How to access trails from Fraser and WP
Mountain Biking with Keith
It’s Fourth of July weekend and with that there will be lots of people out riding the trails! We are so fortunate to have such large high quality trail system. Not many places have trails that are so easily accessible. Being spoiled is a way of life as it is possible to ride to a trail from just about anywhere in Winter Park or Fraser. It’s easy to hop on the bike path behind Hideway Park (music and skateboard park) then onto the Meadow Trail and beyond. You can roll up Vasquez Road to Blue Sky or Sunset Pink you can even hop on the trails off of the Kings Crossing Road next to the railroad crossing. . A huge thanks to the Town of Winter Park for the trails they have build to make this happen! Leaving from Fraser?, just roll up the Elk Creek Road to Chainsaw or County Road 73 to the Givelo Trail, Creekside and beyond.
We have seen a huge effort to sign the trails and get out information that lets people use and be knowledgeable on the trail system, yet often times many of us don’t realize what a remarkable resource we have in our “backyard”. I recently took a ride with a friend Laurie. Laurie hadn’t been on a mountain bike in years. Although she lives here, many of the other world class opportunities such as hiking, golf and music tend to fill her free time. We had a great time riding. It was fun to see the smile and her face and here the excitement in her voice. We started out by rolling down the bike path from Winter Park to Fraser.
Our destination was the Givelo trail that begins at the Fraser Rodeo grounds. The Givelo trail parallels County Road 73 and is just a really fun yet easy singletrack. The perfect ride for beginners and kids while being a blast for the more experienced rider. Nothing too technical and virtually no change in pitch, just that feel good kind of trail. We continued on Northwest Passage as it seemed like the perfect extension to our ride. As we turned around and started back our conversations covered many subjects. One that struck me is that we have such an amazing resource in our trails but often times that gets overlooked by the very people who live here. We may be planning that next great adventure only to overlook a better experience right here.
We encountered a few other riders of all abilities with one common theme, they were all gleaming with smiles.
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Often times we overlook some of the key things that are second nature to the experienced trail user. One which is very important – what to do when you encounter other riders and trail users.
Rather than creating a pecking order of who yields to who, I take the stance that every user should yield to the other user then evaluate the situation to determine if it is necessary to stop, step off of the trail, etc. It’s a common sense approach that places responsibility and action equally on all users. Even with this approach I have a few things that I do to make this work.
• Downhill traffic should yield to uphill traffic. It’s harder to get started going uphill.
• Be aware of your surroundings. Listen and watch out for other users. You shouldn’t surprise other users and on the other hand you shouldn’t be surprised when you encounter other users. It’s a two way street on this one.
• Always announce yourself before you encounter other trail users. Be friendly say hi, get a high five from the kids! You may make a new friend or pass your neighbor.
• Give kids extra room. After all they’re just kids.
• When encountering horses talk to the rider and figure out what the best way to pass. Don’t ever pass a horse without doing this. It’s dangerous for everyone involved.
• Never make other users yield to you. Your experience is no more important than mine or that of anyone else regardless of how you use the trail.
Use common sense and be friendly. Not only will your experience be better but your trail etiquette may just rub off on someone else.
Ride lots this holiday weekend and happy 4th to all!
Beavers Sports Shop does a weekly group mountain bike ride every Friday at 6 p.m. 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 is determined and type of trails are determined by the group. Come join us! Call 970-726-5988 for more info.
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 him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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