Janet Day: You don’t have to look far for fat tire fun in Grand County | SkyHiNews.com

Janet Day: You don’t have to look far for fat tire fun in Grand County

Janet Day / Talk of the Valley
Fraser Valley, CO Colorado

Boasting About Bikes: The Fraser Valley for years has promoted summer cycling activities with the “Mountain Bike Capital” slogan. Other areas of the state grumbled and quietly disputed the title. But how can anyone argue with it now?

Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park Resort opened new trails, hosted new classes and offered new deals this summer, attracting almost as many people to downhill biking as to base-area activities. Sol Vista’s bike park hosted the USA Cycling mountain bike national championships earlier this month. The Epic Single Track cross-country mountain bike races remain popular. Recreational cyclists still enjoy hundreds of miles of trails through our mountain forests. Families continue to take even the smallest bike-rider on training wheels along the Fraser River Trail.

This weekend, of course, there’s Crankworx, the freestyle mountain bike competition that just keeps getting bigger and better. The jumps are huge, the downhill races a free-for-all and the competitors as young, energetic and entertaining as any on skis or snowboards in winter terrain parks and half pipes.

All of it adds up to make us the capital of any kind of fat tire fun.

The Bear Returns: The life-sized carved bear has returned to Cooper Creek Square. The big guy’s innards rotted to the point that he fell over a while ago, leaving his carved mountain man companion all alone in the parking lot north of the shopping and dining center.

The bear had some radical surgery – cut off at the thigh to remove the rotted parts – and is thus shorter and less fierce-looking than before. But a fresh coat of stain and sealant has added some luster to his finish and that of his companion as they stand guard over the fire hydrant.

The Wolf’s Future: How many of you enjoy the 11-acre Wolf Park with its paved trail, playground and more? How many of you are wondering what on earth I’m talking about? If you don’t venture off of U.S.40 — and many people don’t — you may not be aware of the park and its amenities sitting between Kings Crossing Road and the railroad tracks in Winter Park.

Winter Park Town Planner James Shockey and the committee studying the park’s future want to hear your thoughts about the park’s future. They’ve created a quick survey that can be found until mid-August by going to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/wolfpark or http://www.townofwinterpark.com. A proposal for any new amenities or changes to the park is expected to be ready for public review in the fall.

Capturing History: The Grand Lake Historical Society continues its efforts to save the Smith-Eslick Cottage Court, considered the oldest unchanged original-condition motel in the U.S. Preserving it in images is as important as preserving the cottage itself and to that end the historical society invites artists to a Plein Air (painting outside) event on Aug. 14. Artists are encouraged to donate their paintings of the Smith-Eslick or other Grand Lake sites to a preservation fund-raising auction. For more details, contact the historical society or Grand Lake Art Gallery.

Recycling Art: Grand ReConomics’ design contest, show and sale has tentatively been set for Sept. 25 in conjunction with the Winter Park Fraser Chamber of Commerce Fall Festival. The effort encourages artists to use beetle-kill wood or recycled material to create high-quality arts and crafts. Categories include artistic, small utilitarian, decor, furniture, large utilitarian, finishes and my favorite, unusual use of material.

A walk around the Alpine ArtAffair last weekend found plenty recycled art efforts on display, including skirts, vests and headbands made from discarded neckties; magnets, necklaces and decorative art from bottle caps and other found items; tote bags made from old banners and candle holders incorporating colorful dried wildflowers and leaves.

For more information about the Grand ReConomics contest, go to the group’s Facebook page.

Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com. Follow me and local tidbits at http://www.twitter.com/DayJan or friend me on Facebook.