August 15, 2017 - Mike Lessard is Adventure Cycling's tours assistant director.
I recently had the opportunity to join a top-notch group of riders on Adventure Cycling’s van-supported, Colorado Classic High Country bicycle tour. Once again, I'm amazed by how enjoyable traveling by bike can be. Here’s a recap of our 11 days of bike travel. And here's a link to all of our 2018 Adventure Cycling guided tours.
Our tour started in Frisco, Colorado, a cool, high-elevation town at 9,000 feet filled with the hustle and bustle of summer adventurers. Our first few days of riding took us past the Dillon Reservoir to the town of Hot Sulphur Springs, then on to Walden after passing through the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge. Some of our group even decided to start the climbing early with a trip up and over Ute Pass!
From there, we headed to our first rest day in Steamboat Springs which included a great climb and our first major descent. While in town, we took advantage of the many great places to eat and hot springs.
After two more riding days through small Colorado towns, we made it to Glenwood Springs for a rest day via the weaving Glenwood Canyon Bike Path. Our off day had many things in store, including another visit to hot springs and a scenic hike to Hanging Lake.
Leaving Glenwood Springs, we rode through Aspen to our most challenging day — a ride up and over Independence Pass and its 3000 feet of climbing to 12,095 feet. It was an amazing day with spectacular views and a thrilling downhill.
We stayed in Leadville for our final night. While the entire trip took place during Colorado’s monsoon season, we were lucky to avoid rain on our riding days. On this last night, we felt the season change and when we woke up, it felt like a crisp fall morning ... it was about 40 degrees!
The ride back to Frisco over Fremont Pass was a relaxing end to a fabulous trip, and the cool weather had me dreaming about bike tours this fall. Should I jump back into the mountains on California’s Sierra Sampler, hit the red rocks on Utah Parks - Inn to Inn, ride the Texas Hill Country, or maybe hit some music on southern Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajun Country. There are so many great places to go this fall. I’m not sure I’ll be able to choose just one!
Photos by Mike Lessard | Photo 1 by Alan Brown | Photo 4 Johnny Lam | Photo 5 Niles Woods