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Colorado - winter park/granby

benjrushbenjrush Posts: 35
edited August 2013 in Holidays
Hi,
I am going to Colorado this summer for my brothers wedding and have heard that Winter Park/Tresle/Granby Ranch has some really good trails. I thought I would see if I could get a couple of days riding in while I was there.

I have done a quick google and it appears there are 2 gravity/uplift parks, which I would love to do but my last foray into that ended in a pretty big trip over the handle bars and a lot of leaking claret. There are also numerous routes along single track and fire roads which are more where I was looking.

I ride a Canyon nerve AL in this country and can't really justify taking it with me. Does anyone have any experience of hiring bikes in the rockies? any shops to avoid?

Also, does anyone know of any trails that I must do while I am there? I mainly stick to the 7 Stanes style reds and some blacks but I am a sucker for a flowy blue if the opportunity arises.

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  • benjrushbenjrush Posts: 35
    So I just got back from this holiday and I thought I would update this in case anyone else was considering going MTBing in Colorado..

    I only ended up doing 2 days of MTB while I was in Winter Park but both were very good.
    The day I got to Winter Park, they round 4 of the Enduro WC going on so instead of getting caught up in that on the mountain, I hired bikes from Fraser to go XC riding. The altitude here is not to be trifled with, and with the hire shop starting at about 3000m you are short of breath when climbing the stairs let alone riding up a mountain.

    The bikes we hired were pretty average, mostly 29ers and they were fairly short of sizes. I ended up on a medium speccy camber which was fine, but I missed my Canyon Nerve. I'm sure you can do better if you shop around the town. There are loads of trails here and although the hire shops wont let you go into the uplift resort with their bikes you are not short of stuff to ride. A number of our group had never even done mtb before so we stuck to the blues which were fun and a little less developed than the UK trail centres. There are a lot less route markers and some of the natural stuff is not very well marked or obvious. The trails are really not that well kept and when a tree falls over it (quite a regular occurrence) they just pile logs in front and behind to make a ramp. The downs are fun and due to the altitude the ups, which are mainly on fire roads, are really tough. Rides here seem to involve a long up followed by a long down although routes can be combined to change this.

    We ended up doing Zoom, Chainsaw and Creekside in the morning followed by riding up to Winter Park resort for lunch in Goodies (highly recommend it), then we did, Serenity, Ice Hill and Twin Bridges in the afternoon.
    The trail map can be found here: http://www.playwinterpark.com/mbcusa-trailmap.htm

    The next day, we went to Winter Park resort to do some Downhill. The outfit there is pretty awesome and once you have paid your money, you get fitted with full face helmet, full protective jacket with back support etc. knee pads, gloves and a bike. You can choose from enduro, downhill, demo, or World Cup. As we were going up on a chairlift, we all chose downhill seeing as none of us had done any downhill before we didn't think we could justify the demo or WC categories. We got given Specialized Status II's which weigh 1 metric ton exactly but had way more travel than i'm used to so hopefully did the job. The technicians tune the bike for you and fortunately were fine with swapping the brakes over to the proper side so we didn't kill ourselves. The operation was pretty slick and it took 9 of us about 20 mins to all get kitted out with bikes.

    After going up the lift (which some found harder than others), we again had the beginners with us so decided on a green first. We did the imaginatively called Green World. While fun, I would have done it on my nerve (and probably enjoyed it more) as there were some brief ups which were pretty tough on the Status. The downs weren't exactly taxing and there was nothing here that you wouldn't find on the glentress blue. Next we did a blue, Shy Ann, which was much better as there was no up, a bit of northshore and a few jumps. This was great fun and a good place to start if you are new to downhill. There was one rock garden bit at the top which was fairly challenging. Again, it would all have been possible on the nerve bike but the extra travel just made things a bit easier. It was maybe equivalent to somewhere between a 7Stanes Red and Black. The last run of the afternoon we did a mix of the same blue and a Black run. Now there are some pretty big features on the black runs. 10ft+ drops and gap jumps, but all of them are chickenable and really really good fun. This was the first time I really needed the extra travel and downhill geometry and it was an absolute blast. There was a wall of death and some bits where you just carry your speed and pump through the jumps. Doing so many jumps in quick succession really helped my technique and the added confidence of the travel and armour made things a lot more enjoyable.

    I would thoroughly recommend coming to Winter Park and exploring what there is to do here. There is some great XC, if a little strenuous at the altitude and the downhill park is amazing. If it's good enough for the likes of Fabien Barel and Jerome Clementz for the Enduro World Series it can't be bad.
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