Our final ride in Colorado was the Mineral Belt Trail, a favorite of ours. It’s about 12 miles of paved path that takes you around the edge of Leadville and through all of it’s mining history. Following the ride as is our tradition we ate at the Golden Burro. We also checked out Periodic Brewing the (world’s highest craft brewery) and the historic Silver Dollar Saloon and the Manhattan.
Our 4th ride on this trip was the Ten Mile Canyon Trail. We rode from Frisco up to Copper Mountain where we waited out rain before heading back. Back in Frisco we had lunch at the Moose Jaw and then headed towards Breckenridge. We got about halfway before a storm chased us back.
After 2 days in Colorado Springs we headed for the familiar territory of Summit County. Our first ride was Williams Peak. I would call this a jeep road. 25 or so years ago my Dad and I rode this from it’s start at the highway up about 5 miles and back. This time Nova and I drove 6 miles up before starting our ride. We thought we’d be riding along the top or ridge but we still encountered quite a bit of climbing and the road seemed to be getting worse. We turned around when we started to do more pushing than riding. A fairly short but beautiful ride.
The first video is of our travel day, the 2nd video the ride.
Day 2 in Colorado Springs. Our plan was to ride an old railroad grade outside of town. When at the trail head putting the front wheel on my bike the axle nut strippped. I couldn’t come up with a fix so back to town we went to a bike shop to get a new nut. Once that was done we decided to just stay in town and ride the New Santa Fe Regional Trail from our hotel. This dirt trail goes north and takes you out of town passing through the Air Force Academy. Once back in town we had dinner at Trinity Brewing company. This was a fun trail.
We took off for Colorado as we do every few summers to escape the heat at home. We decided to first go to Colorado Springs as we’d only passed through before and never spent any time there. Doing a little research prior it looked like they had a nice trail system. This vacation also became a brewery tour. On the way to Colorado we stopped in Dodge City, KS and had a beverage at the new Dodge City Brewery.
In Colorado Springs we stayed at the Comfort Inn North which was right about where the Pikes Peak Greenway and the New Santa Fe Regional Trail meet. Together these trails/paths run across town North to South. The trail is literally right out the hotels back door. Awesome!
Day one in Colorado Springs we headed south which is the Pikes Peak Greenway. We rode it to the south end of town and then headed back north stopping downtown to check out a couple breweries (Fieldhouse & Phantom Ranch), eat lunch and explore.
As for the bike I took as I know some will wonder…
I was getting ready to put the bike I usually take on trips (my old Specialized hybrid) in to the truck to leave and noticed the rear wheel was out of true and then found a broken spoke. I didn’t have a replacement spoke and didn’t want to wait around home for a bike shop to open or have to deal with it out of town, so I just grabbed the only other bike I have that has multiple gears which was this mutant. I was really pleased with how well it did considering it’s a cheap bike that I’ve hacked and welded on. About a week prior I had to replace the 7 speed freewheel on the bike as the old one fell apart. My bike shop gave me a used one which just happen to have the big jump to the 1st gear which I believe Shimano calls the Mega Range Super Low and what I call the “bail out” gear. Being only a 7 speed this really came in handy later in the trip when we did some climbing.
On to the video and photos…
The first video is of our travel day, the second is the ride.
The first 6 photos are from our travel day.
Our final ride of our Summer vacation in Colorado 2013.
After Glenwood Springs we headed to Summit County to ride the Lake Dillon Loop. This is a 18 mile ride around the lake, mostly on paths and bike lanes. If you ride the loop clockwise like we did, there is an on road descent on Swan Mountain road (there is a bike lane on just one side of the road). We started in Frisco at an elevation of around 9,000 feet. This ride has a pretty good climb up Swan Mountain with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet. Whew! Once back in Frisco we rode around town and ate at Ollie’s Pub & Grub. After lunch we took off to ride the Ten Mile Canyon trail but it started to rain so we turned around and rode back to the hotel and called it a day after 25 miles.
Summer vacation in Colorado 2013.
While in Glenwood Springs we decided to ride the Glenwood Canyon Trail which we’d ridden once before back in 2006. It’s just too nice of a trail to pass up. The trail is paved and runs 16 miles East out of Glewnwood Springs through Glenwood Canyon, sharing the canyon with the Colorado River, Interstate 70 and a railroad. The canyon provides you with beautiful scenery and it’s fun to watch the many whitewater rafters on the river. Just like the Rio Grande trail we rode the day before, this trail is a busy one.
We rode the trail out and back and upon our return to town went to Sunlight bike shop to have them replace a broken spoke in my rear wheel. I don’t know how long I’d been riding this way.
Our next stop on our Colorado 2013 trip was in Glenwood Springs to ride the Rio Grande Trail. This rail-to-trail runs 42 miles between the towns of Glenwood Springs and Aspen with some segments along the Raging Fork river. It is paved from Glenwood Springs to near Aspen where it turns to gravel. We decided riding it out and back in one day was too much for us to do enjoyably. There was also the option of catching a bus to shuttle us but we decided instead to just ride part of the trail starting 12 miles away in the town of Carbondale and ride to Aspen and back to Carbondale for a total of 56 miles. We spotted our first ever Black Bear which was probably the high point of the ride. The low was when it hailed and rained on us. It’s a nice trail with great scenery and it’s a busy trail even on a weekday.
Summer vacation in Colorado 2013. The first trail we rode was the Mineral Belt Trail in Leadville which is one of our favorite rides. It’s a paved 12 mile loop around the city, with climbing, coasting, curves, beautiful scenery and lots of mining history which is well documented along the trail. All at an altitude of 10,000+ feet. As is our tradition, we followed up the ride with a visit to the Golden Burro for lunch. As a bonus to our stop in Leadville the town was having its Boom Days festival.
I was going through some old slides and come across the above photo. Every time we ride in Leadville, Colorado we reward ourselves with food and drink at the Golden Burro Cafe. At an altitude of 10,152 feet, I have to stop and catch my breath between bites. We always acclimate a day or two at a little lower elevation before attempting to ride around Leadville.