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The entire family can enjoy a day of cycling. If you choose a local path in the city or want some high country trail, you will be ready. So pack up the kids, fold up the trailer and get ready to tag-a-long....read more.
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The weather in Colorado can change in no time at all: snow one day and sunshine the next. Yes even in the middle of summer and especially at altitude...read more.
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Find out all the happenings in the road and mountain bike world in Colorado. Visit our News & Events page to see what's going on.
» About Us
Our website was established in 2008 and we are looking forward to providing outstanding information about cycling in Colorado. Our specialty is in the area of Mountain and Road biking. We also strive to include options for family rides or for any non-riders of the family (while mom, dad, sister or brother may be enjoying their favorite road or trail). This ensures that families can recreate together in the surrounding region. Feel free to contact us at: thom@switchbackcycling.com
» Featured Rides
Early September brings new meaning to the term Gold Rush in Colorado. When the Aspens turn from green to gold you know winter is close behind. Riding in the high country of Colorado will give you rich rewards. As you pedal through amber canopies of leaves and crisp autumn days, the Colorado high country is like no place else. By now you have peaked in riding skills and ability and you are ready to continue on with serious riding. Whether on the road or singletrack, this time of year brings changes and changes fast. Snow in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon, or anything in between. So dress warm, have layers to add or subtract and get ready to roll out. Check out our featured ride, Kenosha Pass to Georgia Pass
» Switchback Cycling Blog
Our Tire Talk blog is also the place for our readers to blog about ride conditions they have encountered. This will be your opportunity to contribute to the cycling community throughout the state.
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Northwest - Aspen/Snowmass

Aspen. The word alone has multiple meanings to just about everyone you know. There is the glitz, glamour and the rich and famous. Long before Aspen became the winter playground to celebrities, it was a quant mining town. Home to one of the most photographed scenes in all of Colorado, The Maroon Bells. This spectacular scene is located just minutes from the heart of downtown. There is also Independence Pass, rising 12,095 ft. above sea level. These landmarks are easily accessible by bike and well worth the ride. Here are a few ways to enjoy the road on two wheels.


Maroon Bells

Independence Pass


Type: Mountain Bike
Start elevation: 8,104 ft.
End-Aspen: 7,945 ft.
Total climb, Government trail alone: 1,100 ft.
Distance, Government Trail: 12 miles

Perhaps you may have heard of Aspen-Snowmass. This is the region in Colorado known as the playground of the wealthy during the winter season. Did you know that Aspen-Snowmass is also the home of some of the best on mountain biking anywhere? During the summer months, Snowmass has lift service to access this singletrack wonderland. The Burlingame lift runs on Wednesday through Sunday, June 27, until September 7, 2009. For ten bucks you can have miles of high altitude singletrack riding with little uphill effort. Snowmass is home of the famous Government Trail which will take you to Aspen on pure singletrack. The trail rolls along and provides you with switchbacks crisscrossing open ski runs. Other trails to ride are the Rim Trail, Cross Mountain, West Government and Tom Blake. If you choose not to ride the lift, the mountain is very easy to ride up on service roads and singletrack links. If lift service is desirable and you have a "Down Hill" specific steed, the chair will accommodate the rush of downhill madness.

Aspen to Maroon Bells

Type: Road Ride
Start elevation: 7920 ft
End elevation: 9636 ft
Total climb: 1716 ft
Distance: 11 miles, 22 round trip.

Starting form the heart of downtown Aspen, at the intersection of E. Cooper and Original St., take Hwy 82 W, known as Main St to Maroon Creek Road. This road will travel west to the foot of the Maroon Bell Wilderness Area, to Maroon Lake. The road itself is well traveled and safe to ride on. You will enjoy the gentle grade and may not even realize you are ascending. The venture is accepting to all levels of ability, so the whole family can enjoy, from the seasoned pro to the novice, this ride will not disappoint.

Aspen to Independence Pass

Type: Road Ride
Start elevation: 7920 ft
End elevation: 12,095 ft
Total climb: 4,175 ft.
Distance: 17 miles, round trip, 34 miles

The start for this ride is the same as above. Take E. Cooper and Original St. only this time, head east on Hwy 82, Main St. It travels through the San Isabel National Forest on the east and White River National Forest on the west side of the Divide. Independence, once a booming gold mining town, is now just a ghost town along the way. The old structures are still present will play host too many scenic overlooks and wildlife viewing areas. The area is also host to beautiful autumn colors. The road is narrow in several places, so be aware of one lane sections, use caution in these areas, there are reasons vehicles over 35 ft in length are prohibited. The distance can be deceiving, there are no down hill sections on this climb. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery along the way. Remember to bring plenty of water and a light jacket or arm warmers for the down hill if you make a round trip out of it.

Aspen to Leadville, Via Independence Pass

Type: Road Ride
Start elevation: 7,920 ft
Highest elevation: 12,095 ft
End elevation: 10,403 ft
Total climb: 5433 ft
Total descent: 3245 ft
Distance: 58 miles

This ride starts out as above, E. Cooper and Original St. and follows Hwy 82 east. This venture is a little more challenging. Not only is the climb up to Independence Pass worthy by itself, but going down the east side of the pass back up to Leadville will most definitely have you breathing hard. Filled with switchbacks, fast descents and open unobstructed black top, this has most of what cycling in Colorado is all about. Once your descent from the pass is over, about 42 miles into the ride, you come to the intersection of Hwy 82 and Hwy 24, the city of Balltown. Make a left and go north to Leadville. Along this section of Hwy 24, you will pass on the left, Mt. Elbert, the highest point in Colorado and the entire Rocky Mountain Range. Towering at 14,440 ft above sea level, don't worry, you don't have to climb this peak, unless you want to and that's another day. The highway's shoulder is roomy enough for you to gaze at this snow capped peak and stay on course. Your destination is just ahead and will welcome you with plenty of place to refuel and rehydrate. There is some parking available on Hwy 24, Poplar St and East 12th.

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Do you know of a great ride that is not listed with us? Have a great ride story? Know of a great town for family fun?
We would love to hear from you! Please join our Tire Talk Blog or email us at thom@switchbackcycling.com
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