In keeping with the Antlers biking tradition, Randi and I participated in the recent Ride to Work day. I think this was our tenth time doing it together out of the last eleven years. One of us must have been on vacation that other year … I can’t remember who. In the spirit of Bert Farin, we stopped at every food station between Edwards and Vail, and did manage to hit our favorite one at Dowd Junction, just before they ran out of breakfast burritos … Yes! Bert claims to take a circuitous route each year down in Boulder, just to stop at a couple more. We totally admire that.
Another component of the Antlers Vail Cycling history is our participation in the Colorado River Ride. It’s coming up in just two weeks, on July 27. We’ve had as many as two dozen people proudly wearing the Antlers colors. Out of 32 people, that’s not bad. Some of them even work for the competition, but we still call them friends. Besides, our standards for this purpose are exceedingly low.
Unfortunately, this year many of our regulars have conflicts and I think we’re only going to have a handful riding together. No biggie, because we usually split up pretty quickly anyway. However, if YOU would like to join us, we’d love to have you, AND you get a free limited edition Antlers jersey!
Just give me a call at 970-790-5200.
We do have one celebrity rider with us this year, although she doesn’t know it yet (she knows she’s riding, she just doesn’t know that she’s a celebrity). Back in April we contributed a free night stay (as we often do) to the Bicycle Colorado fundraiser, PLUS entry into the River Ride with Team Antlers! A very nice woman who works at Kaiser Permanente called me to say that she was excited to have bought our donation at the auction. What fun! After she’s here in two weeks, had a chance to meet us and then if she still has the poor judgement to allow herself to be associated with us, we’ll publish her name. Maybe even a picture. Stay tuned.
After a visit from the Easter Bunny, kids enjoy a hunt for eggs in Lionshead.
Today I am marking my two and a half week anniversary here at the Antlers at Vail with my second blog post. This is my first experience working in the lodging industry and while I have had the fortune to work with the Antlers as the official condo hotel of both the Bravo! Vail music festival and Vail Symposium, there has still been a lot for me to take in.
I feel very fortunate to be working here as a part of the Antlers family, and to get to experience to some extent what our owners and guests get to experience. My first week here our Grand Poobah (aka Rob) shared an informal SWOT analysis with me. The top item on the strengths list was “location”. But I don’t think that does it justice. It is really more like the very best access to all that Vail has to offer, and that is a lot.
The antlers-bedecked cruiser bikes are free for guests. A fun way to tour the village!
Two weekends ago my family came into town for the Vail Rec District’s Easter egg hunt. We parked here at the Antlers, enjoyed the Easter activities and then stopped back in at the lobby to enjoy some conversation, coffee and hot chocolate for our daughter before heading home. Last weekend we took our daughter up skiing. Of course, everyone knows the convenient proximity of the Antlers to the gondola. Earlier this week I needed to run to the bank. Instead of getting in the car and driving, I grabbed one of the free antlers-bedecked cruiser bikes and enjoyed a refreshing ride through town. As a long-time Vail local, working here reminds me of all the reasons that I live here. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to bringing my hiking boots in and enjoying some impromptu Vail hikes this summer!
Two things motivated this story. The first is a website sponsored by the Town of Vail called solepower.org (very cool). This should be a blogpost in itself, but as you can see if you visit the site, it’s a way to log miles walked or pedaled in lieu of driving. Check out the Team Leaderboard and you’ll see that the Antlers is kicking just about everyone’s butt, with the exception of our friends (ahem) over at the West Vail Liquor Mart. If you scroll the Solepower blog, you just might also see some smack talk between the two of us. It’s all good.
The second big driver was just the attraction of being one of the few people (to say the least) to ride a bike from Vail to Denver for a business meeting. Call me crazy … everyone does.
So Sunday afternoon at 2:00 (after walking 18 holes and shooting a million, by the way) I set out from home on my trusty Giant armed with rain gear, a couple fresh jerseys and a healthy supply of “vitamin i” in my backpack.
3:00 found me at the East Vail exit feeling great.
Shortly after passing our namesake signage on the way up, by 4:20 I was cresting Vail Pass and happy, happy, happy.
A mere thirty-five downhill minutes later it was hi and bye to Frisco.
Who knew that the bikepath across the Dillon Dam was painted bright pink … what’s that all about?
Forty-five minutes further up the road, I pedalled into Keystone. It was at this point that I started feeling less than 100%. When I realized that one of my original two water bottles was still half full, it dawned on me that I wasn’t drinking nearly enough and might be getting dehydrated. Duh. In retrospect, I was already well beyond what I could fix by simply drinking a bunch. In fact, although I didn’t know it yet, I was toast. More on that later.
After hanging at Keystone from 6:00 to about 6:30, eating power bars, drinking Gatorade, drinking Gatorade and eating power bars, I hit the road still foolish enough to think that Loveland Pass summit would be no sweat.
Notice that the sky is a bit dusky. Right. What should be an hour and change took me over two (with more than a couple catch-your-breath stops (piss me off). At that point I had been on the road for six and a half hours, it’s beyond “dusky” and I hadn’t pee’d once. Pardon me, but this isn’t good.
Nevertheless, the gratification of being at the top, combined with less than no alternatives of what to do next, made for an exciting (shall we say?) descent. Just me, my bike, my little headlight (thank you again, Evelyn) and an occasional eighteen wheeler. Yipee. By the time I rolled into Georgetown at 9:30 I was beyond pooped, and really, really happy to call it a day.
I posted a picture of my luxurious motel room on Facebook and quickly got a “Motel 3?” response from Boomer. I replied “two point five”. But who really cares?
I should back up and tell you that the destination for this (not ill advised, but poorly executed) adventure was a CACI Executive Committee meeting at the University Club, a block from the capitol building in Denver. Prior to being dim-witted enough to let myself dry out, I was sharp enough when I met with them the week before, to ask Darla and Eliza (our queens of PR) if they could deliver my suit to said destination. Brill, and thanks.
Day 2 -Rise and shine … 7:00, out the door, back on the steed and Ya-hoo … another 18 mile thrilling descent into Idaho Springs. And this time I can SEE WHERE I’M GOING! It just doesn’t get any better.
From there, it’s a not-too-tough climb up Floyd Hill. Now I’m no medic, but methinks that the dehydration screwed up my system beyond what guzzling water and one night’s fitfull sleep could fix. When it took me at least twice as long as it should have, to climb FH and everything else, I was sure of it.
Reminiscent of Loveland Pass, reaching the crest of the hill next to Lookout Mountain got me stoked, with those familiar great views both east and west.
Toasted or not, the E-ticket ride down Route 40 is a hoot. I confess to being a little preoccupied with the prospect of having to crawl back up that same path later in the day, but it was still really fun.
Once in Denver, I made my way east on Colfax (bad idea) and some side streets (slightly better) until I eventually reached my final resting place destination.
It was 10:30 and I had time to shower (thanks U Club), change, and get ready for our meeting. I did my best to not let on that I felt somewhat like badly overcooked spaghetti, and seemingly got away with it, as the meeting went well and we adjourned just prior to 2:00 like usual.
When it came time to head out, I shared my adventure with Dan, Ann and Chuck, but predictably left out the part that I felt like hell and should have been ever so much smarter about drinking an ample amount of water along the way. They were each more impressed than was deserved and Dan even went so far as to email out my undertaking to the entire CACI board. Slightly embarrassing, but okay.
True to form, Ann took a picture.
Once changed back into my bike gear, I texted Evelyn that all was well (although my pants were on fire), telling her that the meeting went fine, but I didn’t feel great and was starting to question my ability to make it all the way home. I presumed that we would communicate more and ultimately make arrangements to meet in Idaho Springs or similar. You have to know that Ev was never too fond of the whole idea in the first place. A short time later I got a return text telling me that she was passing Frisco and “on her way”. At that point I had mixed emotions, part of me unhappy with her rush to judgment (and action), doubting my abilities altogether. The other half of me was completely of the attitude, “OH THANK GOD!”. By the time she picked me up just as I was about to begin the long ascent up to Lookout Mountain, the latter feeling had won out completely.
In sum, I think I can claim to be one of the few people to ever ride from Vail to Denver for a business meeting, but it does still leave me with one more goal for the future … down AND back. And I’ll be a LOT smarter about how much water I drink!
Meadow mountain bike loop and trail is one of the “classic” mountain bike routes in and near the Antlers at Vail condominiums located in Vail, Colorado. To get there from the Antlers hotel, drive West on Insterstate 70 to exit 171. Go south on Hwy 6 (take a right) underneath the freeway and as you go south you’ll almost immediately pull into the U.S. forest service station, on the right again. Park here and suit up. Ride your mtn bike south through the parking lot and start climbing for 7 miles or so and 2000+ vertical feet. As you go up there will really only be one fork in the road (about 1/2 of the way up). Take a right here and keep climbing. After about an hour (or more) you’ll come to the little cabin. Take a much needed rest and have some lunch. Directly to the north (heading west) is the single track. It descends through the woods for what seems like miles. It goes back and forth constantly but for the most part is completely rideable. When you are getting close to the freeway you’ll come to a fork. Take the fork to the left, continue to Eagle Vail. You’ll come out by the high-school and the Par 3 golf course. Ride through Eagle Vail, hop back on Hwy 6 and ride back East (couple of miles) to your car at the Forest Service station.
Antlers at Vail Room rates are 35% off for the USA Pro cycling Challenge August 24-26th. Riverside/mountain view Studio suite rooms from $156 per night with a full size kitchen.
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is the most demanding bike race ever held on American soil, with racers experiencing breathless altitudes, day after day. The race is on the level of the Tour de France, bringing the high speeds, danger and adrenaline of professional biking to elevations over 2 miles high in some of the most picturesque terrain in the world—the Colorado Rocky Mountains. August 25th is Stage 3 of the USA Cycling Challenge and is the Vail Time Trial going up the old Highway 6 road towards Vail Pass. It starts right from Vail village. August 26th will be Stage 4 of USA Cycling Challenge and goes from Avon Colorado to Steamboat.
Here is the “TEAM ANTLERS” bicycling team who should be around town watching the races in August. Come join us !
Share Your Favorite and You Could Win a 2-Night Stay at the Antlers
It’s not too soon to think about next summer — especially when the Antlers offers special pricing during June 2011 as part of its “30 Days of June” promotion.A studio suite starts at just $140 per night for a two-night stay, and June’s packed calendar guarantees that guests of all ages will find plenty to see and do.
We’ve included a list of some of our favorite fun warm-weather activities in the list below, and we’d love to hear about your favorite reasons to come to Vail in the summertime. Leave a comment below and you’ll be automatically entered to win a free 2-night stay at the Antlers. We’ll choose the lucky winner on July 1, 2011. Be sure to include a working e-mail address with your comment, and don’t worry — we won’t share it with a soul.
Son of middle creek mountain bike trail is a fantastic Vail mountain bike ride. It is around 8 miles and only takes 1 to 1.5 hours for a wonderful loop from the Antlers at Vail hotel and conference center. Click on the link below to print out the map and read about the directions etc. It has about 40 minutes of climbing and 30 minutes of single track ascent/descent.
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.