Try this fall ride in Fraser
September 8, 2016
First off I made a few errors in last week’s article. The Middle Park High School Bike Club has two Junior Varsity athletes. Darby Howard, who I mistakenly listed as a Sophomore and Cole Wettersten, who I listed as Eric who is his dad. Kimo Sullivan was listed as a Sophomore and is actually a Freshman. These athletes train hard and deserve proper recognition. Those athletes and the rest of the club travel to Leadville on Sunday, September 11 for the second race of the Colorado High School Cycling League. Good luck to everyone!!
Fall is one of the best times to ride. Maybe it’s the changing of the leaves or knowing that soon winter will not just be knocking on the door but blowing through that doorway that gives a bit more urgency to get out and ride. The changing colors of the leaves and fauna are breathtaking. New undergrowth in the forest is part of the aftermath of the pine beetle devastation. This undergrowth gives a new look to an old forest. Now is the time to get out and take in the colors on some of your favorite trails.
Directions to the best Fall Ride in Fraser
One of my favorite fall rides involves a bit of climbing that rewards you with great views of valley floor colors as well as getting close and personal with the colors as you pedal through the singletrack. This ride will take you from the Town of Winter Park to Fraser and back.
Begin in Hideway Park, which is in the center of the Town of Winter Park. Ride the bike path to Fraser. The path parallels US Highway 40 on the west side. Turn left onto the Elk Creek Road (also the traffic lift in Fraser at Murdochs). Turn right after crossing under the railroad bridge. Continue until you reach the stop sign. Cross the road and turn left on the Givelo trail. Turn left on the Givelo Trail and enjoy your first taste of singletrack for the day. Continue until you reach Northwest Passage. Turn left on Northwest Passage, cross the St. Louis Creek Road and continue to Creekside. Stay left when you reach the two- track road and cross the bridge over St. Louis Creek. Climb up the hill and take the left on Chainsaw. Chainsaw is a great singletrack the will test the legs and lungs a bit; winding through the woods and crossing a few firebreaks. You’ll see the Continental Divide to the east. The gold leaves of the aspens are accented by the red, yellow and rainbow colors of the new forest undergrowth. At the end of Chainsaw turn right on the Elk Creek Road, then left on Elk Meadows. Enjoy Elk Meadows as your next left on D2 teases you with a slight downhill before you begin up your main climb of the day.
Near the top of D2 look for WTB on your left. Turn left on WTB. This technical trail will test your skills and legs. Short punchy climbs with ample amounts of rocks and roots keep you on you’re A-game. A short descent will bring you to Akima’s Way. Turn left on Akima’s way then left again on Sunset Pink. Sunset Pink will bring you to Vasquez Road. A quick left on Vasquez Road will let you coast your way back to the Town of Winter Park.
Beavers Sports Shop does a weekly group mountain bike ride every Friday at 6 pm from Beavers Sports Shop at the Best Western Hotel in downtown Winter Park. The ride is open to anyone of intermediate ability and above. The pace and type of trails are determined by the group. Come join us! Call 970-726-5988 for more information. Looking for more information or want to get involved as a mountain biker? Like Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA) on Facebook. GMBA is your local mountain bike group. Check out Mountainbikecapitalusa.com. Great site by the Winter Park Chamber!
Keith Sanders is the President of the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, 3x US National Mountain Bike Champion and owner of Beavers Sports Shop. You can reach me at email@example.com