The Thrill of a Bike Race

The Start of the USA Pro Challenge in Aspen

The Start of the USA Pro Challenge in Aspen

Sexy Cyclists

Sexy Cyclists

More Good-Looking Guys

More Good-Looking Guys

I’m here at my desk amid piles and piles of papers, cards, brochures and miscellaneous other remnants from an action-packed trip to the USA Pro Challenge, which took place here in Colorado last week. I also just spent a couple of hours going through a slew of images from time spent at this exciting bike race. I met cyclists and bystanders, travel suppliers and promoters, journalists and commentators, fans of all ages, shapes and sizes, avid cycling enthusiasts, amateur bike riders and tons of folks just out for a good time.

There’s nothing like a big sporting event to bring people together, especially when it’s on wheels and it travels to different locations along the way. Many people followed the seven days of racing–an extraordinary route that began in Aspen and finished in Denver as it traversed some of the world’s highest mountain passes, most scenic valleys and most beloved Colorado destinations. I hit the USA Pro Challenge in Aspen, Crested Butte and Gunnison and boy, did I soak up every minute of fun I could find within that four-day period.

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Marking Eleven Years in Paris and Telluride with Mom

Me and Mom Early Spring 1990ish Having Tea in the Garden at the Normandy Country House

Me and Mom Early Spring 1990ish Having Tea in the Garden at the Normandy Country House

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Steve Gumble Brings Us Telluride Blues & Brews and More

Steve Gumble

Steve Gumble

There was a story in The New York Times a few days ago about the proliferation of music festivals all over the world within this past decade. In North America, you can count almost 850 for this year alone. People are crazy about music festivals and the all-encompassing experiences they offer, and promoters and musicians have found them to be profitable enterprises.

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

But no one puts on a festival like Telluride, Colorado. Sure, I’m biased because I live here. But ask anyone and they’ll likely tell you the same. Plus, most of our great Telluride festivals—from music to film—have been around for decades. So I was thrilled to do a Travel Fun interview with Steve Gumble, founder of Telluride Blues & Brews, one of our beloved festivals, to hear his story, how he got this now twenty-one-year-old festival going and to listen to him reminisce about some of the most memorable moments from his shows.

Click the play button below to listen to Steve chat about this world-renowned festival as well as the Durango Blues Train and Snowmass Mammoth Fest, two other terrific musical happenings he recently took on.

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Discovering Paris with Fat Tire Bike Tours

The Paris Fat Tire Bike Tour Peloton

The Paris Fat Tire Bike Tour Peloton

I always say that Paris is a city best explored by foot. True. But there’s a lot to cover, so I’m suggesting more and more that people first take a bike tour of the City of Light.

If you’ve read my travel memoir, A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, you know that I’m into bike riding, so this recommendation should come as no surprise. Although my book features two Paris chapters, which highlight taking in the sites of the French capital, I’ve never pedaled around Paree myself. Mon dieu! I long to do it, however, in the meantime I charged a friend and occasional contributor, Peter Hans, from Discovery Maps and Guides, to check out a tour with Paris Fat Tire Bike Tours himself.

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Dana Crawford Chats About the Opening of Denver’s Restored Union Station and The Crawford Hotel

Denver's Union Station

Denver’s Union Station

I rarely write about a place without having visited it, however, in this case, I can do it with the utmost confidence. I’m talking about the newly restored Union Station in Denver and a splendid hotel housed within:  The Crawford. Both have been a labor of love of for Dana Crawford and Sage Hospitality, and Colorado is abuzz about the reopening of this landmark station and the unveiling of this unique hotel. Listen to what Ms. Crawford has to say about this enormous project, her passion for restoration and future plans in the works in my Travel Fun interview below.

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Telluride Jazz Festival: Another Great Time in the Park

Poncho Sanchez and His Band at Telluride Jazz Festival 2014

Poncho Sanchez and His Band at Telluride Jazz Festival 2014

Telluride is one crazy ride,” one of the guys in Poncho Sanchez’s band shouted to the crowd. I’d never heard that one before but it’s a good one—-our scintillating mountain town is one heck of a ride, especially at sunset during the Telluride Jazz Festival, the very moment when this musician expressed his exuberance about T-ride.

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Summer Dining Picks for Vail, Beaver Creek and Telluride

Fabulous Grilled Chops from Elway's Vail

Fabulous Grilled Chops from Elway’s Vail

Wow, Colorado’s mountain towns are going off right now. Every year the summer tourism scene seems to grow as people realize that Colorado’s resort towns are the place to be to have fun, cool off and enjoy terrific dining. There’s so much to choose from, often your toughest decision is where to go. And it should come as no surprise that the culinary scene of our swanky mountain towns rivals the dining options offered in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities.

In this story, I’ve outlined  some of my suggestions of where you’re sure to enjoy a delicious meal in a great setting. These are the busiest weeks from now through Labor Day, so I suggest you plan ahead and reserve as much in advance as possible at these and other fine restaurants.

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Making Memories at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix

Inside the Musical Instrument Museum

Inside the Musical Instrument Museum

It has been almost a week that I returned from a wonderful nine-day trip with my mother to the Phoenix/Scottsdale/Carefree, Arizona area. We visited many fine establishments, so expect to see posts on this glorious, sun-drenched part of the United States in the upcoming months.

We shared such a special mother/daughter time that I’ve, of course, been missing her. Thankfully I have many photos, mementos and music to remind me of the times we had together. Yes, some fabulous music that I discovered has taken me right back there with mom.

Are you familiar with French gypsy music? I’m talking about swinging gypsy jazz, moody boleros and tangos à la Django Reinhart. It’s the music of Paris from 1910 through the mid 1920s. You hear it and you imagine a smoky nightclub scene in the City of Light as you tap your foot and swing to the zippy beat. We heard this music performed by Zazu, a local French orchestra of Phoenix, during the Bastille Day celebration concert at the Musical Instrument Museum. Quelle découverte! Experiencing this music and this stunning museum was one of the highlights of our trip.

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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