Mountain - Plains - Aspen Snowmass Road Cycling
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04-10-11, 08:00 PM
I currently live in Aspen - moved out here mid-december and am staying for the summer (and hopefully year round). I moved from Orlando, FL (so 8,000 ft elevation change for me) and am looking to get back on my back as soon as possible. I haven't ridden in a few years and am out of shape.
What I am wondering is, are there any other local riders out here? Some one to help me train by showing me some good training routes (as I adjust to getting back on my bike, lose some weight, and not kill myself by taking on a challenging ride).
The area out here is beautiful and I plan on being able to ride Independence Pass this summer at least once if not more if I can!
My name is Matt, btw :)
04-11-11, 07:53 AM
Hey Matt - I'm not from there, but have ridden through there. There's a lovely bike path from Aspen to Carbondale and all the way out to Glenwood Springs, that continues East under I-70. Maroon Bells is supposed to be a great ride with limited traffic (I haven't gotten to do it yet). McClure Pass is nice, though there's not much shoulder.
Also, look on MapMyRide, it shows rides that other people have done or mapped in the area:
04-11-11, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the link! Will be helpful later on in the season - I'd die on most of those rides (at least the ones I clicked on) if I attempted them right now! I've heard the same about Maroon Bells and will certainly be riding it this season. With my camera, of course - I've been up that route on the bus to do the Crate Lake Hike in the summer when I visited for a long weekend. Beautiful is an understatement - and yes, tons of cyclists punishing themselves on the climb up, but the ride down looks pretty sweet!
04-12-11, 10:25 AM
There is some great riding in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys. I am in Carbondale and ride parts of the Rio Grande Trail (mentioned above) as well as Maroon Bells, Ashcroft, and Missouri Heights, regularly. As you can see, it is still early season, so route selection is a it harder while waiting for the snowpack to melt out.
04-13-11, 09:32 PM
yeah, i gotta get some colder weather gear too, but planning on going on my first short ride this week. might just head down the road to the pass, even though its not open yet...can at least check it out for now.
04-18-11, 11:38 AM
The Rio Grande Trail (Aspen to Glenwood) and the Intersecting Glenwood Canyon Trail are both easy and beautiful.
04-21-11, 06:29 PM
I'll have to try and locate them.
Got a DeLorme GPS thingy...of course it doesn't work with Windows7 which is a royal pain in the ass, but the computer map program is quite good.
Just waiting for a normal-weather day to take my first ride (in nearly 3 years and first in Aspen) though there might be more snow or rain tomorrow >.<
10-08-11, 09:53 AM
My summer plans fell through in a big way. I managed a few short rides (30 - 45mins) while the weather was still quite cold (ride one day, snow flurry the next, even in April/May) and was hoping on a good summer. But then my dad got Ill and I had to move back to the East Coast. My 'Summer' didn't exist at that point, as it has been spent helping my mom take care of dad, the first majority of it spent between hospitals and rehab facilities. Needlesstosay, I haven't so much as seen my bike since the beginning of May. It is currently sitting disassembled in a box at a friends house out here on the East Coast. Life has a funny way of doing things like that to me - when I finally get the motivation to do something, something else happens that prevents me from doing it.
I'm moving back to Aspen in about a Month for the winter season, knowing that I will be coming back here for my Dads funeral before christmas (the doctors do not expect him to live that long) and while this is extremely hard to deal with, I am only 26 and need a job to make money and also think about what I want to do with my life.
In light of that, my thought is to do a Cycling Tour. I know - prior to all of this - my dad wanted to Cycle the length of England (we're originally from the UK) so I am thinking of doing that. My Dad is also Welsh and grew up in Cardiff. I've never been to Wales (Chester being the closest to the border I have been) so I was also thinking that, while doing the Tour across England, why not also cycle the length of Wales as well? And, on top of that, while over there, why not cycle around Ireland as well? My aunt just moved back to Ireland so I could always stop by here neck of the woods for a few days off (and my Uncles in the South of England).
And that brings me back to where I was at the beginning of this thread. Whatever weight I had lost and the improved shape I was in at the time is long gone. I've packed on 10 - 15lbs since moving back here (sedenatry lifestyle, tons of stress, not eating healthy at all, no physical excercize) so I want to lose that all again this winter. My biggest issue is my wind - I used to be a long distance runner and soccer player (year round) all through highschool but have done diddly since then so even simple things leave me winded, especially at ~8000 ft elevation.
I plan on skiing on the two-days-off-per-week I get during the winter and plan on doing some low-level hiking between Nov 1st and Nov 18th, but realize that won't get me in shape. Hopefully next summer is better then this one in regards to doing what I want to be able to do along with cycling. But I want to do this 'tour' either next summer or the one after. I have no idea how to go about planning such a thing (the London-to-Rome tour I did after HighSchool was with a dozen other people and all preplanned by a company like Backroads). I should probably ask this in the touring forum, but does anyone have any suggestions?
10-08-11, 10:05 AM
I am really sorry to hear about your dad - that is really tough for all.
No ideas on touring, but cross-country skiing will get you in cardiac (and other) shape pronto. We are having a good snow along the front range and foothills today and Wolf Creek ski area is opening today with a whole bunch of snow. It won't be long for Aspen. They are predicting another heavy snow winter for the mtns, and zilch along the front range and Eastern Colorado.
10-08-11, 10:20 AM
Hey -so sorry to hear about your father. Good for you for spending time with him - you will have many years to bike & work, but only this time with him.
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing is great cross training for cycling.
British cycle touring organization.
In the USA -
The touring forum here is very active & useful.
www.adventurecycling.org - maps for bike routes, how-to info, paid tours (both self-supported and with them carrying your stuff). there's a forum there too, but it's not very active
www.crazyguyonabike.com - journals of bike tourists, many have sections about route planning & gear lists, and you can search by locale to find other people's tours in the areas you are interested in riding. THey also have a forum-ish thing, but again I think the one here is more appropriate for a wider/younger audience.
10-09-11, 07:05 PM
If you want to ride in the winter the Grand Junction area (2 hour drive west) is usually pretty good for riding most of the winter. We don't get too much snow and it often melts off the roads pretty quickly.
Local maps (http://www.tomorrowhillfarm.com/JohnHodgebicycleMaps.html).
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