Friday, August 5, 2011

Colorado Riding

In Boulder Colorado supporting my lady for Ironman 70.3 Boulder. No self-respecting mountain biker would visit Colorado and not spend some time on the bike. My goal was to get out and ride some terrain that I don't get to in Texas, and perhaps expand my abilities on that terrain.

Boulder isn't known for it's singletrack. Poking around I discovered most of the singletrack is a good drive away. But I programmed the closest one that's barely bikeable to into the Garmin. Then a bit of fortunate luck struck.

I've been reading Lee McCormack's Lee Likes Bikes for years. Great blog that's been a great source of biking tips. I learn something every time I read it. Lee wrote the book on bike handling skills. No really, he wrote the book. I think every mountain biker buys this book at some point. Anyway... I was browsing my blog roll, and came across this post. Lee is offering skill clinics at Valmont Bike Park. The name "Valmont" struck a bell. Hey, isn't our hotel on Valmont Rd?

Sure enough, the park where Lee was teaching a clinic, lies just a mere quarter-mile away. Tally up another thing I've learned on Lee Likes Bikes.


I immediately email Lee to see if I can get into the clinic, and head over to the park to check it out. The park is amazing. HERE is the website. It doesn't do the place justice. The park ranges from the very basic skills loop, to a nice skills area called "Dirt 101", to some fun, swoopy single track ("The Glades"), to dirt jumps, to dual slalom downhilling. It's like an amusement park for dirt riders of any age, type, and skill level.

There are a good number of features, both small and large.




The loop format, gets repetitive. This does two things. First it gets a touch boring. And it builds confidence. That combo, leads to bravery. So I tried features I'd have never even attempted.

I even tried some jumps. Not these, but the smaller ones behind!


After a day of challanging my skills, I didn't do the clinic. Dearly wish I'd had a place like this to ride as I was learning. Well... I'm still learning, and I learned a lot today. Certainly fulfilled the goal of riding something we don't have in Houston, and improving my abilities.


One can forget this is just on the edge of town. With temperatures in the high 80s falling to the low 70s by dusk... I'm glowing and beaming!


Truly a beautiful place.