Sonnenalp of Vail Foundation hosts 32nd Casual Classic Bike Ride |

Sonnenalp of Vail Foundation hosts 32nd Casual Classic Bike Ride

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society
David Oestreicher and Nick and Heidi Fickling start the 38-mile Casual Classic ride in support of ECOTrails from Breckenridge to Vail on a beautiful late summer day.
Photos by Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

VAIL — The Sonnenalp of Vail Foundation held its 32nd Casual Classic bike ride from Breckenridge to Vail on Saturday, Sept. 9 — a warm, gorgeous late summer day.

Riders biked a 38-mile ride following the recreational path 10 miles to Frisco, then a 7-mile gradual climb to Copper Mountain followed by 5 challenging miles to Vail Pass summit. Then the fun begins as riders coast 16 miles downhill to the Bully Ranch restaurant at the Sonnenalp for a delicious buffet lunch, live entertainment and a silent auction.

Trail System ‘Coming Together’

The Casual Classic supports the ECOTrails bike trail system, which requires annual improvement, upkeep and maintenance.

The Sonnenalp Hotel’s proprietor, Johannes Faessler, greeted the riders.

“Slowly but surely, the trail system is coming together. It makes a difference if people think big and figure out a way to find funding mechanisms to get trails built. I think that we are a group of folks here that when those opportunities arise here in the county, we can step up and support it so that we can keep the trail system moving forward,” Faessler said. “We will keep doing (this event) until we have the best trails of any place.” Faessler said.

Faessler himself rode from Vail to Copper Mountain and back, at 7 a.m., to get back in time to prepare for the event and greet his guests.

Then, Faessler thanked his sponsors and volunteers.

“I would like to thank a number of folks and companies who help us to do this. Sysco, thank you for helping with all of the buffets that you enjoyed today. Thanks to ECOTrails and Colorado Mountain Express for providing transportation and to the Sonnenalp employees for volunteering and, of course, to (organizer) Michele Davis. This thing would not happen without Michele,” Faessler said.

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Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at

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