Aspen is Positioned to Take Its Place as One of the West’s Top Two Wheel Destinations
ASPEN, Colo. (Jan. 2021) – Biking is one of the hottest sports in America, at every age, and Aspen is the epicenter for biking experience and culture. From meandering riverside trails and serene road riding up to the Maroon Bells (one of the world’s most photographed peaks) to some of the region’s most extreme mountain biking, Aspen has something for every level of rider.
RIDES FOR EVERYONE
- Easy Biking – Although Aspen has countless hardcore mountain and road-bike rides, it is also a great place to take a cruise. The Rio Grande Trail is a gently sloping, mostly paved surface that runs 40 miles from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and has countless stops along the way for a perfect picnic. Eight miles outside of town, stop into the Woody Creek Tavern, a former hangout of the late Hunter S. Thompson, for their famous margaritas and massive plates of nachos.
- We-Cycle – Aspen’s answer to bike-sharing is We-cycle, allowing locals and visitors a bike when they need it and where they need it, with more than 100 bikes and 15 stations around town. We-Cycle offers the first 30 minutes of every We-Cycle ride fare free to all riders. We-Cycle launched in 2013, making Aspen the first-ever resort town to have an official bike-sharing program.
- Tuesday Cruiseday is a group of 100-plus town bike riders who cruise through town every Tuesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. The free ride begins at Aspen Tap on Galena St and ends at Smuggler Park at sunset.
- Take a ride up some of the same mountain passes that one of the world’s greatest cyclists does — Aspen resident, Tour De France competitor and USA Pro Challenge winner, Tejay van Garderen does some of his training here, which serves as a testament to the excellent road-biking conditions in the valley. Some rides, such as the road to the Maroon Bells, are devoid of vehicles during certain hours and perfect for high-altitude training.
- An early-season cycling favorite is the Independence Pass Foundation’s Ride for the Pass, which offers both a race and recreational ride up the unopened road, ending at the ghost town of Independence just below the Continental Divide.
Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley became the first destination in Colorado to receive the designation as an IMBA Gold Ride Center from the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) in January 2020. The IMBA Gold-Level evaluation criteria is comprised of key aspects that make for an amazing mountain bike destination and include variety of trail types, overall trail mileage, quality of trail experiences, destination best practices, and local services. The Roaring Fork Valley’s system of trails scored high marks in each of these categories, contributing to the IMBA Gold-Level designation. The IMBA Gold-Level award distinguishes Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley as an iconic mountain biking destination, and the destination represents the pinnacle of mountain biking communities.
Easy Mountain Biking
There is a massive appeal for pedal assist bikes as e-bikes allow for cyclists of all levels to ride together. E-bikes are particularly exciting in Aspen as they can help visitors from lower altitudes adjust to the high altitude (Aspen is at 7,820) and cover more ground in a short amount of time.
- E-bikes are allowed on any paved roads in Aspen as well as the following trails in and around Aspen: East of Aspen Trail, Brush Creek Trail, Rio Grande Trail, Owl Creek Trail, Smuggler Mountain, and any other paved roads.
- Aspen Skiing Company opened a Maroon Bells Basecamp visitor center at the base of Aspen Highlands. The new center features a lounge area to wait for the bus, kid’s play house, Maroon Bells information, and more. The center also offers e-bikes for rent as an alternative to taking the bus to the Maroon Bells.
- E-bikes are strictly prohibited on single-track trails. E-bike riders must comply with a 20- mile-per-hour speed limit.
- E-bikes are available to rent in Aspen at Aspen Velo, Aspen Bikes, and at Four Mountain Sports’ locations in Aspen, Snowmass and Aspen Highlands.
- For a complete guide to E-biking etiquette click here.
- With several convenient locations in Aspen/Snowmass, Aspen Sports has over 200 cruisers and kids’ bikes, and offers one-way bike rentals between each of its sites. (408 E. Cooper Ave; 970.925.6331)
- Aspen Velo Bike Shop offers bicycle sales, service and rentals at flexible rates for any age and skill level. With a huge selection of rental bikes that’s maintained by professional mechanics, Aspen Velo Bike Shop also offers trailside breakdown assistance to give riders that extra piece of mind. Rentals include Santa Cruz, Ibis, Storck and Raleigh bikes. (465 N. Mill St; 970.925.1495)
- Aspen/Snowmass Four Mountain Sports – With four summer locations in Aspen/Snowmass, Four Mountain Sports offers the latest bikes and gear. From cruisers, road bikes, children’s bikes and trailers to a large assortment of mountain bikes, Four Mountain Sports has something for all sizes and abilities. (520 E. Durant Ave; 970.920.2337)
- Blazing Adventures has a wide assortment of guided bicycle tours for every skill level. Ranging from beginner and intermediate trips such as the Ride the Rail Trail that follows the Roaring Fork River from Aspen to Basalt, to more advanced singletrack mountain biking, riders can see some of the world’s most beautiful scenery while also honing their skills with experienced guides leading the way. (555 E. Durant Ave; 800.282.7238)
- Ute City Cycles – Featuring brands such as Orbea, Colnago, Yeti, Jamis, Assos and more, Ute City Cycles has an assortment of custom bikes for any fitness or skill level. (231 E. Main St; 970.920.3325)
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For visitor information, visit www.aspenchamber.org, or call 1.888.290.1324 or 970.925.1940.