Streets Paved with Gold

18 Oct

 
Sunny Side Up

How do you know you are in Aspen, Colorado?

1.  You only recognize the store names because of Sex and the City.

2.   50% of people you see can’t move their foreheads.

3.  There is an equal number of BMWs and funky cruiser bikes.

4.  You can not afford to buy anything.  At all.  Period.

 

Aspen would be one of those amazing places I could never, ever afford to go – except for one thing, my sister lives there.  There are two important things you need to know about my sister:  she’s way cuter than me, and way nicer than me.  Thanks to these two things, she is the perfect travel companion.   She somehow finds you a $30 room in a hotel with a $900 rack rate.  She gets you a table beside Cindy Crawford at the busiest restaurant, and the cheque is always missing most of the meal.  She knows everyone, and everyone adores her.

I went to Aspen to visit Heidi, but had full intentions of doing some bike riding while I was there.  Although I’ve heard rumor of bike trails, my previous visits have been small stopovers en route to bigger biking meccas such as Fruita or Moab.  Heidi’s boss and good friend John assured me there were places to ride and even offered to guide us around.

Riding in Aspen is always a challenge no matter what the route.  With a starting elevation around 8000 ft, your lungs can barely handle the 500 m walk between Gucci and Dior – let alone climbing up one of the many nearby mountains.  But, once you get up, the views are spectacular.   The mountains are coated in golden aspens, enjoying the last weeks of silence before the snow flies, and the tourists arrive.  Not a bad way to start my bikecation.

Aspen Climb

 

After my intro to the ride, I decided to tackle a more ambitious tour of the area.