Cycling Down From Vail Pass & Copper Mountain to Frisco in Summit County
We were up at 6am to get ready and be at the Summit Stage bus stop to catch the bus to Frisco where we would rent our bikes for the day.
Day 163 – August 12th.
After a quick breakfast we were out the door packed and on our way to the River Run bus stop, it’s only a 7 minute walk from our diggs.
On time as usuall and the bus makes it’s way to Frisco with the sun just clearing the top of the mountains. Surprisingly the bus arrived in Frisco a little late due to an overturned truck at the roundabout that we would normlly exit at and so we had to go further to take a detour, but all was good.
“at the top of Vail Pass we are ready to let it rip”
At the Pioneer Sports bike shop we signed our lives away and rented bikes for $43.00 each with a $5.00 voucher from one of the local magazines, every bit counts right!
A quick test to make sure all was good and then the bikes are loaded onto the back of a trailer, we had a few others on the 9am shuttle to the Vail pass. The Vail Pass is the only Colorado mountain pass with a bike path the entire distance either side of the mountain.
At the top of the pass which we both thought would be a lot higher we unload the bikes and are ready to let it rip down to Copper Mountain.
We start of taking it easy as there are a few switchbacks, but soon we are free wheeling down at speed. The scenery is awesome and today is perfect weather, Moni had been watching the forecast and chose Tuesday as the best day, well done my girl.
We pass people riding UP the to the Vail pass evan at an old age! they are fitter than us for sure.
We make it to Copper Mountain village after about 45 minutes and decide to take a look in the village.
“after signing our lives away we get on the American Eagle chair lift”
It is a very nice small village with a chair lift to Solitude Station at 11,200 ft not far from the top of Copper Mountain with the Summit at 12,313 ft (3,753 m)
We ask about taking our bikes up and they let us know that the only suitable way down is on the ‘easyroad’ which is a gravel road made for mountain transport, there are some very good mountain bike tracks which they didn’t recommend for us and our not top class mountain bikes.
We decided to have a coffee and a bite to eat and think whether we would go up or not.
We were keen to go up and come down the gravel road, as it was only $15.00 each for us and the bikes to go up. Again after signing our lives away (seems that this is normal procedure) we get on the American Eagle chair lift and head to the top with bikes behind us. It’s a long run and at the top our bikes are lifted off by the staff and looking at our bikes, they remind us again to take the gravel easy road down.
A few photos and off we go.
The road is wide and covered in lose gravel which is not ideal and we must be careful when breaking not to lose control.
The ‘easyroad’ makes it’s way down in a windy in fashion and we take it easy stopping for photos on the way.
“we cross the path again when Moni said let’s give it a go”
About half way down I take a look at the real Copper Mountain mountain bike track that crosses the road (I’m keen to give it a go) but Moni thought better of it and so we carry on, only until we cross the path again when Moni said let’s give it a go…
With great care we begin the ‘Redtail’ track. It is a lot narrower than the road that’s for sure and also has lose gravel, big rocks and tree roots scattered on the track. I notice that the bikes have little grip in places and take care.
Soon though we have got the hang of it and let the bikes run without restriction (the brakes are hot) and have awesome fun as we ride the mountain bike track down to the bottom, as it winds its way around tight corners and tree lined paths.
At the bottom we congratulate each other with huge smiles of achievement and exhaustion, it was tough work, my shoulders and hands ache…
“on to Frisco, where we head to the marina for a cool beer and a burger”
After a short water and chocolate bar stop we carry on towards Frisco on the bike path which goes all the way back in. We pass Copper Mountain golf club which looks nice and continue along the river for quite a while in places really letting the bikes zip at top speed.
It feels awesome as the wind blows against you as we whiz past the bikers making their way up.
Unfortunately I feel an uncomfortable pain in my left knee under the cap which begins to hurt more, and so my power on the pedals is reduced until we make it back to Frisco, where we head to the marina for a cool beer and a burger.
After lunch we return the bikes to the shop and head back to Keystone on the Summit Stage bus with a quick stop off at the shops for some top up of fruit and veg for the last few days here in Summit County.
Back at home we instantly fall asleep for a couple of hours totally knackered, but so happy and joyful at having had such a fun filled exciting day bicycling from the top of Vail Pass to Frisco with a mountain bike trail down Copper Mountain on the way.
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