Friday, July 03, 2009

June 24, 2009: Colorado Vacation Vail Pass Bike Ride

On Wednesday the 24th we got daring and signed up for a 25 mile bike ride starting in Vail Pass. This was stunning beautiful and quite a nice ride for Fran and I especially for Fran as she had not ridden a bike in over ten years and had never ridden as fast or on such steep hills as we did today. A shuttle bus picked us up outside the Sheraton and brought us out (with 12 other people) 25 miles east to “Vail Pass”. Vail Pass is at 10,660 foot elevation and is at the snow line for June. After getting used to our bikes at the start of the bike path Fran and I followed the trail for the next 12 miles down winding paved trails occasionally turning into country roads that we shared with a few cars. The only real danger was letting the speed get away from you and then having to navigate one of the many turns through the forested areas. Easily we could have 40 miles per hour on these downward slopes but we kept the speed to less than 25 at the maximum and more like under 20 mph for most of the faster runs.

At around mile 12 we entered the east end of Vail and came across the Gerald Ford Amphitheater and the Betty Ford Garden. The Ford’s came to Vail quite a bit and when he became president the entire entourage would come to Vail while he vacationed. This attention by the national media is what put Vail on the international spotlight and development of the area subsequently took off.

From mile 12 through 17 we navigated the Vail ski area winding through some beautiful neighborhoods and the Vail villages. At this point we could have met the shuttle bus but we decided to keep going and followed the bike paths and marked roads back into Avon and returned our bikes. In all it was a 25 mile trip and close to a 3,000 foot drop in elevation. This mostly downhill (with a few ups) is definitely an enjoyable way to go biking ☺

In the evening we went out to dinner at a restaurant in Vail Lionshead Village called the “Montauk Seafood Grill”. June is a slow month for the Vail Valley and the specials were fantastic at many restaurants. Montauk’s offered a special for June for all their entrees to be $19. Fran and I both had great meals for a very modest price.

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