New site connects Vail Valley cyclists
Vail, COC olorado
VAIL, Colorado – Eagle resident Bill MacFarlane thinks he lives right next to a network of mountain bike trails that could compare to Fruita or Moab – but nobody knows about it.
“There are a lot of beginner, intermediate, expert trails (throughout the valley), and it’s just amazing what’s down in Eagle,” said the longtime road and mountain biker. “This could be a biking destination, if it’s done right.”
Organizers of a newly re-launched Web site, vailvelo.com, hope to put the valley’s riding on the map. The new site aims to provide a comprehensive guide to road and mountain biking in the Vail Valley, as well as a forum for local riders to share information and spread the news about events.
More than two-dozen mountain bike trails and popular road rides are listed, from “easy” trails like Shrine Pass to Red Cliff to “difficult” trails like Cougar Ridge.
Each trail has it’s own page, showing satellite and terrain views of trail routes on Google Maps, elevation profiles, user ratings, discussions on current riding conditions.
For years, locals and avid cyclists have ridden in the area while others have bypassed Eagle County in favor of riding destinations like Moab, said Arn Menconi.
The Vail Velo cycling club was founded in 1989 by Jeff Mohrman. The club used to have a Web site and annual publication, but it was not as comprehensive as the newly re-launched site.
“We’re very excited to finally have a single location for Eagle County biking enthusiasts to share information, tips, photos and videos of trails that locals have known about for years,” Menconi said. “People from out of town typically flock to places like Moab, and this is a great platform to highlight the world-class terrain in Eagle County.”
MacFarlane, general manager for the Riverwalk Inn in Edwards, said he sees plenty of guests who are looking for riding information, and the Web site will be a good resource for the them.
“I know most of the rides around here, but as a hotel, the maps are great for people coming into town who bring their mountain bikes or road bikes – and there are many people who do,” he said.
Jamie Malin, owner of The Kind Cyclist in Edwards, said he thinks the site could be a good way to connect local riders. He’d like to see the site become a place people regularly post the latest trail conditions or as a forum to connect people looking for riding buddies.
“Riders out here are very independent-minded,” Malin said. “I moved out here from Detroit three years ago, where the riding isn’t nearly as good, but there’s way more of a community.”
MacFarlane agreed – many different bike shops and individuals organize rides, but he would like to see larger groups of riders getting together like they did when he first moved to the valley.
“I’ve been in the valley for 20 years, and I remember Vail Velo used to do the Wednesday World’s Ride from Colorado Bike Service,” he said. “It was a pretty big ride, and it’d be nice to get that back going.”
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snow usually comes and goes in this part of the state. A forecasted storm is expected to stick around for a while. Forecasters are calling for snow to persist throughout the weekend in the high country, with a prospect of a couple of feet of powder by the time the storm starts to diminish on Monday.