16 August 2012

Mountain Biking near the route of the USA Pro Challenge

How many bikes should we bring?
This might be the most important question we ask ourselves as fans. We are going to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and want to do a little riding ourselves. Should we bring the road bike to get up those mountain passes - yes; should we bring the around town bike to avoid traffic, be able to lock it up, and avoid drinking and driving - you bet. We know we put the camping gear in the car, loaded up the cooler with New Belgium beer, and of course brought the fishing pole so we can go fishing with Jens Voigt, but what if we want to take in some singletrack while on our awesome USPCC Chase the Tour Vacation across Colorado? We are going to need our mountain bikes.

... we are going to need a team bus to haul all our gear!

Maybe we can get this guy to drive the bus for us (Jim Ochowicz, manager of team BMC).
© by PedalDancer.com at the 2012 Tour de France
Or maybe this guy (Dave Zabriskie, but you can can him DZ when he is behind the wheel)
© by PedalDancer.com/Sys
We're going mountain biking!

We have so many knowledgeable adventurers in Colorado, I was able to contact Kevin Swab of Colorado Mountain Biking (www.comtb.com), turns out Kevin is a huge fan of pro cycling. Kevin said, "There's great mountain biking near all of the stages, my site only contains ride descriptions near some of them.  I can offer suggestions for other areas though."  Here are Kevin's personal suggestions on where to mountain bike along the route of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Mountain biking along the route of the USA Pro Challenge

2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge Route Map
Welcome to Colorado!
Monday, Aug. 20: Stage 1 Route Map, Durango – Telluride 
The Colorado Trail (CT) ends in Durango, the last stretch is very good. The Telegraph Trails are another one - it has been designated an IMBA. Epic...

Tuesday, Aug. 21:  Stage 2 Route Map, Montrose – Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte 
Check out Hartman Rocks area near Gunnison. There's lots of riding in Crested Butte - 401 trail is a classic...

Wednesday, Aug. 22:  Stage 3 Route Map, Gunnison – Aspen 
Stage 3 goes through Buena Vista - there are some good stretches of the Colorado Trail there. Here's one of mine in the area: http://comtb.com/alpine/ Also, this stage isn't too far from Poncha Springs, where the Monarch Crest loop starts and stops. This is a classic ride that's worth the side trip...

Thursday, Aug. 23:  Stage 4 Route Map, Aspen – Beaver Creek/Vail Valleys 
Leadville has lots of old high-altitude mining roads to ride, and there's always the Leadville 100 course. There's more Colorado Trail (CT) sections to ride at various places along the route, and in Beaver Creek, there's lift-assisted riding.

Friday, Aug. 24:  Stage 5 Route Map, Breckenridge – Colorado Springs 
Breckenridge has lots of great high-altitude singletrack and mining roads (see the Breck Epic course). Also, here's a couple of mine near Breckenridge: http://comtb.com/georgia/index.shtml. For rides near Colorado Springs try http://comtb.com/barr/index.shtml , http://comtb.com/mtbaldy/index.shtml , http://comtb.com/palmer/index.shtml.

Saturday, Aug. 25:  Stage 6 Route Map, Golden – Boulder
Some more of mine near this stage: http://comtb.com/hallr/index.shtml (Lyons) , http://comtb.com/betasso/index.shtml  (Boulder) , http://comtb.com/apex/index.shtml  (Golden) , http://comtb.com/mwpark/index.shtml (Golden/Morrison)

Sunday, Aug. 26:  Stage 7 Route Map, ITT Denver
The Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Area is not too far out-of-town to the southwest, or try the rides near Golden mentioned above. PEDAL DANCER: Or ride your bike into downtown and enjoy the race with friends.

A great big thank you to Kevin from Colorado Mountain Biking (www.comtb.com), thanks for contributing to the fan's experience at the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Related reading: Mark, a reader, recently sent in this link and related his story ... "I just finished hiking the Colorado Trail (woo!).  While hiking, the Colorado Trail Race (mountain bike) was going on, and I had the occasion to chit chat with the winner for a few minutes.  His name is Jefe Branham.  Surprisingly, not much has been written about his incredible achievement, especially given that he set the course record." 

Jefe Branham of Gunnison slept a total of three and a half hours while riding, and pushing, his bike for 470 miles to win the 2012 Colorado Trail Race (CTR) and set a new course record of three days, 23 hours and 38 minutes. Read more: Jefe Branham blazes course record in Colorado Trail Race