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.

more »

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.

more »

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.

more »

Bike Race Spectating, Colorado Touring, Book Promoting, Travel Adventures Galore Oh My

Taking a Break from Book Promoting Along the Barriers at the Vail Time Trial of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Taking a Break from Book Promoting Along the Barriers at the Vail Time Trial of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

“Have you decided what you’d like to order?” the server of Spencer’s, the signature restaurant of Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, asked me.

“I’ll have the snake,” I said.

When he looked at me in a bewildered manner, I realized my words weren’t matching my thoughts and then I corrected my order. “Oh, I meant to say steak.  Yes, steak. I’m sorry, I’m just so weary.”

“No problem,” he replied and seemingly just minutes later I was served one of the most succulent steaks ever. I gobbled it down along with a heap of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, fresh green beans and a big gulp of red wine. I felt exhausted and much in need of sustenance and this unassuming restaurant delivered.

My Travel Memoir/Love Story that Features France and Highlights Colorado

My Travel Memoir/Love Story that Features France and Highlights Colorado

I had been on the road a few days by the time I reached Breckenridge and realized that following a major sporting event, especially one that changes locales daily required a lot of hustling about, but then adding a book promo tour to it was like doubling town. I had been busy much of the summer promoting my new book, A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, although I saved the biggest push for the end when I’d scheduled a number of events and publicity opportunities in conjunction with the USA Pro Challenge, a major bike race which was marking its third year in Colorado. It seemed like a good fit, so why not give it a go? My core audience seems to be made up of outdoor enthusiasts and discriminating travelers, just the kind of people you find showing up for this big cycling event, especially in Aspen, Beaver Creek and Vail.

I set out in Misty, my old 1993 Subaru with over 250,000 miles to her credit, late Sunday, August 18, for Redstone, Colorado, a delightful little mountain town just under an hour from Aspen. From Telluride, the drive ranks as one of the finest in Colorado, punctuated by bucolic farmland scenery in and around Paonia and dramatic mountain vistas up and over McClure Pass. I arrived at the warm and cozy Redstone Inn to find its bar and restaurant bustling with Sunday evening diners.

more »

Read and Listen to What I Say About A Tour of the Heart

A Tour of the Heart book cover

A Tour of the Heart book cover

I’ve been pounding the pavement this past week, promoting my book, A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France. It’s been great getting out there chatting with people at promotions I’ve done in conjunction with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge—it’s always nice to connect with like minded people that enjoy to read. The beautiful cover of this travel memoir/love story draws people in right away and then I take it from there. I tell some people a lot about my book; others just a little—whatever it takes for them to determine if this is a read for them. I’ve done readings, signings and press interviews and have even distributed flyers and postcards the old fashioned way. To me, it has all been important and best of all, it has afforded me the opportunity to chat with people that love cycling, France, Colorado, food and wine, adventure, romance and other components of my story.

more »

Play

Tellurider Matt Beaudin Talks about Cycling, VeloNews and France

Matt Beaudin

Matt Beaudin

I’ve been living in Telluride just over ten years now. And I’m still continually amazed by the number of multi-talented people living within our towns (Telluride and Mountain Village) of a combined population of about 3,200 year-round residents. Artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, you name it—T-ride boasts the crème de la crème of doers, adventurers and creative types from many areas. And Matt Beaudin definitely fits that profile.

I’ve always enjoyed the quality of writing in our local newspapers and came to know Matt through his stories when he was editor of the Telluride Daily Planet. After a nice stint at our local rag, Matt moved on—but not out of Telluride—to become a writer for VeloNews, one of the country’s top publications on cycling. Now after a year and a half at this post, I thought it was time to sit down and chat with Matt on Travel Fun, my talk show on KOTO. He’s passionate about cycling, has been to France a couple of times and covered the Tour de France twice, so I was sure we’d have a good exchange. I enjoyed what Matt had to say about the French, following the Tour and riding a mountain stage, recounting another impressive ride—Eider Creek—in Telluride and sharing his thoughts on the upcoming USA Pro Cycling Challenge that begins Monday, August 19 in Aspen, Colorado.

more »

Play

Cobbles & Corks: A Boutique Bike Touring Company

Bike Touring Through Alsace with Cobbles and Corks

Bike Touring Through Alsace with Cobbles & Corks

Alsace in Its Rosy Splendor

Alsace in Its Rosy Splendor

Food, wine, travel, bicycling—now that’s a recipe for a successful trip. Add France as the destination, a Frenchman with local ties that has lived in the U.S. for over two decades and his wife that draws on her experience in the hospitality industry, and you’ve found an excellent formula for a very special trip. The bike touring company Cobbles & Corks is even cooler than that since owners Bertrand and Laura Marchal live in Telluride, Colorado, a town known for hosting a good time in drop dead gorgeous surroundings.

more »

Play

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.

more »

  • Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign Up Today for My E-mail Newsletter
    For Email Marketing you can trust
  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Ads









  • Meta

  • Disclosure

    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.
  • Permission

    Please note that unless otherwise attributed to someone else, the content that appears on this Web site/blog is the property of the author, Maribeth Clemente. Written permission is required if you choose to use or excerpt any of this material.