Big weekend of cycling in Snowmass with bike park opening, demo days, Fondo
Snowmass’ cycling season shifts into high gear this weekend with vendors offering demo products, the Aspen Skiing Co.’s bike park opening and a group ride of 20 miles on single-track trail circling the village.
While many trails around Snowmass Village have been open throughout the spring, a handful make their season debut this week. The Tom Blake Trail, Anaerobic Nightmare and Government Trail opened June 14. They were closed for elk calving season.
The Campground Connector, completed last fall, will make it easier to connect Sleigh Ride and the Ditch Trail to Village Bound and Cross Mountain Trail on the west side of the ski area, noted Mike Pritchard, director of the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association.
Pritchard said the weekend is a great opportunity for riders to experience the expanding network of trails Snowmass offers.
Skico’s bike park opens Friday on the Elk Camp portion of Snowmass Ski Area. The Elk Camp Gondola will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. while the Elk Camp chairlift will operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lift tickets and bike rentals are available at the base.
There are four dedicated downhill trails in the bike park and cross-country trails head both east and west from the park. In all, Snowmass touts 80 miles of trails in the ski area and surrounding area.
People who had a 2016-17 season ski pass will get one free day of access to the bike park from June 23 through 29. They also get 50 percent off downhill bike rentals and a special $39 fee for the Park Ready Clinic, offered daily between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Two special events will give the weekend a festival atmosphere. Scores of vendors will provide bikes and gear to demo Saturday and Sunday. Registration will be start at 9:15 a.m. both days and demos begin at 9:30 a.m. All bikes and other gear are due back at 4 p.m.
Riders can bring their own bikes to demo components and get a tune.
The event is a good opportunity for people in the market for a new bike to check out the latest models, Pritchard said.
The Snowmass Loop Mountain Bike Fondo will return for its second year on Saturday. The Fondo will follow 20 miles of the single-track Snowmass Loop, an awesome series of trails that encircle the high ridges around the village. The event, presented by Intense Cycles, is free to the first 75 riders who sign up. A contribution is suggested to the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, which will have representatives signing people up for memberships. Riders can sign in at email@example.com.
Paul Cuthbertson set out by himself around 3 p.m. Friday from the trailhead that leads up to the Polar Star Inn, according to his father, Mike, but never made it to the popular backcountry hut as a late-spring snowstorm moved in.