Thursday, September 4, 2008

Winter Park - Labor Day Weekend 2008

We made a last minute decision to spend Labor Day weekend in Winter Park (WP), Colorado. WP has the reputation of having miles of sweet singletrack mountain bike trails, but somehow neither Phil nor I had ridden there before.

My friend Mary from work, however, has ridden all the trails and was gracious about sharing her knowledge. So, with skillfully drawn map in hand, we headed out for an adventure.

Of course, before we got too far, we had to deal with the stow-away (Rex) in my luggage. He's pretty sure he'd like to go on a road trip, but I don't really trust him . . .
Saturday morning - getting our gear ready for the ride. We don't exactly travel light, but we've both had enough outdoor experience to know that Colorado mountain weather is unpredictable and can change in the blink of an eye.

Saturday we rode Mary's route - Serenity to Ice Hill to Blue Sky to a sweet little section of "town secret" singletrack. Phil and I both rode the teeter totter, but we were having such fun we didn't stop for photos. The ladder was a bit intimidating. Maybe next time. Then we finished up with a swoopy ride down Long Trail in the WP resort area.

We also spent about half an hour watching the MTB race. Pretty humbling to watch the racers blow through the twists and turns.

We rounded out Saturday with 9 holes of golf at the Pole Creek golf course outside of Tabernash. Once again, Phil crushed me. This is becoming a disturbing trend . . .

On Sunday we decided to go for a longer ride. We rode from our hotel in downtown WP over to Fraser and picked up the Givelo and Northwest Passage trails on our way to Tipperary Creek.

This is Phil at the top of Tipperary Creek - a 3 mile climb with a steady grade and nothing too sketchy or technical, so a perfect trail for us.
After Tipperary Creek, we dropped down to Chainsaw Trail - that was FUN! We didn't see any moose, but this looks like perfect moose territory.

Then we took a quick ride on Elk Meadow Trail before joining up with D2 road - ugh. It is a loose rocky steep climb. Similar to St Kevin's on the Leadville course, but not quite as steep (and about 1,000 feet lower in elevation). We rounded out the ride with a long fast descent down Vasquez into town.

We managed to beat the thunderstorm back to our hotel. Phil got the bikes on the car just as the rain began. We celebrated our great ride with dinner at the Tabernash Tavern - fantastic food and a lovely bottle of Trapiche Malbec.

We'll definitely go back for more riding at WP. We give it four muddy tires out of five.

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