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Salida’s Cycling Season

I started out titling this post, “Salida’s Cycling Season is on the Horizon,” but then realized it’s not, it’s HERE! Maybe it’s the opening of new single track trails on the outskirts of town, or the flurry of friends rushing to sign up for Ride the Rockies that makes me feel like we’re on the cusp of something, but in actuality, winter in the valley has been mild enough this year to affort cyclists year round riding.

Salida Mountain Trails (SMT) is fueled by local volunteers who have been working hard to grow the area’s mountain bike trail system. 2010 saw the completion of the North Backbone Trail, Little Rainbow Trail and the sustainable re-routes of the Sand Dunes and Uncle Nasty trails – all free, fun trails at the edge of town.

North Backbone is 3.5 miles of challenging single track that connects CR 173 behind Tenderfoot Mountain with Ute Trail (CR 175) and ultimately allows mountain bikers, runners and hikers to link up trails all the way across the Arkansas Hills.

Little Rainbow Trail (LRT) accomplishes SMT’s longtime goal of creating a trail suitable for beginner mountain bikers. The LRT is a wide, non-technical trail for all ability levels. It connects the Old Racetrack Trail near Burmac’s on the east side of town to the Skull Trail off County Road 110 and is 5 miles of easy trail excellent for biking, hiking and trail running. In 2011 SMT hopes to connect the LRT to Sand Gulch.

The sustainable reroutes of the Sand Dunes and Uncle Nasty Trails have not compromised the difficulty of the trails in any way, so hard core single track riders have nothing to fear.

Road riders looking for a challenge can sign up for the Ride the Rockies lottery, with accepted teams (up to 2,000) riders to be announced at the onset of March. This is the 26th year for Ride the Rockies and the course boasts 6 mountain passes, 22,000 feet of vertical gain, one loop ride, and a total of 412 miles from Crested Butte to Georgetown in 6 days. Salida teams are already registered and training on the area’s many mountain passes will begin for riders (including this one!) this month.

These are just a few more reasons I call Salida home. If you’d like to call Salida home, please contact me and I’ll be happy to help you explore the area’s real estate market – Heck, we can even do it by bicycle if you like!

K. HaleChamblee
Direct 719.221.4637



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