I travelled to Grand Junction, Colorado to race the second round of the Epic Rides series. It’s been a while since my feet have touched down Colorado soil and it seems like this time I have made more observations than ever.
- The Community
To start with, I have to say that I am so impressed by the quality and the accessibility of Colorado trails. On the racing weekend, thousands of people were using the trails and because of that you would think that the site would be destroyed. Notwithstanding, it stays as great as it was when I left it on Sunday. In essence, trails maintenance, management and stewardship are exceptional out there. On top of that, the cycling community is more than respectful to the trails resulting in epic, sustainable trails. On this basis, it reminded me how strong the community is in Grand Junction, Colorado.
- Lunch Loop
The city has a trail network named “Lunch Loop”. Perhaps it is so called because it’s located relatively close to downtown where you can find offices/shops/restaurant/coffee. Basically, these trails are sometimes fast and flowy then super technical, a perfect place to ride your bike for an hour and to have your workout done on lunchtime. As a full time worker, I was picturing myself working in this location. For the most part, it would suits me fine.
- Rednecks and Hippies
On “MY” evidence based and randomized statistics, one third of Colorado population is Redneck, another one third is hippy, and I classified the remaining as “regular American”. This is of special interest, because even if a car driver was carrying a riffle in his pickup truck or just did not seemed like a typical cyclist, he’d still yielded at me and other bikes. My point is, not once while I was out there, did a person honked at me for riding on the white line. This is to state again how strong is the cycling community in Colorado.
- Bike Racing should always include beers and bacon
To me, racing is all about feeling the vibe and the weekend was a perfect reflection of it. First, the Friday night Pro Fat Tire Crit was mixed with a music festival leaving a thrilled ambiance. Then, there was a bacon hand-up on Sunday. Honestly, I never treat myself with any of these two, so this was no special reward for me. However, it leaves an entertaining atmosphere where in the meantime as you race your ass off, you feel as if you are giving a show. For these attributes, it is a lot of excitation and sensation all at once realizing that beer and bacon play an important role in bike races!
- Each City has sweet single tracks
After the race on Sunday, I still had a day off before going back home. I was then looking for an epic place to ride my bike. Thus, I asked people around and I had a variety of suggestions: Gunnison, Eagle, Fruita, Moab, Golden, and Breckenridge. Apparently, I had plenty of choices for amusement close around! I ended up in Eagle, where I had one of the best ride of my life. Implicitly, I would characterize it as fast, flowy and steep single tracks with long descents.
- Highway 70 is DA BEST!
Referring to point 5, I have passed just beside a large amount of riding spots. The highway itself is pretty amazing with lot of bridges and tunnels. You follow the Colorado River for approximately 100 miles and the scenery is more amazing around each corner. There is also some pretty steep grades, talk to David about how the Sprinter couldn’t make it through Vail’s Pass.
P.S. There is a bike path along the highway that seems pretty unreal. I am pretty sure there is an HC climb on this bike path, no kidding.
- If I was a Cowboy, the best way to robe a train would be at the end of a tunnel.
I just thought about that. This would be so easy to do.
What’s up next?
I am heading to Willmington 100 on June 5th. Hopefully Whikey Off-Road and Grand Junction 40 will pay off and I’ll be able to race at my full capacity.
Sarah is running the Xtrail at Sutton 22km this coming weekend which represents a good preparation for the World Champs. It will be her first race without a cast…so she is ready to attack the descent as she used.