Monday, July 23, 2012

Bring Your Bicycle to Colorado for Sightseeing, for Sport or Just to Get Around

With our beautiful views and ample space, Colorado is an amazing place for outdoor activities.  Many people think of our state as a great place for winter activities with the mountains and the snow.  However, The Centennial State is a great place to bring a bicycle in the summer!  Whether you're interested in racing, sporting, or just getting around, you can't beat the natural beauty, crisp air, and sunny atmosphere for bicycling.  Member inns of the Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado welcome you to the many bicycling opportunities in the state!

Biking as Transportation
With Colorado becoming such an Eco-friendly state, it's no big surprise that larger residential areas are embracing bicycles as a means of transportation.  In fact, Bicycling Magazine ranked three cities in the Top 20 US Cities for Bicycling:  Boulder (#3), Denver (#12), and Colorado Springs (#18)!  Denver also has a program that allows residents to use public bikes for short trips inside the city:  members can pick up a bike at an approved location and drop it off within 30 minutes for no charge!  If you come to the state with bike in-tow, there are many, many communities that offer bike paths throughout their city.

Biking for Sightseeing
Many states in the US are turning old railroad tracks into public bike trails, and Colorado is no exception.  There are about twenty Rails-to-Trails locations in the state for picturesque biking opportunities.

Biking for Sport
All seven National Forests, Parks, and Recreational Areas are somewhat biker-friendly on roads.  All also offer bikeable offroad trails for recreation and sport.

Even outside of the Nationally-hosted areas, many towns have their own off-roading options.  Canyonlands, foothills, and state parks offer riding of all types from fairly flat to mountainous and everything in-between.

Keeping true to its recreational prowess, Boulder is now home to the Valmont Bikepark.  Located on a 132 tract of park land, this park was developed as a safe area to allow riders to enjoy recreational riding and develop offroad skills.  Containing a Terrain Park with three difficulty levels, Cyclocross areas, trails, a learning loop, and kids' areas, this park is a one-of-a-kind gem that should be on every offroader's to-do list!

Biking as Competition
Colorado is home to many cycling events throughout the summer months that draw cyclists of all skill levels, and spectators numbering into the millions total.  Below are a few of the larger events in our state.

August 20-26, 2012:  The USA Pro Cycling Challenge might be compared to a mini Tour de France.  135 professional riders from around the world descend on Colorado to race over 500 miles through the Rockies, with over 1 million spectators on-hand to watch!  The 2012 course has the riders racing from Durango to Denver, with 13 cities total as start/stop points.

April 2013:  The Fruita Fat Tire Festival is a multi-day, off road and beer event in Fruita.  Sponsored by New Belgium Brewing, the event has three days of rides, a Women's Camp, and other fun activities.  Check website for 2013 dates and registration.

May 2013:  The Iron Horse Classic is a 50-mile race from Durango to Silverton.  Other race events are also held during the event.  Registration for the 2013 race opens in December.

May 2013:  The Superior Mogul Classic Weekend is a three-day event that includes street sprints, a criterium and circuit road-race on the Morgul-Bismarck Loop, family-friendly events, and live entertainment.  Check website for 2013 registration.

June 2013:  Crested Butte Bike Week is a festival complete with multiple off-road races for all skill levels.  Check website for 2013 dates and registration.

June 2013:  Ride the Rockies takes cyclists on a multi-day ride through the Rocky Mountains.  The route changes each year, but covers 6-7 days of progressive distance.  Check website for 2013 route and registration.

June 23-29, 2013: The Bicycle Tour of Colorado also tours through the Rocky Mountains, starting and ending in Canon City.  2013 Registration is open now!

August 2013:  The Colorado Rocky Mountain Bicycle Tour is a week-long race that begins and ends in Montrose.  A race created by cyclists for cyclists, this race takes riders with a 500 participant cap.  Check website for 2013 dates and registration.

These are just some of the multi-day events in different areas of the state, but there are many, many more!  Although not up-to-date at the date of publishing, the Calendar of Colorado Bicycling Events has active links to most of the notable races around the state.  You can also ask your Colorado innkeeper about local races in their particular area.

Whether you bring your bicycle with you, or rent one once you arrive, Colorado is a great place to tour by bike!  So plan your Colorado inn vacation now to tour the state by bicycle, or for one of our state's premier bicycling events!  Whether you're a rider or a spectator, we are pleased to host you as our guests!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Enjoy Area Music Festivals During Your Vacation in Colorado

If music soothes the savage beast, then no one should be afraid to visit Colorado! The Centennial State is home to a wide variety of musical event attractions that feature bluegrass, folk, alternative, pop and classical music, providing entertainment to our music-loving guests of all kinds... and going a long way towards making those so-called 'beasts' a lot less threatening!

Musical events take place all over the state.  Sometimes, the events cover both music and, say, beer or art – like some of the festivals covered in our Brewing Culture and Art Show blog topics.  With beer, you usually get blues or rock.  With art, it can be just about any kind of music, including regional and classical.  True to this form, our festivals that specifically celebrate music can cover just about any listening gamut there is!

While we can’t cover every single event, here is a sampling of some of the popular events from all over the state.  For information on more musical celebrations, feel free to check the Colorado Festivals page.  Some areas actually have a full summer of musical performances that they term “festivals,” not included in this post - contact your bed and breakfast innkeeper to see what is happening in that particular area during the time of your visit.  For those events that have already passed this year – fear not – as most of these events are annual celebrations!

July 2012:
  • July 8 - 29, 2012 – Music in the Mountains, Durango, CO:  Work this into your immediate Colorado vacation!  Classical music at its best featuring three weeks of classical and world music orchestra, chamber and conservatory performances and workshops.
  •  July 21-22, 2012 – Winter Park Jazz Festival, Winter Park, CO:  Cool off in the mountains while enjoying some of the Nation’s best jazz artists with food, vendors, and more.  The 2012 lineup features Charlie Wilson, David Sanborn & Brian Culbertson, among others!
August 2012:
  • August 3-4, 2012 – Music at the Junction, La Junta, CO:  Rock, blues, and country by a variety of local performers, and acts from around the country.  The 2012 Festival features Molly Hatchet on Saturday night!
  • August 3-5, 2012 – CrestFest, Crestone, CO:  a multi-genre, multi-cultural event featuring music, food, beer, contest, workshops, and fun for the whole family.
  • August 10-12, 2012 - Snap Pea Jamboree Music Festival, Weston, CO:  Hosted by the Earth Mountain Education Farm, this solar-powered festival features live music from local performers, campfire jams, craft vendors, workshops, and much, much more!
  • August 17-19, 2012 - Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, Lyons, CO:  Anticipated by locals a way to finally relax and enjoy summer, this weekend brings music from all over.  The 2012 event includes the annual Songwriter Showcase and is pleased to announce that Lyle Lovett will spend part of Sunday with us! 
  • August 24-26, 2012 – Mountain Music Featival, Manitou Springs, CO: Music (Americana, bluegrass, folk, world, cowboy and gospel music), food, arts and crafts, and childrens activities.  Come one, come all!
  • August 24-26, 2012 – NedFest, Nederland, CO:  So this one could’ve been included in the Brewing Culture post… NedFest is an annual music, arts and micro-brew festival featuring Bluegrass, Jazz, Jamband, Jamgrass, and World Genres.  Enjoy a variety of artists including Keller Williams, Kyle Hollingsworth, Steve Kimock, and more.
September, 2012:
  • September 8, 2012 - Mountain of the Sun Music Festival, Woodland Park, CO:  Celebrating American Roots Music through performances, workshops, and more.  This year’s festival features the Greencards and at least five other well-known area bands.
January, 2013:
  • TheMusicFest, Steamboat, CO:  This event brings the south to the mountains.  Start the New Year off right by attending this almost-weeklong celebration of Texas and Americana music with over 50 shows!  2013 dates have not yet been announced.
May 2013:
  • MahlerFest, Boulder, CO:  Celebrating the life, times and music of Gustav Mahler (classical composer) during a week of orchestral and vocal concerts, performed by artist who are passionate about this composer’s work.
June 2013:
  • High PlainsMusic Fest & Poker Run, Sterling, CO:  live music, poker run, beer garden, bike show, and more!
  • PalisadeBluegrass and Roots Music Festival, Palisade, CO:  Featuring bluegrass and roots music, the festival also features workshops, food, arts and crafts vendors, and more.
  • TellurideBluegrass Festival, Telluride, CO: Featuring acts of both local and national fame, the TBF encourages on-stage collaborations between performers.  Noted attendees in 2012 included Bela Fleck, Alison Krauss, the Edgar Meyer, John Fogerty, K.D. Lang, and the "King of Telluride" Sam Bush.  Stay tuned for the 2013 lineup!
Music, fun, and more is waiting for you in Colorado!  Check out our music festival specials and make reservations at a BBIC Member Inn closest to the festival featuring your favorite musical tastes.  Please feel free to contact us for more information or to answer any questions you may have.