High Altitude Society: Sonnenalp’s Casual Classic bike ride | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society: Sonnenalp’s Casual Classic bike ride

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society
Carol Feistmann and Judy Pitkin start the 38-mile bike ride from Breckenridge to Vail for the Sonnenalp of Vail Foundation's Casual Classic ride to support ECO Trails.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

VAIL — Cyclists and organizers of the 29th annual Sonnenalp of Vail Foundation’s Casual Classic bike ride were treated to sunny skies and warm weather for their Sept. 6 event, which took them from Breckenridge to Vail. From the moment you arrive at the Sonnenalp of Vail and are greeted with hot coffee, breakfast burritos and pastries, to the lively conversation on the bus ride over to Breckenridge, to the supported ride, to the after party, the Casual Classic is a classy, well-oiled machine. Riders meet at the drop off point in Breckenridge where cyclists take to their trusty steeds and head for Vail on a paved path that connects the two mountain towns.

The noncompetitive ride is a fundraiser for ECO Trails with proceeds benefiting their mission to oversee a multi-use trail system through the Eagle River Valley. The trail travels 63-miles from Vail Pass to Glenwood Canyon with a connect to Red Cliff.

Whether Casual Classic riders were on road bikes or mountain bikes, the day was a challenge with the promise at the end of a barbecue fit for a king at the Sonnenalp’s Bully Ranch Restaurant.

“The food is incredible. We are from New Orleans and know good food. This food was incredible today,” rider Karen Ryan said.

Her husband, Jack Ryan, who said the couple has ridden in the event for the past eight years, congratulated Sonnenalp’s owner and general manager Johannes Faessler on a job well done.

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“The food gets better. The crowd gets better. I see some of the same faces and there are some new faces,” Jack Ryan said.

It was a feel-good event with everyone helping out fellow riders. Some locals even helped flatlanders dealing with the altitude. One rider was kind enough to let another try out her motorized bike with pedal assist. Everyone was out enjoying and supporting ECO Trails.

To learn more about ECO Trails at http://www.eaglecounty.us/trails. For more about the Sonnenalp of Vail Foundation, which offers medical, educational and human services, go to http://www.sonnenalpfoundation.com.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events, fundraisers for nonprofits and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at http://www.highaltitudesociety.com.

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