I got to spend the previous two weeks in CO and got a chance to do a lot of riding in Vail and then in Breck. Hadn't ridden in CO in years and last time was on a crappy 26" hard tail. Summary and observations below.
Vail: We ski in Vail every year and I've been going there for over 10 yrs so know the mountain and area very well. Never biked though it looked like it would be fun. I got three rides in at Vail. First was the night I got in. Did half of the middle section of trail on the north side of town. Definitely less cross trails in Vail proper. Second day spent the time doing lift runs top to bottom. That was fun. Radio Flyer and Big Mamba are great flow trails that go forever. Mamba had more rock which I enjoyed. I like all the rock in KC. Also did PMT and Mane Lane which are black supposedly. Didn't think they were too bad. More roots and a little steeper with some drops. I did look at the top of Old 9 Line. I've skied that and it is steep. It is a vertical rutted mess when you look at it is summer. Did not look fun. Also didn't see anyone heading down it. Last morning got another ride in on the cross trails on the north edge of town. Just ok. Overgrown and not real well maintained. Views were awesome though back up to Vail. Headed to Breck for a week with my extended family in a big ski house across from the mountain. Biking sounded awesome. Week with siblings and all our kids on top of each other, we would see.
Breck: We stayed in a house that was a quarter mile from upper flume which was great. I could drop in and go about anywhere I wanted. First ride was all of the flume trails linked plus Mike's and Slalom. That was a fun trail. Did at least a short ride on some section flume each day since it was close. Most enjoyable ride of the week was Peaks. Rode from Breck to Frisco and back. Started early in the morning mid week so not too busy down. That was a blast to Frisco. Reminded me a little of Shawnee with all the smaller rock gardens but with more elevation change and way better views. Towards Frisco there is some great descending. Heading back wasn't quite as much fun. I hike a biked a few 100yds on the way back because some of those descents are more rutted and loose rock than you realize coming up out of Frisco. By the midway had leveled out more and was back to just fun climbing with occasional rock gardens. That trail was as good as advertised. Got to chat briefly at the end with some guys who were prepping for the Breck Epic. After spending a week riding there that thing has to be a challenge. Last big ride was riding up out of Carter Park to Moonstone and Barney Ford and then I'm not sure where I ended up. I just keep going. Climbing up not the most fun. Descent through Barney and Barney Flow was awesome. B line was closed since they were re doing parts of it. Did hike through it with the kids. Some of that stuff is crazy. You either make it or you are dead. And they just added a crazy new jump line straight down the hill.
Summary: Good times with family and biking. Survived a week in close quarters with the fam. I live in DSM but travel to KC at least once a month to ride. At the end of the day I still would take KC over CO most days. I know that sounds crazy but I love the rocky technical trails like Landahl and Swope. Just don't find a lot of other sustained rock like that in other places. Breck reminded me a lot of Decorah which I have ridden a lot. Great towns in valleys. When you are ready to ride get ready to climb for a while before you do any descending. Ready to get down in Sept to KC and see the new stuff at Swope. Heading to Cuyuna in August for a long weekend as well so hope to get a few rides in there. Heard good stuff about that place as well. As for skiing nothing like 12" of powder in the back bowls at Vail.