Posted on May 20, 2022 by Chris Klug
We are just two days away from the 28th annual Ride for the Pass taking place at 10:00 am this Sunday, May 22nd. We are extremely proud to sponsor this event and support the work done by the Independence Pass Foundation. For decades, the foundation has been doing the important work of restoring and protecting the ecological, historical and aesthetic integrity of the Independence Pass corridor. Without foundations like these and without the support they receive from our community, so much of what we enjoy in this valley would not exist. We would like to give a big thanks to the foundation and everyone who has signed up to ride on Sunday. Keep reading for more information about the event.
If you haven’t already signed up, you still have time! However, there will be no day-of sign ins. So, be sure to sing up now and secure your spot. Registration costs $25 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. For timed riders, the race starts at 10:00 am and for recreational/e-bikers it starts at 10:10 am. There is parking available at the large pullout across from Difficult Campground, along highway 82 pullouts and very limited parking at the winter closure gate, which is where the race starts. There will be two finish lines: The first at Weller Lake turnout, just over two miles from the starting line for families and recreational riders, and the second at the traditional Independence ghost town site ten miles from the start (climbing 2,300 feet and topping out at 10,800’ in elevation). Winning times are usually around 40 minutes with most riders finishing under two hours. There will also be trucks taking your warm clothes to the appropriate finish lines. Just bring a bag labeled with your name and have it loaded by 9:45 am.
After the race, there will be a barbecue and raffle at the start gate. Enjoy some well-earned burgers, brats and beers and mingle with fellow racers in support of the Independence Pass Foundation. There will be no awards ceremony since riders will be finishing at different times, but preliminary results will be available just a few hours after the event with official results emailed to riders in 24 hours. This is going to be a great day for a great cause. We have always enjoyed participating in the race and look forward to seeing you out there!
Posted on April 22, 2022 by Chris Klug
Early Season Guide to Mountain Biking in the Valley
This weekend marks the last resort closing day of the 2021-2022 ski season, as Ajax will host closing festivities on Sunday the 24th. As sad as we are about saying goodbye to pow days and bluebird corduroy laps, we welcome the cycling season with open arms! Most upper valley trails remain closed, but there are already plenty of trails to ride in the lower valley. Use this blog post as a cheat sheet for where to ride and when.
In Carbondale, Crown BLM, Lower Prince Creek Trails, Red Hill BLM (aka Mushroom Rock), and some sections of Lorax Trail and Thompson Divide are open for business and have been for about a week. It is fair to expect wet, muddy, icy or snowy conditions on the more shaded areas of the trails, but for those itching to get out there, these trails are waiting for you! Please avoid any soggy trails even if open, so as not to cause trail damage and erosion. We would recommend a climb up Buckhorn to the Traverse or Mushroom Rock to get the rust from last season off and make sure your bike is still working properly.
Closed Until Late May
Sunlight Mountain, Hay Park Trail, Basalt Mountain, Arbaney-Kittle Trail, Sky Mountain Park, and Smuggler Mountain/Hunter Creek all have a May 22nd bike access dates for those who still need a month to mourn the loss of skiing. Snowmass Bike Park, however, typically opens in mid-June. Sorry, park rats, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer than everyone else.
If you can’t wait to get out there but want conditions to settle for a week or two, now is a good time to get your bike tuned and ready for the season. Wait times are already getting up to two weeks out and the season will be in full swing before you know it. It’s also a great time to head to the desert to Fruita, GJ and Moab. Hope to see you on the trails soon!