Monthly Archives: July 2017

Spectator’s Guide to Enduro World Series in Aspen/Snowmass July 29-30

The best mountain bikers on the planet return to Aspen Snowmass this week for Round 6 of the Enduro World Series, and local cycling fans won’t want to miss a second of the action! But with 400 racers spread across 6 timed stages, 17 miles of race trails, nearly 13,000 feet of descending and two days of racing, even the most seasoned trail junkie can feel overwhelmed trying to keep up. Here’s the insiders lowdown on each of the weekend’s stages.

To get the best access, become a course marshal volunteer for a day or two.  It will be an experience like no other.  Click here for info on how to volunteer for the BME/EWS.

Otherwise you can always pack up a lunch, bug juice, sunscreen, rain jacket, refreshments or whatever you like or need on a day in the outdoors.  Then hike or bike up the mountain to check out all the action of choice.

The main sponsor village/expo area is at the Snowmass Plaza area/Snowmass base village.  If your travels go through the Expo, be sure to stop by the RFMBA tent to find out all about the  latest trail plans and advocacy we are involved in – you can also join or renew your membership.

The stages 1-3 are on Saturday.  Stage one and three are will be held in Snowmass while stage two will be in Aspen.  On Sunday, all three stages (4-6) will be held in Snowmass.

CLICK FOR LARGER VERSION OF MAP

SATURDAY, JULY 29

1: Two Creeks DH – Beginning at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola, this race-only trail heads straight down the fall line in the woods between the Cascade and Creekside runs. Racers will cross Valhalla twice before linking up with the “Sequel” trail for a high speed burn through fields of wildflowers toward the base of the Two Creeks chairlift. Spectators won’t want to miss the upper 1/3rd of the track with its steep plunges and dramatic road crossings.

2: Aspen Mountain – The crown jewel of Aspen Snowmass’ winter offerings, the Silver Queen represents the longest stage of the weekend, with over 3600’ of descent spread across 4.8 miles of classic Colorado singletrack. Spectators should check out “The Dumps,” where racers will sprint between 180° switchback turns down local favorite double black diamond ski terrain, or post up with a beer at Ajax Tavern to watch the last few turns down Little Nell trail.

3: K.A.R. and Luge – The first of three race stages on Snowmass’ old school west side singletrack, Stage 3 begins at the top of the Coney Glade chairlift, plunging down through the Aspen groves toward base village. Families with kids will love seeing bikes make use of their favorite winter tree trails off of the Kid’s Race Arena and Lizard Lodge, a quick hike from the upper drop off point for the “Top of the Village” shuttle bus.

SUNDAY, JULY 30

4: Snowmass Super D – Beginning at the top of the Elk Camp Chairlift, Stage 4 will be a true endurance test for our visiting racers, and should represent the greatest variety of terrain they’ll see in a single stage. After a couple quick turns on the Vapor trail, racers will turn down the fall line on a yet-to-be-named ridgeline singletrack popping in and out of the dark timber of the Grey Wolf ski terrain. A brief visit to the flowing berms and tabletop jumps of the Valhalla trail will lead into the classic flowing singletrack of the Powerline and Starks trails. Hardcore downhill fans will want to perch high on the ridgeline where they can get a preview of the fastest lines on Snowmass bike park’s newest trail.

5: Uncle Sam’s to West Government – Nobody’s going to win the weekend on this stage, but they could easily lose it, as Stage 5 begins on the tire popping scree fields of upper Sam’s Knob before diving into the old school tight switchbacks of the West Government Trail. Spectators will find the challenge of reaching this stage well worth the effort, as racers charge through the rough and raw descent of a reclaimed 1960 vintage chairlift install road. Check out the old Campground liftline between Bearclaw and Wildcat for some of the steepest pitches of the entire race.

6: Banzai DH – The final stage of the weekend is also one of the hardest, which is why it has hosted high level gravity racing going back over two decades. Descending 1500 vertical feet in just 1.4 miles from the top of Coney Glade straight down the fall line toward the EWS awards ceremony in Base Village, it’s the shortest stage of the weekend, but also the stage the racers fear most. A heavy mix of high speed ridgelines, rooted catch-berms, mandatory airs (at least on the fast line), and of course the infamous “Hell’s Kitchen,” Banzai is sure to provide excitement for fans of all ages. Follow the sounds of hooting and hollering up to lookers left from the bottom terminal of the Coney Glade chair.

Tom Blake

Who was Tom Blake?

We all know Tom Blake the trail. . . traversing from Owl Creek road to Snowmass Village with singletrack that is buttery smooth, and gently pitched, with perfect corners, and bursting columbines. In the fall the trail becomes a golden path to enlightenment as the aspens make their seasonal transformation.

But who was Tom Blake the person?  A simple Google search had it’s challenges. First, there is another famous Tom Blake. He was an early and iconic surfer and writer who created the California surf style that was brought to the mainstream by The Beach Boys. Nope, not that Tom Blake!

Then there is the trail we all know and love. There are lots of Google results providing trail information, but nothing on the man who was also starting to seem like a myth and a legend. After a few weeks of searching and asking around, an unfortunate event led us to our answer. About a month ago, Tom’s wife, Mary Beth Blake, sadly passed. An article about her passing in the Snowmass Sun shed some light on who Tom was.

“As a schoolgirl, she met her best friend and the love of her life, Tom Blake. The high school sweethearts grew up within 8 miles of each other and after Mary Beth earned her nursing degree from Saint Mary’s College of Indiana and began her nursing career in Chicago, they were married in 1965.

Together, they moved to Snowmass in 1969 after having skied often in Colorado, including attending the grand opening at Snowmass in 1967. They brought to Snowmass Tom’s gregarious nature and Mary Beth’s public-minded spirit, which helped to shape the town as it is today.

With Mary Beth at his side, Tom became general manager of the Snowmass Resort Association at its inception, which he ran for eight years, and their combined efforts helped kick start the resort business into high gear.

Always with Mary Beth’s support, Tom went on to serve as a Pitkin County Commissioner (1980-88) and Snowmass Town Council Member (1990-94). After Tom passed away in 1994, Mary Beth kept alive their community spirit, helping to carve out the popular Snowmass hiking and biking trail bearing Tom’s name in recognition of his advocacy for trail systems.”

So there you have it. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Blake family, and our deepest gratitude go out to Tom and Mary Beth for leaving Snowmass, and the world, a better place.

New Prince Creek Trails Need You!

Great news!  Trail building has begun on the new trails below Monte Carlo.  Thanks to the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board,  we are now building a single track trail up and down along the new corridor.  Now its time for the Roaring Fork mountain bike community who love the Prince Creek trail system to come on out and dig some dirt!

Throughout the summer, every Tuesday evening RFOV will host trail building sessions.  Meet up anytime after 4 pm at the end of the Prince Creek Road pavement to join in the fun.  Don’t forget to bring a friend.  You can also sign up HERE to get on board.

After the dig, stick around for free dinner and great refreshments.

NOTE: These trail build evenings qualify you for the free bike drawing

Ute City Cycles is once again offering up an amazing gift to a lucky volunteer this year! This year’s prize is a CIMA RT-5, valued at $4,000! The bike will be in your size, and if you really need a road bike instead… they’ll help you out with a fast bike of equal value. The more you volunteer on RFOV & RFMBA trail maintenance and build sessions, the more chances you have to win the bike in September. Be sure to sign the waiver for each volunteer event you attend!

Congrats again to Mike Fowler our 2015 winner and Grant Henley our 2016 winner!

Volunteer Opportunities to Experience the Big Mountain Enduro Like No Other

RFMBA is excited to partner with Big Mountain Enduro on the only U.S. stop of the Enduro World Series, here in Aspen/Snowmass!  July 29th and 30th is your chance to check out some of the fastest and most skilled mountain bike racers in the world!

While most locals won’t be racing, we’ve got some great volunteer opportunities available that will get you as close to the action as possible.  In return for your time and effort, you can expect to earn event t-shirt and hat swag + free food and drink to keep you fueled up.

Continue reading Volunteer Opportunities to Experience the Big Mountain Enduro Like No Other

build trails

Build Strength. Build Character. Build Community. Build Trails.

Building and maintaining trails is at the heart of RFMBA’s mission. We’ve seen how both communities and individuals benefit from having accessible recreation experiences. Having an extensive trail network within your community encourages wellness, enriches value, and provides a meeting point for the community. Continue reading Build Strength. Build Character. Build Community. Build Trails.