Outdoors - Mountain and Road Biking

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Taking ride on Rim Rock Drive offers a great escape

By Scott Mercier

The public revelations of doping on a massive scale within the professional cycling peloton have served as a distraction from my favorite activity: Riding my bike! The weather is starting to cool off, and there are not too many nice days for road riding left, so today I am writing about one of my favorite rides: Colorado National Monument. The monument estimates more than 16,000 cyclists traverse Rim Rock drive each year, and with nearly 2,000 cyclists for the inaugural Tour of the Moon ...


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Getting advanced at the Lunch Loop

By Julie Norman

In my previous column I wrote about some of the most popular trails reached from the main Tabeguache/Lunch Loop parking lot. These trails are great for short loops, an hour to 90 minutes, but for those of you looking for longer or more technically advanced rides, here are three you should try. Holy Cross Like many others, Holy Cross can be accessed from the main parking lot. Climb up the main trail past turnoffs for Pet-Y-Kes and High Noon. Just after High Noon you’ll climb a bit ...


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Find your way around Lunch Loop/Tabeguache trails

By Julie Norman

The Lunch Loop/Tabeguache trails on Monument Road are a great example of multi-use trails. Without the many hundreds of hours of work by volunteers, COPMOBA, and the BLM, trail users would have to drive out to the edges of the county for an outdoor fix. Thanks to these groups and volunteers, we can all literally spend our lunch breaks biking and hiking. There are so many trails here. Trying to find your way around can be daunting, so I want to give a brief rundown and explanation of the ...


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Get Out! Enjoy a ride down 
Wasatch Crest Trail

By Julie Norman

We recently returned from a giant road trip that included the Loneliest Highway in America, Lake Tahoe and Salt Lake City. Once in Salt Lake, our goal for Saturday was to bike the Wasatch Crest Trail. While my boyfriend had ridden the trail many times, this would be a first for me, and I was excited to check it out. The trail is about 20 miles long and is almost all downhill. It starts at Guardsman Pass, reached from Big Cottonwood Canyon, and ends at the bottom of Millcreek ...


Evidence against Lance Armstrong can’t be ignored

By Scott Mercier

Secret payments to Swiss shell companies, lies upon lies and fraud and deception on a massive scale. No, we’re not talking about politics or Wall Street, but rather the past decade and a half of professional cycling. The “greatest comeback in the history of sport” has now been revealed as the greatest fraud in the history of sport. A mountain of evidence has been released by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, detailing that “the U.S. Postal Services Pro ...


Final 2012 Colorado showing of ‘Reveal the Path’ coming to Mesa Theater

By Dave Buchanan

The first real adventure bicyclist I met was Mike Curiak, the Grand Junction resident who in 2005 raced and won the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race (three days, six hours) while living on Clif bars. And you thought riding up the monument was tough. You don’t have to spend a week on Kokopelli’s Trail to get a taste of that hard-core, expedition-type biking. On Oct. 18, Mesa Theater and Salsa Cycles will present the movie “Reveal The Path,” a story ...


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Get Out! Autumn is a good time to return to long, scenic rides

By Julie Norman

Fall is in full swing on the Western Slope. Leaves are turning, falling and skittering across parks. Morning temps are requiring me to wear actual shoes instead of sport sandals during my bike commute, and pumpkins are everywhere. For me this means it’s time to get back to some of my favorite long rides and catch the golden aspens on Grand Mesa, too. The Western Rim trail in Rabbit Valley is probably my favorite long ride to do in the spring and fall. It’s about 14 miles ...


Tour of the Valley gives locals a chance to see the sights from the saddle

By Nick Walter

It’s a laid-back, noncompetitive bicycle ride through the scenic Grand Valley, and, hey, you can even get a free mini sports massage afterward. Community Hospital hosts its 24th annual Tour of the Valley cycling event Sunday morning that features rides of 30, 50, 75 and 100 miles. Becky Jessen, marketing director for Community Hospital, said there will be local riders as well as some from all over the United States. The guest rider will be Kerry White, a 42-year-old member of Team ...


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Get Out! Crested Butte provides trails for all levels

By Julie Norman

Each July we pack up the car and head to Crested Butte for four days of biking and camping. The trails there are vastly different from the trails we have here. They’re filled with wildflowers and aspens and often require you to cross creeks. Views of Mount Crested Butte replace views of Mount Garfield, and cooler temperatures provide relief from the desert heat of the Western Slope. The trails here vary in length and technical ability; we sampled some of everything this year. For ...


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Olympic Games tough, yet rewarding experience

By Scott Mercier

The Olympic Games are an event like no other. Every four years the world comes together for 16 days to celebrate and compete. The London Games boast 193 countries and 11 territories and more than 10,000 athletes in 26 sports. Twenty years ago I was fortunate enough to have earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team in Barcelona, Spain. To this day, it remains one of my proudest personal achievements, but also the most disappointing. For Olympic Day this year I spoke in front of ...


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Get Out! Palisade Rim Trail worth a look

By Julie Norman

“You have to go ride the Palisade Rim Trail. It’s so fun! At first I hated it, but now it’s definitely my favorite.” My co-worker had been raving about the improved trail in Palisade for several weeks when I finally decided to check it out. My last experience biking in Palisade involved getting lost while attempting to ride the Rapid Creek trail, so I was skeptical. Still, lately everyone seemed to be talking about the Palisade Rim Trail, so I decided to give it a ...


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Everyone can ride

By Julie Norman

If you’re fairly new to mountain biking, you might be intimidated by some of the trails around our great little valley. Never fear. Trails suitable for even beginning bikers do exist: You just have to know where to find them. When I first started biking in the valley I had no idea what to expect. I knew about the “ready position” from biking in Georgia, but big rock drops and ledges? I had no experience with those. I was fortunate to have a mentor who understood, and ...


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Tim Sewell remembered as strong, determined cyclist

By Scott Mercier

God’s tears. That’s what I thought to myself on July 5th as a rare summer rain hit my windshield, that God himself was crying. Cycling can be a mixture of blood, sweat and tears. It can involve nearly unimaginable suffering both mentally and physically. It is clearly visible on the riders’ faces during the Tour. But nothing can compare to the suffering felt by the entire cycling community of Grand Junction when on July 3rd, our beloved Tim Sewell took his own life by ...


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Vernacular and tactics of cycling important in big races

By Scott Mercier

2012 is a great summer to be a cycling fan: The Tour de France started Saturday, the London Olympic Games follow, and the USA Pro Challenge starts right on our doorstep in Durango on Aug. 20. If you watch any of these events, the dialogue of the commentators can be confusing. So, for those interested in learning the vernacular and tactics of cycling, here are some basics. Intricacies of the peloton The large group of riders is known as the peloton. Peloton is a French word which means a ...


Five state parks issue Stage II fire bans

By Staff

Stage II fire bans, which prohibit wood or charcoal fires and limit cigarette smoking to inside vehicles or RVs, have been implemented at Crawford, Navajo, Paonia, Ridgway and Sweitzer Lake State Parks. The Stage II fire restrictions earlier were issued by Archuleta, Delta, Gunnison, Montrose and Ouray counties. Regulations allow the use of compressed-gas stoves with an on/off switch. Use of fireworks is always prohibited at Colorado State Parks. “We hope everyone understands just ...


Mud Spring CG open, says BLM, but no water yet available

By Dave Buchanan

A lighter-than-normal snowpack has allowed the Bureau of Land Management to open its popular Mud Springs Campground near Glade Park nearly a month earlier than usual. The popular 16-site campground, located approximately 20 miles southwest of Grand Junction at about 8,000 feet in elevation, typically opens in mid-May. A BLM spokesperson said campers will have to supply their own water until May 4. “We won’t have any water available until May 4, however, so you’ll have to ...


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Want some real riding action? Head to Palisade

By Special to the Sentinel

By Scott Winans Special Ride Contributer Palisade has been the fruit and wine nexus of the Grand Valley for years now, with the well deserved reputation as a gorgeous place to road ride and enjoy the views.  Growing over the past several years, however, has been a network of mountain bike trails that add a new region to our local riding treasure trove. The traffic is low, the routes serene, and there are trails to knock your socks off.  Try it for yourself. Palisade sits ...


Introducing the Grand Valley Trails Alliance

By Special to the Sentinel

The reality of reduced funding and staffing for public land management agencies means the process of managing the trail proposal and approval process has to change. About a year ago, a group of land managers and trail user groups started looking for opportunities to address the challenges of the new reality, while also enhancing the trail network in the Grand Valley. The Grand Valley Trails Alliance (GVTA) is a collaborative effort initiated by the BLM, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike ...


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The Grand Valley: an endurance athlete’s mecca?

By Special to the Sentinel

By Brent Steinberg LTR Sports The Grand Valley is known for providing cyclists with world-class mountain bike trails. However, there’s much more than just great trail riding. The Grand Valley is one of the most overlooked places for cyclists and endurance athletes to live and train. While places such as Bend, Ore., and Boulder have been called the endurance capitals of the world, the Grand Valley could be ranked on a list with them. Here is why: Population The Grand Valley does ...


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Double your pleasure

By Special to the Sentinel

“Whoa, no way!  I’ve never seen one of those before.  How do you…?” During the past 12 years we have started countless trailside conversations this way. One thing about a mountain tandem: it is a great conversation starter. We got into mountain tandeming as a way to share the fun of mountain biking together.  We get to ride as hard as we want, stay together, talk, and explore great places.  Now it has also become a family activity as we ...


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