. Don’t worry, it has been melting a lot the last few days. None-the-less, we received some snow showers this Memorial Day weekend. The bike path is open up to the top of Vail pass (although it is 5 feet of snow tunnel at the top). Golf course is OPEN! Rafting it EXCELLENT! The Aspen trees are budding big time and within a week it will be green, green, green.