I recently checked out Women's Wednesdays at Keystone Bike Park in Colorado, a special summer offering with excellent deals for riding. The amazing deal is a great excuse to ditch the office early, ride in a beautiful mountain setting and work on improving skills. Keystone is an IMBA Destinations Partner, and as IMBA's corporate membership and destinations manager, I feel that it's my duty to check out what our partner is offering.
Women's Wednesdays is from 3:30-5:00 p.m. $30 gets you all of this:
- lift ticket
- Specialized downhill bike
- full face helmet
- knee and elbow pads
- guided downhill riding instruction
My husband stays home with our two small kids on Wednesdays anyway, so the whole family came along. They had fun watching the big kids, panning for gold and exploring the base-area playground, while I joined eight other women for the guided ride. Apparently, Keystone Bike Park can put you in touch with local babysitters, too, if you plan in advance.
The group I was in started with a little practice at the skills area near the base of the main ski hill, then put those skills to the test on a mixture of green and blue trails from the top of the lift. The weather was crazy, starting off with freezing rain and hail (thank goodness for the full face helmet!), with the middle section of the trail blanketed in full, blazing sun, finally ending in a total downpour.
There were two instructors for nine students. Two of the students were hard core older women who lived nearby, then there was me from Boulder, and the rest were just visiting Colorado on vacation from places like Iowa and Washington state. Three women had never been on mountain bikes and were constantly squealing, sometimes with delight and sometimes in absolute terror. I focused on practicing my cornering technique and catching air on the little rollers while getting some great tips from our guide.
As a mountain biking mama, I love ski resort bike vacations since its easy to go with Dad and take turns riding laps and entertaining the kiddos at the base area. We have a four-year-old and a baby, so they aren't quite ready to ride the resort themselves, but there are so many fun things for kids to do at the base that time flies both when its my turn to ride and my turn to hang out. And there are always cool hikes and fun little main streets to check out as a whole family.
So far, I've only been to Keystone, Crested Butte and Winter Park (in Colorado) and Deer Valley in Park City in Utah, but I can't wait to sample IMBA's other Destination Partner resorts, such as Canyons (UT), Alyeska (AK), Killington (VT), Kirkwood (CA), Plattekill (NY), plus Bikulture on the Portuguese island of Madeira and the Specialized Bike Park in Slovenia. My bags are packed and ready to go!