Wheels started rolling as the morning chill was lifting and the sun still filtering through the Aspen trees that engulfed the trail. The trail that runs from Frisco to Copper remains in the shade most of the day so the first hour or so was brisk but incredibly beautiful. Our route took us on the most pristine bicycle trail that could exist following the Ten Mile Creek all the way to Copper Mountain Resort. Along the way there were many cyclist, fisherman and folks just soaking in the beauty around them.
It has been 20+ years since I had rode my bike up and over Vail Pass, I had been talking about it on visits to Colorado and today it did not disappoint. The trip from Frisco to Copper Mountain Resort is approximately 11 miles of gradual climbing before meandering through the resort to the base of Vail Pass. It was here we met a nice couple visiting from Mexico City (elev. 7,500 ft. – so the altitude was easy for them) who graciously snapped this photo for us.
Along the pass the waters are all still running high and the terrain is lush and green. We were struck by how well-cared-for the trail is and how picturesque the scenery is with wildflowers everywhere and the sound of the babbling West Ten Mile Creek rolling down beside us. We felt like we’d been dropped into this incredible place, a slice of Heaven!
The descent from the top of Vail Pass into Vail Valley was a kick in the you-know-what…14 miles of winding fast terrain. We didn’t have Bob with us today so we could weave and turn and enjoy the fast descent. At the bottom of the pass we connected with the Gore Creek Trail into Vail Village to regroup and grab some lunch.
Vail was beautiful as ever, bustling with tourists enjoying the warm sunshine and cool mountain air. Reflecting back on the lightning fast 14 miles down, we figured we’d better get after the trip back and start our east bound journey up the pass.
A slow steady climb she was, really nice actually and not as bad as we thought it might be. The descent on the east side was pretty fantastic as well all the way back into Frisco. A stellar 57 miles today! We would highly recommend this route, in fact there are bike rental companies that will shuttle cyclists up to the top so they can just enjoy the descent on either side, down to Copper or down to Vail. Check it out sometime.
Today’s stop in Vail marked the official half-way point of the trip, tomorrow we head back from Frisco up over Loveland Pass to Idaho Springs. Saturday we ride back over Squaw Pass into Denver where we will join all of you at our Finish Line Event. I’ll let you in on a little secret, rumor has it that donations at the event of over $50 include cool BFBPs items such as this water bottle, there’s a sweet t-shirt too –
great selections team!
We had a number of opportunities to promote www.bikeforbackpacks.com to folks along the way today, each took the pledge to visit the site and help us on our mission to feed young people in our communities. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone supporting the cause.
More tomorrow, Day 4!