Views from the Upper Deck
Extreme geography strikes again…
With only two visits to go we achieved another milestone in our Trail Care Crew travels – the highest visit. At 10,200 feet, Leadville Colorado is in the heart of the Rockies and home to the Cloud City Wheelers.
The cycling history of Leadville goes back almost as far as its mining. The Wheelers formed way back in the late 1800s when penny farthings were en vogue. Resurrected in the last few years, the club’s current vision is to ‘build a better community through cycling’. One thing is for sure, Leadville is firmly planting itself in a Colorado-wide singletrack revival. Like other communities, they are working tirelessly to develop their own community trail system. It’s something that is both a benefit to locals and a draw for visitors. Picture ‘live, work, play’…
The Wheelers, like other thriving clubs, are purposeful in their work. They have built relationships throughout the community, are consistently putting in their sweat equity, and, most importantly, are having a lot of fun. Case in point - Friday night we gathered in front of the Cycles of Life bike shop for cruise on the Mineral Belt Trail. No spandex or logos on this ride. It was all about townie bikes, great conversation, and enjoying the beautiful surrounding mountains.
This is just the kind of fun that feeds the rest of the Wheeler’s success. In addition to a few members serving on the recreation district board, the club’s main focus is developing a stacked-loop system on the south side of town. By the time it’s complete they will have close to 15 miles of high country singletrack. We had a chance to ride the goods during our visit; let us tell you, the views are amazing! In between the aspens and over meadows of sagebrush, it’s possible to count at least half dozen fourteen thousand foot peaks.
Leadville is on its way. For a town that’s already known as a mountain bike destination (think 100 mile race in August), a healthy dose of new singletrack will make things that much sweeter.
BIG Thanks to Sterling and the rest of the Cloud City Wheelers for hosting a Trail Care Crew visit – we felt so welcome in your community. Thanks to everyone who came out to ride on Friday night and all those who worked with us on Saturday.
PS: Despite the long winters, the cycling scene is year-round in Leadville. The Wheelers put on a winter mountain bike race series, so mark your calendars for 2012. I guess I’ve got a reason get to get a fat bike now…
Photos from the weekend can be found here.