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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.
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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 - Fruita/Grand Junction

Fruita and Grand Junction are located in Colorado's Western Slope. The area is quite spectacular with a rich archeological history. This is evident the moment you see your first plateau or rock formation. It was formed millions of year ago long before we humans had two wheels to get around on. In order to preserve this fragile yet hearty environment, there are a few simple to follow guidelines contained in the Fruita Code of Conduct.

Fruita Code of Conduct:

Biking in Western Colorado - Fragile Soil & Trail Ethics
We hope you enjoy the incredible mountain biking in Western Colorado! However, before you do, please read on to understand the importance of trail ethics and protecting the area's incredibly fragile soil. Rain and melting snow leads to very muddy trails at certain times of the year. Please minimize trail damage and potential erosion by not using muddy trails. Microbiotic CrustMicrobiotic crust (also called cryptogamic soil and cryptobiotic crust) is that black or brown stuff that makes crusty mounds on the ground. DON'T KILL IT! While it looks quite dead, it isn't. Microbiotic crust makes life possible in the desert by stabilizing sand and fixing nitrogen. It only takes a moment of careless riding off-trail to wipe out a cryptobiotic garden that took 50 to 100 years to develop.

Mountain Bike Ethics
  • STAY ON DESIGNATED TRAILS to avoid trampling native vegetation and fragile desert soil. Minimize potential erosion to trails by not using muddy trails or shortcutting switchbacks. This also applies to camping, walking your dog, disregarding the portable restrooms.
  • SHOW COURTESY AND RESPECT TO ALL TRAIL USERS overwhelmingly, we're all members of the trail family seeking quality experiences. We must learn to share. Our motivations are not different than those of other trail users regardless of our mode of travel. Show concern for a clean, quiet backcountry experience. Keep the trails as natural as possible.
  • YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY TO OTHER NON-MOTORIZED RECREATIONISTS, and allow adequate room for motorized vehicles that may need to pass you.
  • SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION when approaching or overtaking others and make your presence known well in advance.
  • MAINTAIN CONTROL of your bike at all times.
  • DO NOT DISTURB wildlife or livestock.
  • DO NOT LITTER. Pack out what you pack in, and pack out more than your share whenever possible.
  • RESPECT PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PROPERTY, including trail use signs and no trespassing signs. Leave gates as you found them.
  • OBSERVE THE PRACTICE OF MINIMUM IMPACT BICYCLING by "taking only pictures and memories and leaving only waffleprints." Enjoy the trails and remember to keep the singletrack single!
This information was printed courtesy of Big Foot Productions Golden, Colorado.

Kokopelli Trail

Type: Mountain Bike
Start elevation: 4,800 +/-
End elevation: same
Total climb: this region only, not more than 1,200 ft.
Distance: This region only, 49 miles of trails

The Kokopelli Trail Head and Loop Trails Area is a must ride destination for every rider of the family or group. The trail is named after the mischievous flute playing figure of the South West, a Native American symbol of fertility. Whatever the true meaning of his origins, he must still watch over all who ride here spreading his cheer and happiness to those who embark on this region. The Kokopelli Trail itself is a 142 mile adventure that starts near Fruita, Colorado and ends in Moab, Utah. The elevation gain is near 8,000 ft if ridden in full length. Let's talk about the section that originates and stays in Colorado.

Access to this area is from I70 exit 15, six miles west of Fruita. On the south side of the interstate is the parking area and trailhead. This area is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and is very fragile. Please ride only on designated trails and do not modify any existing trails. For more information, refer to the Fruita Code of Conduct above and trail maps located in the parking area. You will be hard pressed to find riding like this anywhere in the world. The singletrack is sweet and the surface is hard rock to sand in some sections. The views are simply spectacular as you ride high above the Colorado River as it meanders it way west through the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. There are many places to stop and take in the grandeur of this two wheeled paradise. The trails ranges in length from three to nine miles, when ridden in loops and connected to each other they can provide an entire day of high plains excitement. Mary's Loop a 9.5 mile intermediate trail is one of the most popular rides. Gentle sun drenched switchbacks await you while the desert floor travels beneath your wheels. Rustler's Loop was developed for the beginner of the bunch but still offers some challenges and is a good warm-up trail to get used to the trail conditions. Horsethief Bench Loop is a wild one for sure. It has an incredible rock laden introduction dropping off of Mary's Loop but offers some of the closest vistas to the Colorado River. Be sure to head through Lion's Loop, Troy Built, and Steve's Loop for the full upshot. The Moore Fun Trail is a must ride for the most experienced rider, this four mile trail is very technical and climbs 950 ft. It is sketchy in places and dismounting both voluntarily or involuntarily are options you may want to exercise. There are many rocks to avoid but the switchbacks and twitchy turns will have you focused on nothing but the next obstacle or beverage of choice when finished. It drops rapidly and fast into a valley that enables you to see some interesting rock formations and trails but do not take your eyes of the trail for long. When completed, head back to the car and your next decision will be what to eat or drink in nearby Fruita or Grand Junction. Check out the Family Fun page for creative ideas on how to enjoy your stay.

Fruita: The 18 Road Trails Area

Type: Road Ride
Elevation: 4,870 ft.
Total climb: from 450 to over 1,000 ft.
Total miles: 61 miles of trails.

Fruita has long been on the map of off road enthusiasts along the Western Slope of Colorado. It wasn't until the 1990's when some locals turned their engines off and decided this was to become a cycling mecca. Getting there may seem tricky. Take exit 19 off I70, the Fruita exit. Once in town take Maple road and go north out of town for nearly 4 miles. Turn right on 3/10 Road until you reach a T intersection. You will take the 18 Road north to the trailhead. This region is also known as The Book Cliffs and is visible from town. Once there you will encounter some fine singletrack complete with switchbacks, rolling trails, high-banked curves and minimal climbing. There is not much gain in elevation but don't let that fool you. The riding is intense but not too technical, thus riders of all levels are able to navigate these high plains trails. Some of the trail names are Joes's Ridge, The Edge, Chutes and Ladder's, {a must}, to Zippity Do Da. You may link them any way you like, out and back or loop them together, either way each one has its own ridability. Try riding them in each direction, and you'll be surprised how it will seem like a different trail all together. They will quickly become something to talk about while heading back to Fruita for some local flare. There are some fine establishments for dining and shopping, so if some family members do not want to accompany the riders of the group, leave them in town to explore the family fun options.

For more check out the Family Fun page for the area.

Grand Junction: Colorado National Monument

Type: Road Ride
Start elevation, west entrance: 4,690 ft.
End elevation, east entrance: 4,930 ft.
Total climb: 2,300 ft.
Distance: 23 miles

The Colorado National Monument is a road ride like no other. Rim Rock drive, once part of the Coors International Bicycle Classic Race, has been named the Tour of the Moon. It's lunar landscape and rock formations make the ride scenic and challenging. The road surface is excellent with plenty of room but please stay single file when riding in a group. When out for a tour, make sure to stop at some of the overlooks for stunning views of the Grand Valley. Should you decide to hammer one out, the road has gentle grades most of the way except for entering and leaving. Here you will encounter switchbacks at each end. You can also make this a loop ride. Just add ten miles of connecting roads and you're back at your vehicle to tackle some eateries or perhaps a winery. The park itself is a United States National Park and under their rules of the road. This includes bikes being equipped with lights visible from the front and rear for safe passage through the tunnels. Bikes must use a white light that is visible from at least 500 feet to the front and a red light that is seen from at least 200 feet from the rear. Furthermore, there is no passing in the dark arches. Please stay as far to the right as possible for your safety and to avoid the larger RVs that may be sharing the road. You will be required to obey all traffic signs as well, so please ride safely. There is a $4.00 fee at each entrance during operating hours which are from 8:00 am until 6:00pm. The Colorado National Monument is the road to ride when you find yourself in the northwest region near Grand Junction.

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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?
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