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Riding around Aspen(4 posts)

Riding around Aspenpessot
Sep 30, 2003 11:03 AM
I have to drive my daughter to a gymnastics meet this weekend
in Aspen. I have all day Saturday free and am taking my bike.
Any suggestions on rides? Is Independence pass still clear?
Would I want to ride over it? I've ridden along the Crystal
river, but not up to McClure Pass. I've driven it and its a
beautiful drive. I could do that, but I was hoping to explore
something new.

re: Riding around Aspenjtolleson
Sep 30, 2003 1:18 PM
It is getting to that time of year when anything can happen weather wise. Right now, it is dry but cool in Aspen, so jacket, tights, etc. would still allow you to road ride. But we've got precip in the Denver forecast I know, which could mean flurries or more in the high country.

Assuming the roads are still dry the weekend, I personally would NOT choose Independence Pass. It is a scary road on even a good day, narrowing to one lane in places, and the fall colors are changing which means carloads of leaf peepers may be making the drive before the Pass closes for winter.

A ride that is fantastic, though not quite as challenging (but every bit as beautiful IMHO) is the road up to Maroon Lake. It climbs, but fairly gently, up to a spot that is one of the most famous post card shots in all of Colorado.

Keep your eyes on and don't forget the cool weather gear! Good luck.
Maroon Lake road..dotkaye
Oct 1, 2003 3:55 PM
Second the suggestion for Maroon Lake road. I did a duathlon in Aspen a few years ago, the bike leg went up to the lake and back down again. That's one of the finest rides I've ever done - freshly paved road, traffic limited to an hourly bus and a few campers, simply gorgeous scenery. Magnificent. Take walking shoes for a stroll around Maroon Lake, it's well worth it.
re: Riding around Aspenmsmootsiemartin
Oct 1, 2003 5:59 PM
I respectfully disagree about Independence Pass. My husband and I rode it just a week or two ago and think its an epic ride for all to enjoy. Safety-wise, its the same as any other pass, but its truly one of Colorado's gems and should be cycled if at all possible. Take the time to stop at the ghost town of Independence as well as the summit itself. The narrow sections are short (heck, use them as a chance to sprint a little on the way up) and cars are generally respectful. At that height they can't even go fast! Its 20 miles from Aspen to the top and for whatever its worth, we did it with 25lbs of loaded panniers. It was a glorious day. Have fun!