Aspen is Positioned to Take Its Place as One of the West’s Top Two Wheel Destinations
ASPEN, Colo. (Jan. 2019) – Biking is one of the hottest sports in America, at every age, and Aspen is the epicenter for biking experience and culture. From meandering riverside trails and serene road riding up to the Maroon Bells (one of the world’s most photographed peaks) to some of the region’s most extreme mountain biking, Aspen has something for every level of rider.
RIDES FOR EVERYONE
- Easy Biking – Although Aspen has countless hardcore mountain and road-bike rides, it is also a great place to take a cruise. The Rio Grande Trail is a gently sloping, mostly paved surface that runs 40 miles from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and has countless stops along the way for a perfect picnic. Eight miles outside of town, stop into the Woody Creek Tavern, a former hangout of the late Hunter S. Thompson, for their famous margaritas and massive plates of nachos.
- We-Cycle – Aspen’s answer to bike-sharing is We-cycle, allowing locals and visitors a bike when they need it and where they need it, with more than 100 bikes and 15 stations around town. We-Cycle now offers the first 30 minutes of every We-Cycle ride fare free to all riders. We-Cycle launched in 2013, making Aspen the first-ever resort town to have an official bike-sharing program.
- Tuesday Cruiseday is a group of 100-plus town bike riders who cruise through town every Tuesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. The free ride begins and ends at the Aspen Brewing Co. on Galena St. Come as you are, but make sure you have a bike!
- Take a ride up some of the same mountain passes that one of the world’s greatest cyclists does — Aspen resident, Tour De France competitor and USA Pro Challenge winner, Tejay van Garderen does some of his training here, which serves as a testament to the excellent road-biking conditions in the valley. Some rides, such as the road to the Maroon Bells, are devoid of vehicles during certain hours and perfect for high-altitude training.
- An early-season cycling favorite is the Independence Pass Foundation’s Ride for the Pass, which offers both a race and recreational ride up the unopened road, ending at the ghost town of Independence just below the Continental Divide.
Easy Mountain Biking
- Lincoln Creek Road. Beginning about 11 miles east of Aspen on Independence Pass, this bumpy, rolling dirt road is ideal for slightly experienced riders looking to test their off-road skills without venturing too far into the wilderness. Densely wooded with beautiful river views around every corner, the road ends up in a spectacular high-alpine valley.
Intermediate Mountain Biking
- Smuggler-Hunter Creek Loop. Aspen’s classic intermediate-to-advanced ride, this trail begins with the steep Smuggler Mountain Road — a 1.5-mile climb guaranteed to get your heart pumping. It winds into the beautiful Hunter Creek Valley, passing over a smooth single-track, through vast aspen groves, and past the ruins of a few deserted mining cabins.
Advanced Mountain Biking
- Government Trail. This difficult trail packs enough punch to please even the most accomplished mountain biker. It begins with a challenging climb up Snowmass Ski Area and then traverses across ski runs and through dense evergreens to the Buttermilk Ski Area. Here, the trail roller-coasters through aspen groves and thrilling single-track, ending just outside of Aspen.
- Hut-to-Hut. Aspen’s famed 10th Mountain Hut Division manages a system of 29 backcountry huts in Colorado, connected by 350 miles of suggested routes, many of which offer amazing mountain biking trails.
- Snowmass Trails are a two-wheeled speed demon’s dream with trails for beginners to pros. Top-rated trails on Snowmass include the Cross Mountain Trail (intermediate), Wilderness Way (intermediate) and Banzai (expert only). For the truly courageous, Trench Town Terrain Park features a Mountain Cross, the Coney Drop Zone, and many more features and jumps. There are trails with berms, jumps and table tops that are so smooth that they have been described as the “powder skiing” of mountain biking. There is also a beginner terrain park located at the base of the Burlingame chair lift.
- Ajax Bike and Sport offers a broad selection of bikes to rent or buy, from road bikes, mountain bikes and multi-use bikes to kids’ bikes and cruisers. In addition to a range of bike servicing options, Ajax Bike and Sport also provides custom bike fitting to help cyclists ride faster, longer and in greater comfort while also reducing the chance of injury. (400 E. Cooper Ave; 970.925.7662)
- With several convenient locations in Aspen/Snowmass, Aspen Sports has over 200 cruisers and kids’ bikes and offers one-way bike rentals between each of its sites. (408 E. Cooper Ave; 970.925.6331)
- Aspen Velo Bike Shop offers bicycle sales, service and rentals at flexible rates for any age and skill level. With a huge selection of rental bikes that’s maintained by professional mechanics, Aspen Velo Bike Shop also offers trailside breakdown assistance to give riders that extra piece of mind. Rentals include Santa Cruz, Ibis, Storck and Raleigh bikes. (465 N. Mill St; 970.925.1495)
- Aspen/Snowmass Four Mountain Sports – With four summer locations in Aspen/Snowmass, Four Mountain Sports offers the latest bikes and gear. From cruisers, road bikes, children’s bikes and trailers to a large assortment of mountain bikes, Four Mountain Sports has something for all sizes and abilities. (520 E. Durant Ave; 970.920.2337)
- Blazing Adventures has a wide assortment of guided bicycle tours for every skill level. Ranging from beginner and intermediate trips such as the Ride the Rail Trail that follows the Roaring Fork River from Aspen to Basalt, to more advanced singletrack mountain biking, riders can see some of the world’s most beautiful scenery while also honing their skills with experienced guides leading the way. (555 E. Durant Ave; 800.282.7238)
- Ute City Cycles – Featuring brands such as Orbea, Colnago, Yeti, Jamis, Assos and more, Ute City Cycles has an assortment of custom bikes for any fitness or skill level. (231 E. Main St; 970.920.3325)
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