Mountain biking has gone from a fringe sport back in the late 1970s with jerry rigged bikes and puffy tires to a favorite past time for almost anyone wanting to get a little outdoor adventure. Take a look at some of the trails: they are shared with spandex-clad pros, groups of pals out for a lung-burning cruise and young kids. It’s a sport that not only has come into its own, but it welcomes newcomers.
Eagle is quickly becoming renowned for its network of trails -from easy, short, flowing trails like the Haymaekr to arduous singletrack climbs that end up at 11,000 feet. Vail Mountain in recent years created trails that swirl down the moundain with s-curves smooth dirt. Vail also has a few downhill-only trails. These riders are well protected with full-face helmets, leg, arm and chest protectors and they bomb down the technical singletrack.
There are trails at every town in between Vail and Eagle, too. More and more homeowners can ride right from their homes-they have to decide how far they want to go.
While there are several mountain-bike onlytrails, most trails are multiuse… which means knowing the rules of the dirt. The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) implores riders to know the code, and no matter how much you may want to poach a closed trail, don’t do it! There are various trail closures throughout the vail area, many trails have signs posted. If you’re not sure, do a little research.
Other rules to follow include staying on the trail, don’t ride the trails when they’re we and muddy- it just ruins it for riders later in the day or season; mountain bikers have to yeild to hikers, walkers, runners and horseback riders, which flows right into another trail tenet: ride in control.
The most important rule is to have fun. Adventure is always more fun with a friend- bring a few snacls to take in the view at the top of the climb before descending through sage brush and juniper, flying over rolling hills and through rocks and dirt.
And don’t forget the sunscreen!