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Have a Great Ride!
300 W. Ottley Avenue | Fruita
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I-70 West FRUITA DOWNTOWN
Hwy 340 S
BUT JUST IN CASE...
publisher MICHAEL BENNETT general manager BEN ROGERS community editor CAITLIN ROW assistant editor BRITTANY MARKERT display advertising TAMMY MORRIS JULIE CARRUTH KRISTIN ANDERSEN
A Hearty Thanks to the Following Contributors: Sarah Mah Withers, Kristina Kittelson, Scott Winans, Dr. Scott Rollins, Will Grandbois, Heidi Rice, Collin Szewczyk, Drew Munro, Bureau of Land Management, Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau, Janet Kelleher, and more!
art director DARIN BLISS
in the Vines 970.243.2200 | 145 N. Fourth St., Grand Junction, CO 81501 Facebook.com/gjfreepress • Twitter: @GJFreePress www.gjfreepress.com
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After a long day in the saddle, let us pamper you with a laid back atmosphere in the middle of working vineyards. Deluxe breakfast, cloud soft beds, complimentary afternoon wine tasting, pool or jacuzzi, cocktails and small bites in the Tapestry Lounge or fine dining in Caroline’s Restaurant. Secure bike storage and other support services available.
Mention “BIKE” when booking for special room rate.
777 Grande River Drive Palisade, Exit 42
970.464.5777 www.coloradowinecountryinn.com 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 3
See you on the trails! 4 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
OFF ROAD // GRAND JUNCTION
lunch loops trails area see map on page 12
Lunch loops area, Grand Junction. Photos by Sarah Mah Withers.
GETTING THERE At the intersection of First Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Grand Junction, head west for about one mile on Grand (aka Hwy. 340), following the signs directing you to the Colorado National Monument. Cross the bridge and you’ll come to Monument Road; hang a left taking you toward Colorado National Monument. Follow that road for two miles. You’ll see the parking lot for Lunch Loops on the left.
TRAIL TALK It’s a technical system of trails that locals love, particularly Grand Junction residents who can walk out the front door, jump on their bikes and ride a few miles to the trailhead. It’s called the Lunch Loops because locals can easily jump on for a quick lunchtime ride.
KID’S MEAL / PUMP TRACK Distance > 1-2 miles Difficulty > Easy
THE DIRT: A one-of-a-kind bike skills park and pump track with dirt jump lines and more. And then warm up your riding skills on Kid’s Meal singletrack trail that circumnavigates the Lunch Loops trailhead area.
Distance > About 7 miles, or a lot more depending on how you ride it Difficulty > Moderate to tough THE DIRT: Andy’s is a great technical ride with lots of climbing and lots of challenges. Don’t be ashamed to hop out of the saddle on portions, because it gets pretty steep. There are a lot of rocks in this system of trails, and they don’t give much when you land on them.
Distance > 5 miles, give or take Difficulty > Moderate THE DIRT: Gunny is kind of a loner off by itself on the other side of Little Park Road, but don’t cast off this ride just because it looks like a castaway. Gunny’s a blast. As with most of the trails in the Lunch Loops area, if you’re not on your A-game, Gunny will eat your lunch.
Distance > 1 mile or so Difficulty > Moderate, strenuous THE DIRT: This trail was built by community members in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. It’s named for Pete Larson, a former teacher and BLM employee. This trail is a great way to get to higher ground — tight singletrack with lots of switchbacks. It’s a good way
to hone your technical skills. Beware, fall the wrong way in some areas and you won’t stop sliding for 10 or 12 feet and three or four cactuses.
EAGLE’S WING & EAGLE’S TRAIL
Distance > 5 miles, give or take Difficulty > Moderate THE DIRT: The Eagles are at the heart of the Lunch Loop Trails area. If you ride into Lunch Loops not knowing where you’re going, there’s a good chance you’ll land on a Wing or a Tail. That’s not a bad thing. Get to the top of Eagle’s Wing, take a few minutes to soak up the view, and gain an understanding of why it was named what it was. As with most of the rides in this area, there are more rocks than you can shake a punctured tube at.
Distance > 1 mile Difficulty > Depends on how fast you burn down it THE DIRT: This black diamond freeride was dedicated in November 2007. Free Lunch is the first officially sanctioned freeride trail on BLM lands. To minimize conflicts with other trail users, the trail is open to mountain bikes only and is restricted to downhill travel. If the last jump you did on a bike was over your buddy in the driveway as a kid using a propped up piece of plywood, it’s in your best interest to avoid the jumps, drops and rocks on this trail. But make sure you watch the people who do have the ability — it’s an incredible spectacle. Pucker-Up is also a designated downhill MTB trail — one-way and no hiking.
Information courtesy of the BLM, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA), the “Fruita Fat Tire Guidebook” by Troy Rarick and Anne Keller, and first-hand endo experiences by former Cycling Guide editor Josh Nichols. For more information on any of these rides, go to: COPMOBA www.copmoba.org
Over the Edge Sports www.otesports.com
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OFF ROAD // GRAND JUNCTION
rides not to miss! BY BRITTANY MARKERT
easy ALI-ALLEY LOOP Distance > .75 miles
Sure it may be short, but getting to this fantastic little loop helps add the miles. The trail features a drop in that advanced riders should be able to accomplish. The short loop also features some easily done, technical sections and good views of other trails below, like Clunker (another easy, fun loop). You finish the loop a little lower than where you started, and you can continue onto Miramonte or Miramonte Rim.
moderate HOLY CROSS
Distance > 1.7 miles
Not your average
Dynamic infrared motion capture technology by Retül is used to read a rider’s movements
BICYCLE bet you didn’t know how much
Holy Cross gets its name from the wooden cross featured along the trail. It seems that cross was put there to bless area riders. It features fun drop ledges and steep, short climbs you will be praying to make it through. Be sure to continue your momentum going through the sections. It’s tight and twisty and has you venturing all around giant rocks. It will leave you with great satisfaction once you get to the bottom.
could go into building a bike
Distance > 6 miles
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To get to this long downhill section, it begins from Twist-N-Shout. The trail is a local favorite and is a great way to test your skills going down. It is mentioned that if you don’t keep pedaling it could hurt you. The trail does descend, but it also isn’t enough to provide you with enough push to get through some of the technical sections. Keep in mind you are heading down, and what goes down must come up. The climb out is on a double jeep track so it is not technical, but it’s a grunt to get up (especially if you drink too much water). Remember to pack water, a snack and enjoy the views — and remember to have fun!
OFF ROAD // FRUITA
18 road trails area GETTING THERE
see map on page 13
As you cruise through miles of farmland on your way to the trailhead, you’ll be reminded that Fruita is a tale of two happily coinciding communities — farming and riding. There are several ways to get to 18 Road, depending on which way you’re coming from. If you’re in Fruita, get on Maple Road and head north out of town for about four miles. Hang a right on N 3/10 Road until you hit a “T” intersection. That’s 18 Road. Follow it north to the singletrack promised land.
We’re calling this the 18 Road area. But when you start talking to locals, you’ll find they also refer to it as the “North Fruita Desert” and “The Bookcliffs.” Who cares what it’s called! All you need to know is this area — created by a group of locals in the mid-1990s — is singletrack at its best. Take a day, two days or set up camp and stay awhile. Some folks never leave. The elevation varies from 5,300-7,200 feet and skill level ranges from easy to difficult. It’s miles of singletrack for your pleasure.
CHUTES & LADDERS
THE DIRT: Thinking about biting off a multi-day trip like Kokopelli or Tabeguache? You might start by spending a day on “The Edge.” It gets you on top of the Bookcliffs and allows you to soak up the site of the mountain-biking heaven below. It’s long, it’s remote, it’s beautiful.
THE DIRT: You loved the game as a kid; now you can have just as much fun on the ride as an adult. It’s not super technical, but don’t expect to nail a perfect ride your first time. Have a blast!
THE DIRT: Be prepared to climb, but you know what climbing means — killer downhill fun. Views at the top are incredible.
Distance > 28 mile loop Difficulty > Moderate to tough
Distance > 9.5 mile loop Difficulty > Tough
Distance > 10.5 miles Difficulty > Moderate
kokopelli’s loop trails area GETTING THERE Drive 12 miles west of Grand Junction on Interstate 70 and get off at the Loma Exit 15.
TRAIL TALK Throw a camera in your daypack for this area. You’re going to want to get out of the saddle a few times and soak up the views overlooking the Colorado River snaking through the rock walls of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. The views alone make riding this area worth your time. Oh yeah … the singletrack is pretty cool, too.
STEVE’S LOOP Distance > 2.9 miles Difficulty > Moderate THE DIRT: If you’re out for a cruise on Mary’s and want to pick up a few more miles, Steve’s offers some nice additional scenery worth checking out. Ride it counterclockwise and enjoy the views. It’ll add anywhere from a half hour to an hour to your ride.
LION’S LOOP Distance > 7.8 miles THE DIRT: You can ride this singletrack fun as a loop or to connect with other trails. It continues on the same theme as the other Kokopelli rides —
be ready for rocks and a challenge. The Fruita Fat Tire Guidebook offers great advice on different ways to ride one of the classic area trails.
HORSETHIEF BENCH LOOP Distance > 3.6 miles Difficulty > Moderate to strenuous THE DIRT: The worst part of this trail is all the grit you get in your teeth from the goofy grin you can’t wipe off your face as you tear through looping singletrack. Slow down a bit at the Colorado River overlooks, because there’s a bit of exposure — but more importantly, the view’s great. Ride this trail, period.
see map on page 14 TROY BUILT LOOP Distance > 8 miles Difficulty > Strenuous THE DIRT: More sweet singletrack with lots of rocks. Ride this baby as a loop or an out-andback. You want to be in decent shape for this area. One reason to ride it: Folks don’t seem to hit it as much as the other trails.
MACK RIDGE TRAIL Distance > 7.1 miles THE DIRT: Mack provides riders the opportunity to survey the entire Kokopelli riding area if they’d like. There are spectacular views on this one and about 1,100 feet of climbing. Ride it out and back, or as a loop with Troy Built. 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 7
OFF ROAD // FRUITA
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rides not to miss! BY BRITTANY MARKERT
easy WESTERN ZIPPITY
Distance > 4.5 miles Most people recommend this trail as a way to hop up to Zippity-Do-Da, but recently I rode this trail down and it was so much fun it is no wonder why they call it “zippity.” It is fast, flowy, and is sure to leave a smile on your face. If you take Frontside to Western Zippity from the top, it brings you to the west side of Zippity-Do-Da, which seems like “no man’s land” because it is so quiet and peaceful. Traffic is light on that side of the trail and leaves you to just enjoy the scene up close to the Bookcliffs.
moderate JOE’S RIDGE
Distance > 2 miles The only thing hard about this trail is if you are scared of ledges; it could be a challenge for you. The trail is caught by riding up either the road or Prime Cut and heading west. It leads to a small climb, which is where the fun begins. Once you start going down, experienced riders are known for letting go of the brakes because the flow is so great. Be cautious as you ride and gain speed — a wrong twist in the handlebars could send you flying. It may be difficult, but stop and take a look around. The trail then leads into MoJoe, a recent addition to help connect down to the trailhead.
Distance > 2.5 miles
Open from 8am to 5pm Monday - Friday www.pcpgj.com | Call 970-256-5201 for an appointment Primary Care Partners Bldg | 3150 N. 12 Street Grand Junction, Colorado Located next to the Physical Therapy Specialty Center in the lower level of the Primary Care Partners Building
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This trail is sure to make you scream ZippityDo-Da! It’s host to big climbs and big descents. These rolling hills provide you with a grin that will be hard to wipe from your face after getting to the bottom. The trail is not necessarily technically difficult, but it is steep and has a lot of exposure. It is just like a roller coaster and whips you down the trail. To finish, ride Kessel Run down for more fun.
Complete TOYOTA Service Center
970.245.5898 www.safari-ltd.com 1005 Pitkin Ave, Grand Jct, Co
2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 9
OFF ROAD // FRUITA + PALISADE
rides not to miss! BY BRITTANY MARKERT
Distance > 3.5 miles This ride was designed to help beginners fall in love with mountain biking. It starts with a steep climb, which even if you are experienced leaves you breathless. It then continues on to fun, swoopy singletrack. There are signs along the way to educate anyone on the tricks of the trade. The trail features great overlooks of the Colorado River. The finish is worth the climb as the downhill also features fast, flowy singletrack. It’s a good ride for those who need a warm-up lap before heading to longer trails. Rustler’s is one that pleases and makes veterans of mountain biking fall in love all over again.
moderate MARY’S LOOP
Distance > 8.5 miles Don’t let the beginning climb scare you off. This trail is a great way to get some miles in and connect to other trails like Horsethief Bench and Wrangler. Mary’s is a must ride for the views and technical sections. The trail starts out with the long climb, which features some technical areas and double track. This is wide enough for people coming and going. The ride also has great views of the river and canyons. You can either turn around and ride Mary’s back to the trailhead or continue on the dirt road back as a cool down.
expert MOORE FUN
Distance > 4.5 miles Sure the name sounds like it will be a good time, but beginners and even intermediate/ advanced riders beware — it may have you screaming other words. Depending on how much you want to punish yourself, you can ride either from east to west or west to east. Still curious? The downhill section is just as rocky, technical, and difficult. Frustrated? Don’t forget to stop and take a look around at the views of the Grand Valley. In the end, it is all worth it.
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Palisade Rim Trail. Photo by Scott Winans.
access from palisade BY SCOTT WINANS
One distinction of riding in the Palisade area is the access to the Grand Mesa. From nowhere else in the valley can you more readily reach these alpine heights. The Mesa top areas are vastly cooler in the hot summer months, and accessing these elevations is a worthy pursuit to escape the heat. The Grand Mesa also possesses a network of trails that lace the upper elevations and even connect to the valley below in several areas; there are many long-established trails (and a few new ones), plus two-track roads on the Mesa that provide great remote access and partake of the geological features of the mountain. The Mesa Top Trail begins at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet at a large paved parking area off Highway 65. Small rock features, sections of twisting singletrack, and views towards the south are great parts of this trail. Ultimately you’ll reach the Flowing Park Reservoir, a perfect place to either turn around for an out-and-back ride mileage of under 15 miles, or to add on the Flowing Park portion of the trail for a total ride mileage of nearly 30 miles. While these two routes are relatively new and make for great riding, there’s also a wealth of other singletrack on the Grand Mesa, including those that descend off the Mesa to lower elevations. These include Kannah Creek departing from Carson Lake, and Coal Creek departing from the same area. Several other trails from the top intercept Coal Creek Trail as well, creating multiple loop options. And the descent off Indian Point is a stellar way to depart the higher elevations. In all cases though, information and preparation is key as there are no resources to call on while away from main roads or trailheads. As you enjoy these trails, please recognize, respect, and support the efforts of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, Inc. (www.COPMOBA.org), and the public land agencies (U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management) responsible for the health of these areas.
OFF ROAD // PALISADE + GRAND MESA
rides not to miss! palisade
BY BRITTANY MARKERT
PALISADE RIM TRAIL Distance > 8-12 miles
Length depends on if upper loop is done or not. This trail is not for the faint of heart as the initial climb features technical switchbacks and steep climbs. The climb — whether you attempt it on or off your bike — is worth it because the views are breathtaking. Continue on after a short break and turn left, which is recommended for better flow. It continues on for another mile and will come up to another intersection. Take a left for the upper section, which adds four miles of rocky terrain and exposure to the valley below. Take a right if you wish to stay on the lower loop and head back down. There are also petroglyphs on the right after the lower-loop connector, which you can enjoy with your eyes, but please don’t touch. Bring lots of water as it does get hot during the summer days. There is no option for a bail out except to turn around.
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ay D e
n ALL BIKE vice o S r e moderate S FLOWING PARK
Distance > 14.5 miles This trail is a great way to escape the summer heat or to enjoy the changing colors of trees in the fall. The trail meanders through open meadows and has sections of aspen and pine forests. There will be a split in the trail to head either left to Indian Point or right to Flowing Park loop. There are several rock sections, which will most likely slow you down. The trail is also nice because it is relatively flat with no major climbs. Flowing Park has beautiful views of Mount Sneffles, the La Sal Mountains and the Grand Valley. Be sure to pack water and snacks for a high-elevation picnic.
Same Day Service on All Bikes
SALES • SERVICE • PARTS • ACCESSORIES Palisade Rim Trail. Photo by Scott Winans.
(970)243-0807 • 950 North Ave • GJ, CO www.thebikeshopgj.com 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 11
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12 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4 op ny Lo Gun
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Mountain Bike Trails
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BIZ // MESA COUNTY
take a trip with desert rat tours BY CAITLIN ROW
Sarah and David Withers, owners of Desert Rat Tours, offer guided mountain bike trips throughout the Grand Valley. This photo was taken on Mack Ridge at the Kokopelli Loops area. Photo by Lee Lau.
The Grand Valley’s world-class singletrack trails are a major tourism draw, yet most visiting cyclists need some helpful tips. Enter Desert Rat Tours — a local, family-run business offering individualized mountain bike trips for groups throughout Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade. David and Sarah Withers, a couple known for their mountain-bike expertise and bounty of local trail knowledge, began offering custom bike adventures through their business — Desert Rat Tours — four years ago. They currently run trips around western Colorado and Moab, Utah, for both national and international visitors from beginner to expert levels. “Tours are customized to what people want,” David said. “Most tour companies have set itineraries. We’re more à la carte.” “We ask (our customers) what kind of riding they want to do — rocks, bumps, ledges or swoopy singletrack. A lot of riders really want scenery and beauty as part of their trip, or they’ve
Rider Jeane Fricke cruises singletrack on Prime Cut in the 18 Road area. Photo by Sarah Mah Withers.
see DESERT RAT, page 18
visit or call
www.desertrattours.com firstname.lastname@example.org 970.261.8101 or 970.260.4842 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 15
BIZ // MESA COUNTY
colorado backcountry biker BY CAITLIN ROW
fruita business offers multi-day hut trips for mountain bikers Hut trips aren’t just for skiers these days. Mountain bikers can do it, too. Interested folks should stop in at Colorado Backcountry Biker, at 150 South Park Square in Fruita’s historic Park Hotel. For almost nine years, Colorado Backcountry Biker has offered multi-day, backcountry, mountain-bike hut trips. Until recently founder/owner Kevin Godar served his clients from other shops scattered across the valley. Now, Colorado Backcountry Biker operates from its very own street-front location, where tour groups meet and set up before being transported to trails on the Uncompahgre Plateau. The shop opened at its current location in 2013. Tony Uriguen, the shop’s general manager, also operates Colorado Backcountry Biker as a standalone bike shop — where anyone can come for rentals, tune ups, gear and mountain-bike accessories. Women-specific tunes and gear are available, along with Devinci Cycles out of Canada.
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A view during a Colorado Backcountry Biker trip on the Uncompahgre Plateau. Submitted photo.
“As far as trips, we have more staff working for us and we’ve been growing trip numbers since the start,” Uriguen said. Backcountry bike trips may run either three nights or four and up to nine people can participate. Huts are on private land, and if groups go out for four nights they spend their last evening at Gateway Canyons Resort. “We use the singletrack trails near and around the Divide Forks Campground on the north end of the Uncompahgre Plateau,” Uriguen said. “These are not heavily used trails and that’s the way we like it. We are trying to provide a backcountry experience.” Colorado Backcountry Biker either rents equipment, or participants may provide their own. GPS coordinates and maps with written directions are additionally provided to groups before they set out. Colorado Backcountry Biker staff acts as support; they don’t actually guide the mountain bikers. Rather, they transport all necessary food and gear between huts and transport cyclists to the start and from the end of the trip.
visit or call
BIZ // MESA COUNTY
big wheels BY CAITLIN ROW
Grand Junction-based mountain biker Mike Curiak operates Big Wheels, a web-based specialty business producing custom bike wheels. Photo by Chris McLennan.
grand junction athlete turns passion for mountain biking into busy career When Mike Curiak landed in Crested Butte with snow on the brain more than two decades ago, the aspiring lawyer changed course all together. One winter ski bummin’ turned into seven, he became a professional mountain biker instead of a law school grad, moved to Grand Junction, set a world record in Alaska, and was instrumental in starting two of the most over-the-top mountain bike races in North America (Kokopelli Trail Race and Great Divide Race). “My goal as a racer was to create something that was rewarding to prepare for, to compete in, and something that we really weren’t sure we could finish,” Curiak said. Now the Grand Junction athlete-turned-businessman owns and runs Big Wheels, a web-based specialty business producing custom bike wheels,
29 inches and up, for cyclists around the globe. “I’ve been at the forefront of that movement,” Curiak noted. “Not just designing them, but building them and testing them out.” “Wheels are built one at a time, by hand, starting from a handful of components carefully chosen to match the needs of the end user,” he added. Until recently, mountain-bike wheels most often fell into the 26-inch category, but Curiak said he’s working hard to see that standard change through his Grand Junction-based shop, located at 2497 Power Road, suite 5. “A 29-inch wheel doesn’t fall into a 27-inch hole,” he explained, with business for these larger wheels “exploding over the last few years.” Plus, bigger wheels are meant
for mountain bikes and fatbikes used in snow, a subject Curiak certainly knows a lot about. That’s because his main focus for years was to compete in punishing, long-distance bike races in all-weather conditions, such as the Iditabike, which is held every February in Alaska over miles of snowy terrain. He did it annually for 16 years, his last being two winters ago. Though Curiak has refocused his energy toward business and no longer competes at the pro level, he still hits the trails regularly, especially around western Colorado. “It’s a good way to refresh your perspective on where you are, what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it,” he said. Curiak, in fact, chooses to ride the same trails year-in, year-out throughout the Grand Valley: “It doesn’t need to stop when the snow flies.”
www.lacemine29.com 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 17
BIZ // MESA COUNTY
DESERT RAT continued from page 15
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2237 REDLANDS PARKWAY, GRAND JUNCTION 18 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
Pet-e-kes trail on a sunny day in Grand Junction. Photo by Elisa Jones.
heard of a specific trail they’d like to ride,” Sarah added. Requests like those are always accommodated, both Withers said. And trip itineraries aren’t set in stone once the journey starts. Rather it’s a fluid plan that can change at the whim of the customer. Desert Rat Tours has permission to guide trips throughout BLM lands in the valley without limitations. “We are the only guiding company with a permit for all the mountain-bike trails in the Grand Valley,” Sarah said. “Other companies may have one or two of the areas, but not all.” That’s good news for Desert Rat customers, because all commercial trips conducted on public lands must have a permit issued by the land management agency in charge. What do bike tours entail? According to the Withers, they lay the groundwork for Desert Rat tour groups — from renting bikes and organizing all necessary transportation to recommending hotels and supplying gourmet trailside meals. What they provide is more than a simple guided tour of the area; it’s personal, fun and each trip caters to a group’s unique wants and needs. Add-ons, like skills clinics, are also available, and tour guides carry all necessary tools and equipment to fix a bike on the go. “We send them home with quality photography shot by a professional,” David added. Other attractions, like winery tours, may be added to Desert Rat group itineraries. Plus, both Withers are certified wilderness first responders, fully skilled to help anyone in trouble on the trails. “We’re there to take care of them, no matter what happens,” David said.
2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 19
ON THE ROAD // MESA COUNTY
rides not to miss!
Photo by Brittany Markert. BY BRITTANY MARKERT
RIVERFRONT TRAIL Distance > 1-20 miles
One of the great features Grand Junction offers is a paved multi-use path that follows along the Colorado River. It spans from Fruita to Clifton, plus it’s flat — perfect for a nice cruise through the valley without battling traffic. There are many trailheads that can be caught as well, including Corn Lake State Park, Blue Heron, Eagle Rim Park, and Western Colorado Botanical Gardens. Stop along the way to enjoy views of the river and many lakes. Other Activities Pop into Edgewater Brewery for a quick bite to eat, or stop at Western Colorado Botanical Gardens to enjoy the flowers. Like disc golf? There’s a new public course on Watson Island, right by the trail.
moderate REDLANDS LOOP Distance > 32 miles
This ride provides up-close views of the Colorado National Monument and Grand Junction, and it climbs a little more than 1,100 feet. This is a great ride any time of year, but especially in the fall with the changing leaves. Directions The loop through the Redlands goes along the bottom of the Colorado National Monument. There is free parking at Lunch Loop Trails off Monument Road. From there take a left out of the parking lot. Use caution because there is heavy traffic. Head towards the monument’s entrance, take a right on S. Camp Road. Follow S. Camp until you read S. Broadway; take a left. Then follow that
20 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
road which skirts along the Colorado National Monument. It also passes Tiara Rado Golf Course. Turn left on E 1/2 Road. It is still called S. Broadway. You will come to a stop at Broadway, which is also Highway 340. This is a busy road so be careful. Follow all the way down to Fruita, and go over the interstate. Once over, turn right at the light, go through the roundabout, and go to the second exit, which turns into Aspen Street. Stop by Hot Tomato Cafe or Aspen Street Coffee for a quick snack. Then continue on J 6/10. Turn right on 19 Road. Turn left on J Road. Follow all the way until you reach 24 Road. Turn right on 24 Road. Follow 24 Road all the way until you reach S. Camp again, turn left, and take the route back to the trailhead.
hard LITTLE PARK ROAD Distance > 32 miles
There is nothing little about this ride. It’s good for anyone looking for a challenge and to bust a lung. This ride features great climbing and is sure to please with the views as the reward. Be sure to stop and take pictures. Directions Begin again at the Lunch Loop Trails parking lot off Monument Road. Head right out of the lot and ride down until you see D Road. Turn right, and then continue on. It will force you right again on Rosevale Road. It again will force you to turn right on Little Park Road. Now, here is where the climbing begins. You ride that for around 12 miles until you reach D S Road. Turn left. There is a shop at Glade Park, so be sure to stop there for a snack or water because resources are limited past this point. You will then continue on D S Road and it will eventually turn into a gravel road if you want to make it to the Utah border for a fun photo opportunity. You can turn around at any point and head back down the way you came.
easy FRUIT LOOP
Distance > 9 miles This loop is ideal for anyone looking for a casual ride north of Fruita. You can visit Moon Farm on 18 1/2 Road, which features fun for all ages. Directions For this easy loop, parking can be found at Little Salt Wash Park off 18 Road in Fruita. Once you are on your bikes, head north on 18 Road until you reach L Road; turn right. Then continue on until you reach 18 1/2 Road; turn left. Ride 18 1/2 Road, which winds and ends up becoming 18 Road. Turn left on N 3/10 Road. Then turn left on 17 1/2 Road. Follow 17 1/2 down until you reach E. Ottley Avenue.; turn left on E. Ottley. Then turn left on 18 Road. Little Salt Wash Park will be on your left.
moderate HIGHLINE LAKE
Distance > 30 miles This ride goes through the agriculture country of the Grand Valley and brings you to Highline Lake State Park, which features big, grassy areas, a large lake filled with trout, bass, and other fish, and views of the Bookcliffs and
ON THE ROAD // MESA COUNTY
fruita [con.] the Colorado National Monument. This ride has rolling hills and it’s a nice way to get miles in. Directions Start at Little Salt Wash Park, but head south on 18 Road. Turn right on E. Ottley Road. Stop by City Market to grab some snacks for a small picnic. Then turn right on 17 Road and head north. Continue until you reach P Road, turn right on 16 Road, then turn left on Q Road. Follow Q until you reach 12 1/2 Road. Turn left. Then right onto 12 Road, then right again on 11 8/10 Road. You will be at Highline Lake.
hard WEST SIDE MONUMENT HILL CLIMB
Distance > 42 miles This ride features around 5,000 feet of climbing and views that pan across the whole valley. It’s to be done once in your life. Don’t forget money, lights, and strong lungs. Directions Start at Little Salt Wash Park again. Head south on 18 Road/Pine Street, and take a right on E. Ottley. Take a left on N.
Cherry Street, which leads over the interstate. Continue south around the roundabouts and continue on Highway 340. Eventually, the entrance to the Colorado National Monument will come up on the right. Be sure to pay the entrance fee, which is $5 for each biker. The pass is good for seven days. Another key fact to remember is that lights are required on both the front and back of the bike for safety purposes. After you have paid, continue, as you will climb over the monument. Make sure to stop at the visitor center and gift shop and say hello to the employees. Once you begin heading down on the east side, you will be in Grand Junction. Take a left on S. Camp Road. It will wind through the neighborhoods of the Redlands. Take a left on S. Broadway. It again winds through neighborhoods and passes by a golf course. Take a left at E 1/2 Road. You will eventually end up at a stop sign, which is again Broadway/ Highway 340. Take a left. Be cautious as this road has a lot of traffic and moves fast. Follow the road back over the interstate and left back on K Road. You’ll end up back at Little Salt Wash Park.
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ON THE ROAD // MESA COUNTY
Christine Lofton rides the Fruit & Wine Byway in East Orchard Mesa. Photo by Brittany Markert.
Distance > 10 miles Don’t forget to stop by the local orchards and wineries along the way, like Aloha Organic Fruit and Garfield Estates Vineyard & Winery. Most have tasting rooms open during the day, so be sure to have your ID on you if you are of age. Directions Take a ride through downtown Palisade and enjoy the history of this agricultural town. Start at Veteran’s Memorial Park off of G Road and Main Street. Head north down Main Street. Take a left at First Street. This turns into G.4 Road. Follow for several miles until you come up to 36.1 Road. Turn left. Follow until you come upon G Road; turn right. Follow until you come upon the railroad tracks. Turn around and take the same route back to town.
Winery and Alida’s Fruits along the way. For a more challenging route, do it clockwise, which features a hill that is an average of 14-percent grade and as steep as 18 percent. Directions This route follows the same way the vineyards path starts, but continues over the tracks and goes above Palisade through the higher vineyards and orchards. After heading over the tracks, turn right onto F Road, left on 34 Road, right on E 1/2 Road, and left on 33 1/2 Road. Once 33 1/2 ends, look for the gap in the guardrail and follow the bike path along the river until you reach a bridge connected to the path; turn left. Climb the fun hill, which will lead you up to C 1/2 Road. From there follow the road for several miles as it meanders through upper Palisade’s vineyards and wineries. Then after heading down a pretty steep hill, the road comes to a stop sign. Turn left to head back to town or go right to continue on the Fruit and Wine Tour to add a few more miles.
FRUIT AND WINE TOUR
REEDER MESA, PURDY MESA, & KANNAH CREEK LOOP
Distance > 24 miles
This route features rolling hills and a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of places to stop and enjoy the views of Mount Garfield. Stop at Colterris
22 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
Distance > 70 miles
This ride is desolate, with no readily available water sources along the
route. Be sure to pack enough water and snacks for the long trip. The route is also a good way to escape traffic and get some climbing in. Directions The route starts at Veteran’s Memorial Park and follows that same Fruit and Wine Tour route. Once at the top of the bike path hill, go left and an immediate right on 32 1/2 Road. Follow until you reach C Road; turn right. You will come up to 32 Road — be cautious, as this is a very dangerous road. Continue on C Road until it becomes 31 Road. Follow 31 Road until it gets to Highway 50 — again, use caution. Cross the highway and follow 31 Road, which turns into Coffman Road. Take a left on Gaylord Street and then an immediate right on Third Street. You will again meet Highway 50, which you will cross to meet up with Reeder Mesa Road. Once on this road, it is a gradual climb until you get to a big hill. It’s a challenge and steep. Continue on Reeder Mesa Road, and once at the bottom of the road turn left on Lands End Road and then left on Divide Road. If you take a left on Purdy Mesa, you will run into some outhouse-style bathrooms. Then continue onto Kannah Creek, then right on Blair Road. You’ll have to ride Highway 50 for a short while, then follow your way back once you see Third Road.
ON THE ROAD // MESA COUNTY
cycling rim rock drive BY JANET M. KELLEHER
Colorado National Monument, Independence Monument. Photo courtesy of GJVCB.
cyclists of any ability will appreciate the stunning vistas of red-rock canyons Many locals will tell you that there is no better way to see Colorado National Monument than from the seat of a bicycle. More advanced riders value the 2,300 feet of lung-burning elevation gain, followed by an equally thrilling descent. Beginner riders may choose to drive up the four-mile hill in order to take a more leisurely ride across the top. On its own, the gate-to-gate distance is just 23 miles, but many cyclists choose to use connecting
roads to make a 33-mile grand loop. Cyclists of any ability will appreciate the stunning vistas of red-rock canyons, and the spectacular panoramas of the Grand Valley framed by distant views of the Bookcliffs and Grand Mesa. Whether youâ€™re a firsttime rider or an old pro, there are things you need to know about biking the monument. Unpredictable weather in the desert can lead to environmental
emergencies such as heat exhaustion or hypothermia. Always bring extra layers (even if itâ€™s warm) and plenty of water. Once you reach the top, the weather patterns can be very different than in the valley, especially if a sudden storm blows through. Strong winds along the exposed upper road can also make cycling risky. There is no bike lane on historic Rim Rock Drive, which means cyclists share the road with everyone from see RIM ROCK, page 24 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 23
ON THE ROAD // MESA COUNTY
RIM ROCK continued from page 23
Now Open Saturdays No Appointment Necessary
We are just minutes from I-70 in west Glenwood Springs at 1210 Devereux Rd.
We are conveniently located just off of Patterson (F) Road, minutes away from downtown GJ & Mesa Mall at 569 25 1/2 Road.
24 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
Glade Park commuters to foreign tourists. Mutual respect and awareness are critical to everyone’s safety. The east hill on the Grand Junction side has one long tunnel. The west hill on the Fruita side has two shorter tunnels. When operating a bicycle in a tunnel, cyclists are required by law to use a white light that is visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a red light that is visible from at least 200 feet from the rear. This regulation is in place to help protect cyclists from vehicles that may not see them when they enter the dark tunnels from the bright light outside. Vehicles are also required to use lights in the tunnels. There is an entrance fee for cyclists wishing to ride Rim Rock Drive. A $5 individual receipt ($10 for vehicles) is good for seven days of access to the monument. If you possess Colorado National Monument’s annual pass, or any of the other Federal Recreation passes, you may bring up to three other cyclists in with you for free. If you’re using an annual pass, please remember to bring a valid photo ID with you on your ride. You’ll need to stop at the entrance station on your way in to show your pass or purchase a receipt. Mid-ride, take the time to stop at some of the spectacular overlooks, or explore the visitor center. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, coyotes, golden eagles, collared lizards, or any of the other creatures that call the monument home. The rugged solitude and stunning views may take your breath away as much as the climb. At the end of the day, whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime ride, your weekly escape, or a training ride, cycling Rim Rock Drive is a great way to experience Colorado National Monument.
colorado national monument
2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 25
OFF ROAD // GRAND JUNCTION
rides not to miss! lookout mountain Two trails are featured on Lookout Mountain, which rises abruptly to the east of Glenwood Springs.
moderate FOREST HOLLOW TRAIL Distance > 5-6 miles
Forest Hollow Trail winds through the verdant, thickly forested north-facing gullies on the back side of Lookout Mountain. Rated intermediate, the 5.6 mile trail climbs about 270 feet and descends more than 700 feet, often providing tantalizing glimpses into Glenwood Canyon.
Forest Hollow and Boy Scout Loop, which climbs the back side of Lookout Mountain for more than 2,500 feet, hooks into the Forest Hollow Loop and then joins the Boy Scout Trail for a black-diamond descent of almost 2,600 feet into Glenwood Springs. The ride features stunning views of Glenwood Canyon and the downtown area. Fun Fact Slightly to the south, a short ride from the south end of Palmer Avenue will take riders into the cemetery where Doc Holiday is purported to be buried.
BOY SCOUT LOOP
Distance > 14.4 miles
Distance > 4 miles
Forest Hollow Trail is sometimes ridden as part of the 14.4 mile
Near the start of the Red Mountain Trail, riders can connect to
26 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
the Wulfsohn Trail behind the Glenwood Springs Community Center. This 4-mile trail winds across the bottom of Red Mountainâ€™s northern escarpment and includes gullies, downhills and technical challenges.
moderate/ expert JEANNE GOLAY TRAIL
Distance > 6 miles Red Mountain rises sharply to the west of Glenwood Springs. Its main feature is the Jeanne Golay Trail (also known as the Red Mountain Trail). Named after the famed Olympic cyclist, who used to train here, the trail offers a steady 1,700-foot climb up a packed 3-mile dirt road. Descend via the road or the singletrack between the switchbacks, some of which are expert-only.
OFF ROAD // GARFIELD COUNTY
red hill This area consists of a wide variety of singletrack, from casual meadow rides to technical climbs and descents. Within easy riding distance of downtown Carbondale, the trails offer commanding views of the Roaring Fork Valley and Mount Sopris.
easy OUTER LOOP
Distance > .7 miles Outer Loop is an easy to moderate side trail off the more difficult Elk Traverse that connects the other loops.
moderate NORTHSIDE LOOP Distance > 4.9 miles
Northside Loop offers another 4.9 miles of singletrack with about 400 feet of climbing and downhill and fast riding through sage covered parks.
Over dels 20 Mo le Availab
c Electri t s i Ass & le l Fo dab
moderate LORAX TRAIL
Distance > 1.9 miles Lorax Trail offers 1.9 miles of forested intermediate singletrack on the other side of Carbondale and is within riding distance of town.
moderate/expert RED HILL LOOP
Distance > 6 miles
Red Hill Loop climbs and descends almost 1,200 feet in 6 miles via a set of diverse singletrack, some of which is rated black diamond and much of which is intermediate. Inside the loop, one can explore in various combinations trails such as Blue Ribbon (black diamond), and Faerie Trail, Roller Coaster and Skeeter’s Ridge, all intermediate. The loop also offers connections to other Red Hill area loops and trails for riders who are not ready to head back to town yet.
More information about some of these trails and many others — including detailed route descriptions, maps, photos and elevation graphs — can be found at the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association website: www.rfmba.org
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OFF ROAD // GARFIELD COUNTY
trails in rifle BY HEIDI RICE
Gary Miller of Rifle started mountain biking about 25 years ago and says he has biked and walked every trail around Rifle. The owner of Anderson’s Clothing in downtown Rifle, Miller is an outdoor enthusiast and also enjoys fishing and swimming as well as riding motocross bikes. “Then I realized that a bicycle is easier to pick up and moves around easier,” Miller said. “I used a bike to get to my fishing holes and it turned out that I like biking better than motorcycles.” Initially, Miller said what is known as the JQS trail was the primary spot to bike, but now it is Fravert Road. “My favorite is the G-Whiz Trail at Fravert Reservoir,” he added. Miller’s current biking buddy is Aaron Mattix, a trail builder for Single Track Trails — building trails throughout Colorado and Wyoming. “There are a lot of trails, but they’re not really well
28 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
Gary Miller, left, and his biking buddy Aaron Mattix, a trail builder for Single Track Trails, take a break after climbing a trail in Rifle. Photo by Heidi Rice.
marked yet,” Mattix said. “In this area, there are a lot of social trails. It takes local knowledge to find them all.” The beauty of the trails around Rifle is that you can ride your bike from town to the trail, so you are warmed up and ready to go when you get there. “There are a lot of places where you have to load up and drive for 30 miles to get to the trail,” Mattix said. “This area is fun because you have a lot of different trails — Jeep roads, quad trails and singletrack trails, which are narrower and more technical.” For those who are new to biking, the pair both recommended that cyclists purchase equipment from a specialist, not at a big box store, where someone can evaluate your skills and fitness level
to help you purchase the right bike. Along with the bike, folks will also want other gear including a helmet, gloves and kneepads. A small camera doesn’t hurt, either. With so many trails to choose from in Garfield County, there is bound to be something appropriate for all skill levels. But Miller has a word of warning for those wanting to start biking in this area. “Be careful,” he said solemnly, and then smiled broadly. “It’s addicting.”
While not always well defined, mountain-bike trails are found throughout the Rifle area. For more information and directions, contact the Rifle Ranger District at 970-319-2670 or the BLM field office at 970-876-9000.
RIFLE AREA MOUNTAIN BIKING FOREST NAME OF TRAIL SERVICE Three Forks Loop TRAILS Mansfield Ditch Cherry Creek BLM & NAME OF TRAIL OTHER Hubbard Mesa OHV TRAILS JQS Road Up Roan Plateau Top of Roan Dry Rifle Creek Cedar Mountain
TRAIL NUMBER 2150 2201 2068
DIFFICULTY Difficult Difficult Difficult
LENGTH 5.2 9.5 5.0
TRAIL NUMBER Open Space/Trails Steep Service Road Double Track East of Cedar Mt. Double Track
DIFFICULTY Moderate Difficult Moderate Moderate Moderate
LENGTH 50m Open 8m Varying Varying Varying
2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 29
Mushroom Rock Trail
Blue Ribbon Trail
carbondale red hill
107 Rd. Cou nty
30 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4 82
Mountain Bike Trails
ON THE ROAD // GARFIELD COUNTY
rides not to miss! glenwood springs
easy GLENWOOD CANYON RECREATION TRAIL Distance > 16.2 miles
This trail starts near Glenwood Hot Springs on the north side of the Colorado River. Less than a mile later, it crosses Interstate 70 and follows the serpentine route of the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon’s 16 miles of lush pockets and towering cliffs. The trail is punctuated by four rest areas – No Name, Grizzly Creek, Hanging Lake and Bair Ranch – making it easy to ride shorter parts of the trail or to explore other attractions such as the Hanging Lake foot trail. The trail is often open in early April after rock debris is cleared, but winter snow lingers in some years and during others floodwaters close it during spring runoff. It is always advisable to inquire about seasonal conditions at local bike shops. Shuttles are also available.
easy CRYSTAL VALLEY TRAIL
Distance > 7 miles
The Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail is a great place for riders of all abilities. Photo by Christopher Mullen.
This trail opened in 2010 and travels 7 miles south up the Crystal River Valley from Carbondale. It features expansive views of the valley’s pastureland under the towering presence of Mount Sopris. 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 31
ON THE ROAD // GARFIELD COUNTY
LIFE DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER! • BIKE RENTALS for all ages, abilities & sizes • FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE to Glenwood Canyon with bike rental • Paths for self-guided tours on Glenwood Canyon Trail & Rio Grande Trail • Reservations recommended
Part of the Rio Grande Trail between Glenwood Springs and Aspen features a detour during the spring to protect nesting birds. Photo by Christopher Mullen.
easy RIO GRANDE TRAIL
Distance > 42 miles
970.945.7529 723 Cooper Ave. | Downtown Glenwood Springs
32 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
The Rio Grande Trail climbs gently along the side of the Roaring Fork River 42 miles and 2,100 vertical feet to Aspen. Many side attractions can be explored along the way, and cyclists can ride the trail in sections to enjoy a more leisurely pace. The section of the trail near Carbondale between Rock Bottom Ranch and Catherine Bridge is closed until May 1 to protect nesting wildlife. A detour route is clearly marked and follows county roads. A Roaring Fork Transit Authority’s (RFTA) Bike Bus operates mid-June through the end of August and can take riders toward or all the way to Aspen for riders who want to experience a longer downhill ride back to Glenwood Springs. Visit www.rfta.com/bikesonbuses. html for availability, rates and schedules.
2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 33
rio grande trail
glenwood canyon trail
LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
After You Ride Dine Locally A day playing outside sure can work up an appetite! Here’s a list of fun après spots to enjoy around the Grand Valley.
Peach Street Patio. Photo by Eric Koehler.
fruita COPPER CLUB BREWING COMPANY 233 E. Aspen Ave. 970.858.8318 CopperClubBrew.com
The Copper Club Brewing Company is open seven days a week. This casual, downtown tap room serves its own small batch, craft beers. Though food isn’t served, food delivery is just fine. Copper Club’s Facebook page describes it as “Fruita’s living room.” Hanging out after a day of Grand Valley recreation is encouraged.
HOT TOMATO CAFÉ
124 N. Mulberry St. 970.858.1117 HotTomatoCafe.com
34 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
The Hot Tomato Cafe is open Tuesday through Saturday. It offers indoor and outdoor seating, plus take-out is also an option. Hot Tomato serves New Belgium brews on tap, and live music is scheduled periodically. Owned by local mountain bikers, Jen Zeuner and Anne Keller, the Hot Tomato crew has built its reputation around being a friendly gathering place for locals, visiting cyclists to the area, and pretty much everyone who loves a good slice. Tomato’s Facebook page describes this spot as being the “best pizza this side of Jersey, and don’t you forget it!
Kannah Creek Taps. Photo by Caitlin Row.
SUDS BROTHERS BREWERY
127 E. Aspen Ave. 970.858.9400 SudsBrothersBrewery.com Suds Brothers Brewery is open daily. It serves traditional pub food for lunch and dinner, plus sitebrewed ales. It also offers a full drink menu. Located right downtown, here’s a place to get your grub on.
grand junction THE ALE HOUSE 2531 N. 12th St. 970.242.7253 AleHouseGJ.com
The Ale House is open daily. It serves beer from Breckenridge Brewery, spirits, as well as a local wine list. The restaurant also offers a full menu — appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Seating is offered inside and out, with access to an expansive patio.
905 Struthers Ave. 970.243.3659 KannahCreekBrewingCo.com Edgewater Brewery is open daily. A spinoff of Kannah Creek Brewing Company and owned by the same folks, Edgewater opened in 2013 by the Colorado River. This setting offers a tasting room with a pub menu (burgers,
brats, hot dogs and more), along with a big outdoor seating area (during the warmer months). Kannah Creek’s beer is served, along with a full bar and a signature Bloody Mary. This site is also a large-scale brewing and bottling facility for both Kannah Creek and Edgewater. Currently it bottles and distributes Lands End Amber and Standing Wave Pale Ale, along with special seasonals. All-access brewery tours run Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
KANNAH CREEK BREWING COMPANY
1960 N. 12th St. 970.263.0111 KannahCreekBrewingCo.com Kannah Creek Brewing Company is open seven days a week. This brewpub serves classic Italian brick-oven pizzas along with other casual favorites. It also brews beer onsite and offers a full bar. According to Kannah Creek’s website, “owner and head brewer, Jim Jeffryes (Jimbo) started earning national and international accolades as far back as 2008.”
ROCKSLIDE BREWERY & RESTAURANT
401 Main St. 970.245.2111 RockslideBrewPub.com The Rockslide Brewery & Restaurant is open daily. This busy brewpub is located in the heart of downtown, and it serves its own craft beer (brewed onsite). During
LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
warmer months, there’s both indoor and outdoor seating right on Main Street. There are also two happy hours every day — 3-6 p.m. or after 10 p.m. — and live music is scheduled.
palisade PALISADE BREWERY
200 Peach Ave. 970.464.1462 PalisadeBrewingCompany.com Palisade Brewery is open seven days a week — times vary by day so check the website for listings. This tasting room and brewpub serves its own beer, including the popular Dirty Hippie dark wheat ale. It also offers full pub fare, including starters and sandwiches. Live music is often part of the fun. Palisade Brewery beer is canned and available regionally.
PEACH STREET DISTILLERS
144 Kluge Ave. 970.464.1128 PeachStreetDistillers.com Peach Street Distillers is open daily. The tasting room offers a 33-foot-long copper bar, an expansive area to sample indoors, and a large outdoor patio. This award-winning local distillery produces vodkas, bourbon, gin, brandies and grappas. It’s also sold throughout the state at restaurants and retailers.
carbondale CARBONDALE BEER WORKS
647 Main St. 970.704.1216 CarbondaleBeerWorks. com In the heart of downtown Carbondale, just a short ride from most area trails, the Carbondale Beer Works offers thirstslaking craft beers, ales and hard ciders as well as a tantalizing menu of salads, wraps, sandwiches, heartier meals and desserts.
DOS GRINGOS 588 Colo. Hwy. 133 970.704.0788
A favorite local hangout, Dos Gringos is close to the trails of the Red Hill area and serves up delicious burritos and organic coffee. You can’t miss it — it’s the place with all the bikes in front.
glenwood springs GLENWOOD CANYON BREWPUB
402 Seventh St. 970.945.1276 GlenwoodCanyonBrewpub. com In addition to a full pub menu of salads, soups,
sandwiches and burgers, Glenwood Canyon Brewpub taps a full spectrum of craft beers and ales, including seasonal brews. Plus, it is located along Glenwood’s famous “Restaurant Row,” close to the Colorado River and not far from two of the town’s most popular bike trails, Boy Scout and Red Mountain. And new this year, the pub will offer expanded dining al fresco on its elevated sidewalk.
720 Grand Ave. 970.230.9258 Grindglenwood.com Head to the Grind for great burgers that are ground on site. There are also unique options available like the lamb curry burger. Milkshakes are delicious and the beer is local. It’s a fun place for friends.
SLOPE & HATCH 208 Seventh St. 970.230.9652 SlopeAndHatch.com
This place is awesomely quirky! The selection of non-traditional tacos and over-the-top hot dogs is fun and different. Add to that a respectable beer selection and specialty hard cocktails, and you have a great combination in a funky intimate atmosphere.
Roaring Fork Valley towns feature no shortage of venues to enjoy a great meal or beverage of your choice. But there are a few places where the twowheeled crowd gravitates after a fun day exploring Roaring Fork Valley trails.
Edgewater Brewery patio. Photo by Caitlin Row.
After You Ride Dine Locally
2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 35
LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
Bike Events Western Slope The area plays host to many world-renowned events for both mountain and road biking.
FAT TIRE FESTIVAL
18 HOURS OF FRUITA
Fruita, Colorado FruitaMountainBike. com/18hours Individuals and teams ride for 18 hours straight around Highline Lake.
100K DESERT RAT CLASSIC & 50K FAT TIRE RACE
Fruita, Colorado GeminiAdventures.com Race for 100+ kilometers on the Kokopelli Trail towards Moab, Utah. A 50K race on the Kokopelli Trail is also available.
Aug. 29-31 GRAND JUNCTION OFF-ROAD EPIC RACE
Grand Junction, Colorado EpicRides.com This race is put on by Epic Rides and features a threeday event, which includes a festival, live music, and four races — the 15 Grand, 30 Grand, 40 Grand, and a Fat Tire criterium.
Sept. 20-21 TREK DIRT SERIES WOMEN’S CAMP
Fruita, Colorado DirtSeries.com If you’re looking to gain more confidence, increase skills and enjoy the sport of mountain biking, then join the fun at the Trek Dirt Series Women’s Camp.
April 23-26 Fruita, Colorado FruitaMountainBike.com
In its 20th year, this event features music, beer, a skills camp, bike demos, and a weekend of riding with friends in the beautiful spring weather.
May 17-18 HITS TRIATHLON
Fruita, Colorado HitsTriathlonSeries.com
This triathlon will have a wide range of options, from open to full triathlons for all skill levels.
ROSE HILL RALLY
Grand Junction, Colorado StMaryGJ.com/RoseHillRally Benefiting Rose Hill Hospitality House, this event is enjoyable for all ages as it rides through the Grand Valley. A 31-mile and 62-mile ride is available.
May 12-16 ‘BONEDALE BIKE WEEK
Carbondale, Colorado BonedaleBikeWeek.com This week-long event teaches proper bike maintenance and etiquette, provides information on commuting, and more.
HIGHLINE HUSTLE SPRINT TRIATHLON
Fruita, Colorado GJCity.org/Highline_ Hustle_Triathlon.aspx This event features a 500-meter swim in Highline Lake, a 16-mile bike road race, and a 3-mile trail run. It’s perfect for all skill levels.
Sept. 6 TOUR OF THE VALLEY
Grand Junction, Colorado YourCommunityHospital.com
Every Full Moon
This ride benefits Community Hospital and other organizations around town. It has 30-, 50-, 75-, and 100-mile options. A celebration follows the event at the Double Tree Hotel.
Carbondale, Colorado Facebook.com/Carbondale FullMoonCruiseRide
Every full moon, take the streets with lights, boom boxes with outlandish bicycles, costumes, and décor.
May 17 L’EROICA
Grand Junction, Colorado BrownCycles.com/leroica.htm This ride recreates an 18991915 102-mile bicycle race
36 CYCLING GUIDE // 2 0 1 4
from Grand Junction to Glenwood Springs. Riders aim to replicate the historic event with old-fashioned gear and clothing.
TOUR OF THE MOON
Grand Junction, Colorado TourOfTheMoon.com Named for the famous 1980s Coors Classic, this ride ventures over the Colorado National Monument and throughout the Grand Valley. There is an expo Friday night and all day Saturday at Two Rivers Convention Center.
LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
Bike Shops & Rentals Mesa County fruita COLORADO BACKCOUNTRY BIKER
150 S. Park Square 970.858.3917 BackCountryBiker.com
OVER THE EDGE SPORTS 202 E. Aspen Ave. 970.858.7220 OTESports.com
THE BOARD & BUCKLE
2822 North Ave. 970.242.9285 BoardAndBuckle.com
BROWN CYCLES 549 Main St. 970.245.7939 BrownCycles.com
GRASSROOTS CYCLES 401 Colorado Ave. 970.243.2453
2470 Patterson Road, #3 970.257.7678 LTRSports.com
RUBY CANYON CYCLES
301 Main St. 970.241.0141 RubyCanyonCycles.com
237 S. Main St. 970.464.9266 RapidCreekCycles.com
537 N. First St. 970.245.2699 BicycleOutfitters.com
RAPID CREEK CYCLES & SPORTS
Bike Shops & Rentals Garfield County carbondale ALOHA MOUNTAIN CYCLERY
580 Colo. Hwy. 133 970.963.0128 AlohaMountainCyclery.com
AJAX BIKE & SPORTS
571 Colo. Hwy. 133 970.963.0128 AjaxBikeAndSport.com
glenwood springs GLENWOOD CANYON BIKES
319 Sixth St. 970.945.8904 CanyonBikes.com *Shuttle service available
GLENWOOD ADVENTURE COMPANY
723 Cooper Ave. 970.945.7529 GlenwoodAdventure.com *Shuttle service available
MG CYCLE AND SPORT
715 Cooper Ave. 970.945.BIKE (2453) MGCycleAndSport.com
MOUNTAIN SPORTS OUTLET
215 Sixth St. 970.945.5001 MountainSportsOutlet.com
SUNLIGHT SKI & BIKE SHOP
309 Ninth St. 970.945.9425 SunlightMTN.com/rental-shop *Shuttle service available
THE GEAR EXCHANGE
212 Sixth St. 970.945.8500 TheGearExchange.blogspot.com
Thinkstock photo. 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 37
LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
Cycling Lingo You’ve got your kit, your bike, your skills — but have you got the cycling slang down? Here’s a primer on terms you should be familiar with... SOURCE: BicycleSource.com
(n.) space between the tires and the ground. Said to be caught or gotten.
Anchor — (n.) your child, or children (anchors) that keep(s) you from riding. Also known as sinkers. “I’d love to go riding, but the anchors want to go to the movies.”
Baby heads — (n.) small boulders about the size of, yep, a baby’s head.
(n.) scabs on a rider’s knees, elbows, or other body parts.
Bagging out — (v.)
canceling a ride for something other than a death in the family.
Beartrap — 1) (v.) to slip off one pedal, causing the other pedal to slam one in the shin; 2) (n.) the toothlike scars resulting from being beartrapped.
is required, such as through mud or up a steep hill, and to fail to generate the required torque, generally a result of overgearing, being a wimp, or picking your line incorrectly.
novice failing to clip out in time.
Boing — (n.) a suspension
Clean — (v.) to negotiate
fork or stem; a dualsuspension bike is a boingboing. “Jake’s not going to feel much pain with his new boing-boing.”
Bonk — (n.) (v.) a
classic term for blowing up, hitting the wall, or otherwise expiring midride. Can be caused by — and is frequently blamed on — insufficient water or calorie intake, but in truth is usually a result of insufficient training.
Bring home a Christmas tree — (v.)
to ride (or crash) through dense bushes so leaves and branches are hanging from your bike and helmet.
Cheese grater — (v.) to grind off your skin against gravel, asphalt, bike parts, etc.
a trail successfully without crashing. “I cleaned that last section.”
Crotch testing — (n.)
sudden impact between a male rider’s private parts and something very hard and pointy, such as a handlebar stem or seat.
Curb grind — (n.)
expensive erasure of lowhanging, shiny parts of the bike on a curb or rock.
Dab — (v.) to put a foot
down in order to catch your balance on a difficult section of trail. “I made it without crashing, but I had to dab once.”
Death cookies — (n.)
Betty — (n.) any female
BSG — (n.) an abbreviation
for “Bike Store Guy.”
fist-sized rocks that knock your bike in every direction.
Bog or bog out — (v.)
Captain crash — (v.) to
Endo — (n.) the maneuver
to be riding in a circumstance where much pedaling force
“go down with the ship.” Usually the result of a
of flying unexpectedly over the handlebars, thus being forcibly ejected from the bike. Short for “end over end.”
Enscarfment — (n.) a
food break at the edge of a cliff.
Excedrin descent — (n.) bone jarring downhill that rattles your brain.
Foot fault — (n.) when
a rider can’t disengage his cleats from the pedals before falling over.
Giblets — (n.) sexy little An unfortunate soul experiencing a “Captain Crash.” Thinkstock photo.
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add-ons or upgrades, usually made of titanium or CNC’d aluminum.
LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
Gonzo — (adj.)
treacherous or extreme.
Gravity check — (n.) a fall.
Grunt — (n.) a very
which is too high or “hard” given the circumstances. Generally results in bogging out or needless fatigue.
Panic skid — (v.) to
where your fall is broken only by cheese grating your hands.
try with all one’s will and strength to prevent an impending stack by attempting to implant one’s heels as deeply as possible in the ground. Usually a dumb idea.
Nosepickium — (n.) the
Potato — (n.) a wheel that
difficult climb, requiring use of the granny gear.
Hand plant — (n.) a crash
Retro-grouch — (n.) a
rider who prefers an old bike with old components and isn’t fond of new, hightech equipment.
Ride On! — a parting
phrase used by riders with out much else to say.
Riding the pegs — (v.) standing on the pedals through rough terrain.
Rock-ectomy — (v.)
crusties you pick from your nose after a ride on a dusty trail.
has been bent badly, but not taco’d.
removing rocks, dirt, gravel lodged in the skin and body after a yard sale.
Over-the-bar blood donor — (n.) a rider who is
Powder run — (n.)
extremely dusty section of trail.
Skid lid — (n.) helmet.
injured while doing an endo.
Overgeared — (adj.) a
condition where the rider is using a gear combination
Rag dolly — (v.) to wreck in such a way that one is tossed like a flimsy scrap of cloth.
Spike — (v.) to obtain a
chainring tattoo on the back of the calf, usually the result of a newbie trying to dab or panic skid at high speeds.
Steed — (n.) your bike, the reason for your existence.
Superman — (n.) a
rider who flies over the handlebars and doesn’t hit the ground for a long time. This may result in injury, but when it doesn’t, it’s really funny for everyone else.
Taco — (v.) to bend a
wheel over on itself, in the shape of a taco. Worse than a potato chip.
Three-hour tour — (n.)
a ride that looks like a piece of cake at the outset but turns out to be a death march. Derived from the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island.”
Wild pigs — (n.) poorly adjusted brake pads that squeal in use.
World-class sports medicine. Small-town caring. Pete T. Scheffel, MD Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Surgeon
Mark G. Luker, MD Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Surgeon
Michael T. Reeder, DO Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician For the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of sports-related injuries, the best care in the world is right here at home.
Official sports medicine providers for School District 51 athletes
627 25 1/2 Road, Grand Junction 970.242.3535 • 1.800.856.9640 • www.rmodocs.com Grand Junction • Delta
2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 39
LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
A fatbike on Red Hill area trail near Carbondale. Photo by Christopher Mullen.
fatbike fun BY SCOTT WINANS
Maybe you’ve heard of fatbikes — the behemoth-tired machines that have sprung onto the biking scene in large numbers over the past couple of years. They’ve been around the biking scene for much longer than that, occupying the fringes of mainstream biking, but also making an impression on many riders who’ve taken the opportunity to try one out. These bikes were conceived for soft-surface riding, such as in deep sand and snow, and they excel in that regard. They’re also used in extreme events such as the Iditabike in Alaska, as well as in regular riding areas by those with wintertime riding aspirations. What you’ll find if you give one a try is that it’s a lot of fun; fatbikes create another outdoor option for
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those days with snow on the ground, or for those warm-weather rides that include a lot of soft-terrain stretches. And some riders have found that fatbikes are just plain fun for riding normal trails, putting a different twist on familiar singletrack. Fatbikes are also useful for backcountry exploring — hut trips and use of snowmobile trails create some neat options. Be aware of access on trails however, as use of groomed cross-country ski trails is not allowed currently. Fun fact: Some manufacturers are beginning to target the hunting crowd with fatbikes configured for bow or firearm toting, opening up new possibilities for quiet backcountry access on roads and trails. Let the FAT times roll.
visit or call
RAPID CREEK CYCLES www.rapidcreekcycles.com 970.464.9266
LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
BY SARAH MAH WITHERS
Trail etiquette is important; it keeps the trails in good shape and provides a pleasurable experience for everyone. The Grand Valley is a desert with very fragile soils. These fragile soils in the desert are actually growing organisms, called cryptobiotic soils. They consist of algae and lichen working symbiotically to stabilize the soil for other plant life to take seed. Without it, much of the sand and soil would blow away. There are simple actions that all trail users can do to help preserve the trails and great outdoor experience. First of all, one of the biggest trail-widening issues is the passing and yielding practices of the trail users. Mountain bikers are to yield to all other trail users, and the rider headed downhill yields to the rider climbing. When passing or yielding, the goal is to stay on the trail; to yield one must only move the tires to the outside portion of the trail tread and lean the bike to the outside of the trail, so that the handle bars are well away from blocking the trail. To pass, please stay on the trail — while it might seem “courteous” to cut out and around the hiker/ biker to allow for a lot of space, it widens the trail and disturbs the fragile soils. And remember, when encountering horses, communicating with the riders is important to know if you will need to dismount or simply ride slowly; either way, talking also lets the animal know that you are a person and not a predator. Widening of the trails also happens when hikers and bikers cut the corners or go around an obstacle. The trails in this area have been built and planned to be sustainable and to offer different experiences. Sustainable trails are those that are built in such a way that they can withstand years of use and rain with minimal maintenance. Cutting the corners will create detours that can create water damage with the next rain, making the trail unsustainable. Going around obstacles is another way to widen the trail, but it also changes the nature of the trail itself. Think of it this way, if a black diamond mogul ski hill is groomed to a green, the experience for the expert skier has been destroyed. Of course, the next year or storm offers the chance for the moguls to resurface, but it’s not the case of the black diamond features of mountain bike trails. Once they are gone, they’re gone. If you cannot ride an obstacle, it is far nobler to walk it than to ride around it; you are keeping the integrity of the trail intact and preserving the fragile soils. Finally, a smile or wave to other trail users is a great way to keep our trails friendly. We all use the trails to escape the hustle and bustle of the world, and if we keep that in mind then we can keep the stress at the trailhead and off the trails.
Palisade’s Rapid Creek Cycles & Paddle Board • Cruiser Rental • Mountain Bike Rental • Service & Sales • Winery Tours
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Ride in the Morning & Paddle in the Afternoon!
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LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
Photos submitted by Singletrack & Skinny Tire Sisters.
ride like a girl BY KRISTINA KITTELSON
updates from singletrack & skinny tire sisters of western colorado Singletrack and Skinny Tire Sisters of Western Colorado is a Colorado nonprofit cycling group for women who love to mountain and road bike. Our mission is to encourage women of all abilities – from novice to expert – to participate in the sport of cycling and to connect the community of female cyclists in the region. We had a fantastic 2013 ride season and look forward to an even better 2014! Coming up this year Group rides — including mountain bike, downhill, and road — begin in March. We also have new group jerseys for the 2014 rides season. We will continue to support the beginner rider with clinics and rides, and we will host numerous social and educational events throughout the year. For dates, times, locations and details of Singletrack & Skinny Tire Sisters activities, join our Facebook Group or go to www. singletracksisters.com. For more information, call Kristina Kittelson at 970-210-0389 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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LIFESTYLE // HIGH DESERT
MEXICAN - SPANISH CUISINE
Bring this ad in and receive one of our specialty margaritas half-price! 546 MAIN ST • MEZZANINE FLOOR • (970) 256-0800 Volunteers building Palisade Rim Trail. Photo courtesy of COPMOBA.
Want to get involved?
Open Daily at the corner of 6th & Main in Downtown GJ. Where Great Food, Great Coffee and Great People meet!
Artisan Bakery Cafe
Attend a local COPMOBA chapter meeting or check out the online calendar — www.copmoba.org.
welcome to copmoba COPMOBA — short for Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association — was formed in 1989 by folks dedicated to the development and maintenance of regional mountain-bike trails on the Colorado Plateau, including both the Kokopelli and Tabaguache trail systems.
Fresh local free-range eggs, organic flour in our breads, award-winning coffee... You won’t taste better than this!
Come see why we’ve been Grand Junction’s favorite for 17 years! Open daily at the corner of 6th & Main in downtown Grand Junction. Main Street Bagels, Where great food, great coffee, and great people meet!
COLORADO RIVERFRONT TRAIL MAPS FREE public trail maps at RiverfrontProject.org
Get your free trail maps covering over 20 miles of the Colorado Riverfront Trail. Access maps on your smart phone or download from our website and start enjoying your public trails today.
HOW TO BUILD A TRAIL 1
Someone dreams up a new trail, including location, and takes the idea to a trail orgnization like COPMOBA.
COPMOBA then presents the trail idea to a land manager — either BLM or U.S. Forest Service.
If the land agency initially OKs the project, studies are then done along the proposed route. Next, the area is formally flagged and walked by a land agency.
Once the trail is approved, trailbuilding events are scheduled with crew leaders and volunteers
COLORADO RIVERFRONT COMMISSION 970.683.4333 || RiverfrontProject.org Advertising paid for by public donations.
your community. your free press.
Keep on reading and enjoying your community paper.
At the Free Press we believe that the Grand Valley is a great place to live, work and play. We have been your community paper since 2003 and we look forward to the next decade in our beautiful home.
970.243.2200 145 N. Fourth St. Grand Junction, CO 81501 gjfreepress.com 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 43
HEALTH // HIGH DESERT
beat the heat while biking BY SCOTT ROLLINS, M.D.
Western Colorado offers some of the greatest off-road cycling in the world. From desert singletrack to slickrock to alpine trails, we are blessed with an abundance of terrain that lures cyclists of all ages and skillsets out for a ride. But the summertime heat can cause serious problems while cycling if you donâ€™t use caution; itâ€™s easy to get over-heated before you realize you are in trouble. If you want to both increase your performance and avoid heat-related illness, then try these tips when cycling in the heat.
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First, and most obvious, is to stay well hydrated. One liter of fluid per hour is about as much as we can absorb through the gut, so that is about the maximum one should drink per hour. Plain water is just fine, but with more extensive sweating adding some salt and sugar helps replenish salt and increase the absorption of the water. A simple rehydration solution can be made by mixing one liter, or one quart, of water with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You can also add a few scoops of protein powder to kick it up a notch and help provide nutrients for rebuilding muscle. Hydration drinks such as Gatorade are OK, although they have a bit more sugar. When the ambient temperature rises above about 84 degrees, humans can no longer get rid of excess heat by simply radiating heat to the surrounding air. At this point our evaporative cooling system, known as sweating, kicks in. As the liquid sweat evaporates from the skin, heat is rapidly removed from the body. In our dry desert climate removing heat by sweating works quite well, and when combined with some shade, or a breeze, one can stay cool in extreme, arid conditions. With any activity heat naturally builds in the active muscle until core body temperature starts to rise, and eventually muscle systems slow down or even shut down when the internal temperature gets too high. Extreme hill climbs or sprinting can increase the body temperature very quickly. Bright Colorado sunshine is something outdoor enthusiasts dig on and is yet another culprit in heat-related
illness. The more you can keep the sun from striking your bare skin, the more radiant heat you will avoid. Avoiding sunburn is especially important as the burn itself causes inflammation and another source of heat. Heat cramps occur when the body overheats, and if not addressed heat exhaustion follows with nausea, excessive sweating and feeling faint. Heatstroke happens when the body reaches about 104 degrees and presents with confusion, exhaustion and absence of sweating. Heatstroke is an emergency, and if not treated promptly causes damage to the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. Treat heat-related illnesses by cooling the body. Getting into shade, resting and hydration are the first priorities. Wetting down the skin and allowing it to dry repeatedly is great for pulling heat from the body. Fanning the skin can speed up this cooling technique. Applying cool packs or wet cloths to vascular areas such as the neck, armpits and groin is another cooling method. Bathing or running hands and feet in cool water will lower body temperature quickly. To avoid heat-related illness, wear sun-blocking clothing as able, cover bare skin with sunblock, stay hydrated and pace yourself being aware of heat buildup. Avoid riding in the extremes of midday sun and heat. Wet down your shirt or hat to add more evaporative cooling. Rest, preferably in a breezy or shady spot, before getting too hot. Above all, ride hard and stay cool.
Scott Rollins, M.D., is Board Certified with the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement for men and women, thyroid and adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia, weight loss and other complex medical conditions. He is founder and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado (www. imcwc.com) and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (www.bellezzalaser.com). Call 970-245-6911 for an appointment or more information.
COMMUTE // HIGH DESERT
two-wheeled commute BY COLLIN SZEWCZYK
shed the doldrums of heavy traffic and exhaust for the serenity of a bike path It’s one of those things like rising gas prices, drain clogs and pop-up ads that most people revile. It’s like getting that painful root canal, doing lastminute taxes or finding out that there are 84 people ahead of you in line at the DMV. It’s the long and arduous daily commute to work. During that time of the morning, while stuck at a traffic light, we yearn for another day of freedom — to be out on a local river chasing colorful and acrobatic trout; to be on our deck with friends and family enjoying the smell of a summertime grill; or to be out hiking through a serene high country meadow admiring myriad wildflowers. But your commute can be a less-stressful and moreenjoyable experience by simply leaving your vehicle at home and riding your bike to work. Imagine the early morning breeze rushing by, carrying the scent of newly bloomed wildflowers, as you pedal along the Roaring Fork River. There are no traffic lights or irate drivers, no construction zones or speed traps. Just you, two wheels and the freedom to cruise at whatever speed you like as the sun shines down illuminating the path ahead. Darin Binion of Carbondale enjoys this commute for most of the year. Binion, 43, is co-owner of the Gear Exchange in Glenwood Springs, and moved out of Glenwood just so he can enjoy the 12-mile ride from Carbondale to work each day. “I ride fairly religiously,” Binion said. “I feel like a slug if I drive in.” Riding a bike to work also gives cyclists time to enjoy a hot cup of Joe without worrying about poor or distracted drivers, who may be speeding, hoping to claim that coveted parking spot 12 feet from their office’s door. “There’s a multitude of things besides the obvious health benefits [of riding your bike to work] and how good it is for the brain,” Binion said. “You see other people on the bike path, you stop and say ‘hi’. When you’re driving in the car you’re not going to have that same interaction.” And riding also helps to bring you closer to nature, while cruising through the valley — sometimes a little too close. “Last summer when my girlfriend, Rebecca, and
Photo by Collin Szewczyk.
I were riding home, near the turn to Spring Valley, a herd of elk ran right in front of us,” Binion said. “There was enough moonlight, and we like to ride without our lights on, so they must have heard us coming and we just feel this rush of 30 head of elk flying in front of us and you slam on the brakes, and I swear, the next night, the same thing happened at almost the exact same spot. It was the only times that has happened and it was two nights in a row. “We were shaking, but we were so excited. That would have never happened in a car; we would’ve been in a crash.” And while the Rio Grande Trail between Glenwood and Aspen opens up much of the Roaring Fork Valley to bicycle commuters, some feel more trail is needed along the Colorado River through South Canyon to allow riders from New Castle and beyond to enjoy a bike commute. “We need more bike path, especially between [Glenwood] and New Castle,” Binion said. “To complete [the LoVa Trail along Interstate 70] would really open up that end of the valley, and I know there are a lot of cyclists that live out that way who would ride this way and vice versa.” Even so, living anywhere from the Roaring Fork Valley to the Grand Valley, cyclists know they have access to a little slice of heaven. There are countless singletrack trails and bike paths to explore, so switch things up and ride your bike to work — you might just pass Darin Binion on his way to the Gear Exchange, a cup of coffee in his hand and a smile on his face. “For me, I only have one way home and that’s to ride my bike,” he said. “It’s part of the experience, the exploration. It’s 12 miles [each way to work] so it’s kind of a way to get into the backcountry, so to speak, without having to go into the actual backcountry. It’s the fun of being outside.” May is National Bike Month, which encourages people to get out and see the benefits of riding bikes instead of driving. And with the temperatures getting warmer, what’s your excuse for not giving a bike commute a try? The adventure awaits — get out there and ride your bike. 2 0 1 4 / / CYCLING GUIDE 45
Photo by Elisa Jones.
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