Bike Riding In and Around Our Beautiful Mountain Towns

Biking in Telluride

Biking in Telluride

Family Bike Adventure in Crested Butte

Family Bike Adventure in Crested Butte

Penelope Gleason from Bootdoctors in Telluride

Penelope Gleason from Bootdoctors in Telluride

The hills are alive with the sound of cyclists clicking their way over all kinds of bike trails from single track to old railroad grades to paved bike paths to smooth and bumpy swaths cut through our forests for your recreational pleasure. Our towns and valleys are popping with cyclists clad in brightly-colored garb, too. Whether you’re looking for a scenic ride along one of our rushing rivers or interested in snagging a momentous climb or a descent of World-Cup order, Colorado’s mountain towns offer some of the best bike riding options in the United States. Young or old, skilled or amateur, mountain biker or road rider, there’s something for everyone set within some of the best drop-dead gorgeous scenery in the world.

Below is a rundown of a few of Colorado’s major mountain destinations and some of the cycling options they offer. Read them over, make some enquiries and/or reservations, then enjoy the ride. Most of the mud has dried up and the wildflowers are beginning to bloom, so there’s no better time to freewheel it through and around our mountain towns.

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Road Tripping in the Great American West

Mt. Crested Butte

Mt. Crested Butte

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

There’s nothing like a good, old fashioned road trip to give you a terrific sense of freedom. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that you go under your own steam–that you’re not reliant on a plane, train, bus or boat to get you to your destination. The fact that you’re the captain of your ship means that you can leave when you want, go where you want and stop at whatever strikes your fancy along the way. Maybe it’s liberating because if you take your own vehicle, it’s like bringing your personal living room on the road. Whatever the reason, road tripping is so damned much fun. And there’s no doubt that it’s even better in the great American West.

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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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12 May 2014, 10:55am
Aspen Beaver Creek Breckenridge Colorado Crested Butte Hotels & Lodging Spas:
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Comments Off on Terrific Spa Experiences in Colorado’s Mountain Towns

Terrific Spa Experiences in Colorado’s Mountain Towns

Spa Anjali at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain

Spa Anjali at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain

Mother’s Day makes many of us think of pampering. I read somewhere that a gift certificate to a spa was one of the most popular Mother’s Day gifts offered. So keep that in mind next time you’re traveling with your favorite mom, even if that mom—or nurturing person—is you. Ladies or men—who doesn’t enjoy having their body and soul nourished by a soothing spa experience?

Here in the Rockies, spa going has become a big part of every mountain vacation year round. Whether you’re looking for just one fantastic therapeutic massage after a long day on the slopes or a big hike, or you decide to make a day of it, spa-going should be a necessary part of every mountain resort stay. Some of the spas are so fabulous that you’d be forgiven if you let the rest of your family or friends ski, ride, hike, bike or fish while you logged major relaxation time within such calming enclaves.

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The Bike Culture of Crested Butte

ski hill

Sailing Down the Ski Hill in Crested Butte

Fat tires, skinny tires, town cruisers, sleek road bikes, bouncy mountain bikes—you name it, everywhere you turn in this freewheeling mountain town in the summer, you see a cyclist, a bike, a bike part or a bike path popping into view. I’ve been to many mountain towns across the Rockies, yet never have I observed so many bike doings as here in Crested Butte, Colorado. A bike mecca for sure, perhaps largely due to its glorious network of trails (many single track) and the fact that mountain biking took off here in the 1970s after some locals began retrofitting old Schwinns with gears and took to the hills. Since then, the bike culture has done nothing but grow to the point that people of all ages and ability levels can’t help joining in on the fun when they land in this stunning mountain town.

This morning I went out for a little power hike on the ski mountain. Did I feel out of place not being on two wheels? Not at all. Instead, I enjoyed hoofing about at my own pace and observing the biking activities both up close and from afar. From the bike wash station to the easy bike loading setup at the gondola, I realized Crested Butte is a mountain resort destination that takes cycling seriously. I meandered up my own single track that accommodated two-way hikers and uphill bikers, a sinuous path bordered by fields of wildflowers, where I could take in the full expanse of CB’s alpine setting and still boost my heart rate and break a little sweat.

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Testing My Mettle in Crested Butte

Steve and Me Feeling on Top of the World at the Summit of Mount Crested Butte

Steve and Me Feeling on Top of the World at the Summit of Mount Crested Butte

Sometimes it’s hard being a girly-girl in the Rocky Mountains.  No matter how thin, how blond, how tanned, it seems as though these Colorado women are made of tough stuff.  Some have their nails done on a regular basis and their hair colored with even greater frequency, but beneath their fresh-as-an-alpine-morning allure, they’re able to keep up with the most competitive men, the super fit guys that think nothing of powering up a stretch of singletrack at nosebleed elevations and then charging down the slope at near breakneck speed.  These dudes are typically the husbands, boyfriends and partners of the aforementioned Colorado mountain girls and I’ve come to observe that most everything that the men take on, the women do nearly as well (and in some cases, even better).  Their approach might be a tad less aggro but none seem to hesitate much.  It’s kind of what’s expected out here.

And then there’s me.  My life’s now a far cry from the Parisian Princess posturing I maintained for more than a decade in the French capital.  Yes, I even became a ski instructor in an attempt to break out of such a pampered modus operandi.  But still, my softness prevails and sometimes it just gets in my way, preventing me from engaging full-on in real mountain activities with the rest of the men and women I encounter here in the West.

This monster of girliness reared its ugly head last weekend during a special gathering of friends in Crested Butte, a mecca of mountain bike riding in America.  As much as I’ve had a big passion for road riding in recent years, I’ve done very little mountain bike riding, mostly because I haven’t had my own bike.  (O.K., I admit I’ve had a few nervous moments on singletrack when I feared I’d topple off my bike and fall down a cliff.)  But I knew one of the main events of the weekend was going to involve a group bike ride, so I packed my chamois-bottomed shorts and cycling jersey and began to psyche myself up for the expedition.  When D-day arrived, however, I choked, especially when I heard the ride would traverse some of CB’s most pristine stretches of singletrack, one and a half-foot wide swathes of trails that would normally be the envy of any respectable rider.  But I couldn’t help thinking about the wobbling and eventual toppling over that might likely occur out on some precipitous ledge.

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