We got lucky. A week earlier I overheard G talking about how his timeshare in Vail was not going to get used this year and he wasn’t able to change the dates. Quickly I blurted out, “Well, Dalton and I would be happy to go up if they still aren’t able to change it for you…”
Now we have arrived to our spacious riverside condo at the Wren, living the high life! While up here we had two priorities – mountain biking and beer drinking.
Mountain Biking Vail Mountain
With my mom’s incredibly nice Trek mountain bike and my dad’s old 70’s retro teal mountain bike we were ready to conquer the world! Getting up early we decided on a ‘fun’ ride up Vail Mountain. After learning the gondolas were closed (we didn’t want to pay anyways) we found a map and created a route to head up. Planning that once we were tired of going uphill, we would enjoy the wonderful, quick ride back down.
The Climb – Vail Mountain
And we were off! Starting from our condo we biked to the base and started heading uphill, zig-zagging up the switchbacks.
The fun and excitement slowly started to wear off and the tiredness of constant climbing began to set in. However it was addicting. We (more like I) found motivation to keep going every time we checked our progress on the map or by how much smaller Vail Village looked each time I looked down. Sweat was profusely coming down my face, my quads were screaming and crying every time my eyes rested upon the next switchback.
At one point I almost gave up. I threw my bike on the ground (sorry mom) and sat on the side wanting nothing more to go back to the condo and eat the delicious left over wings sitting in the fridge. Thankfully Dalton had left me behind; therefore the only option (instead of complaining and begging to start going back) was to continue at my torturously slow pace.
After that point we were so close to the top (well, where the gondola would drop you off) that not getting there was no longer an option. It felt SO good to see the top of that gondola and look at the tiny village down below.
The Decent – Vail Mountain
Wanting to make our decent last as long as possible we traversed to the other side of the mountain. We found a gold mine of a trail, Big Mamba, a flowy single track that wound its way downhill. I thought Dalton was joking when I caught up to him and he simply stated that his tire popped. But nope, his bad bike luck had struck again and unfortunately the bike was so old that there was nothing we could do until we had a full tool kit. Which only existed a couple miles downhill.
Believe it or not, our decent was just a slow as the way up. Dalton was annoyingly gentlemanly and wouldn’t let me switch between riding my bike and walking his. However even at the slow pace the ride down was a blast; windy, fun, fast and gorgeous. On the bright side I had more time to admire the scenery and take pictures! Getting back to the condo we celebrated with wings, pizza and a beer – the ultimate reward.
Advice for next time – Bring snacks!! I almost felt faint when we returned 4 hours later because I was so hungry. Awesome ride, amazing workout, beautiful scenery; would definitely do this ride again!
Mountain Biking Beaver Creek Mountain
As we were heading back down the mountains later that day, we didn’t want a full-day biking experience like we had on Vail Mountain. Per recommendations by my Uncle we headed over to Beaver Creek for a fun little ride.
We lucked out and met a man working in a shop that pointed out a route for us that wouldn’t be too long but was flowy and beautiful. With water sprinkling out of the sky we zipped up rain jackets and headed up the mountain.
The first half was riding up switch backs like Vail, however this only lasted for about 25 minutes until we reached Ally’s Cabin and turned off onto Aspen Glade. The way down made every ounce of effort we put in on the way up worth it. Dalton zoomed along, making up for all the walking on our previous ride.
I enjoyed winding through the aspens and flying across fields; all while mud splattered behind me with my clothes completely soaked.
It was an awesome ride! Only took about 40 minutes, got my heart pounding and was a great, beautiful scenic mountain bike ride.