The Peaks Trail: Breckenridge, Colorado

24 09 2009

I don’t know what I was excited about more, riding the trail or the prospect of buying loads of dirt cheap cycling clobber afterwards at the Pearl Izumi Outlet Store.  Actually, let me think about this a bit, hum har hum har; you’re right ….it was the shopping 🙂 But I quickly remembered I was here to ride by bike and face my totally irrational fear of meeting a bear: where’s that rescue remedy!

Afan or Colorado ?The Peaks Trail is considered “an Awesome singletrack trail, lots of rocks, roots, climbs, boardwalks and some killer downhill. You can really get speed on some parts so be careful of hikers and other bikers as it’s a two way trail. Trail is cut out of pine and aspen trees, with incredible views of the surrounding Rocky mountains. Aerobic level may be higher for some – especially those coming from sea level, this trail head starts at about 9600 ft (Breckenridge), goes up to around 10,500 then back down to 9000 (Frisco)”…

Take it from me, the altitude is the real killer.  We live at sea level and our lungs felt as small and inflexible as peanuts; the lack of oxygen making even small climbs feel almost impossible; your mouth dry as a bone; your head thump like hell: and today wasn’t even hot!

Afan on Steriods

Afan on Steriods

But the trail is lots of fun.  I’d explain it as very like Afan, but on a triple dose of steroids.  Everything being that much bigger and tougher but once we got to the killer downhill our reward was worth all the pain.  Mile after mile of thrilling descent negotiating boulder gardens, roots, boardwalks and fast flowing singletrack through the thick trees of The Rockies.

At one point I was completely on my own and my periphery vision kept picking up black bear-sized images through the trees, heart racing double quick time, fear rising in my throat, until I realised they were burnt off tree stumps dotted through the forest.  Phew! 

The Usual Faffage

The Usual Faffage

Along the trail we met many friendly hikers and even a large group camping trailside who cheerily waved as we blasted downhill.  Today was Labour Day and all of America seemed to be out enjoying the countryside, awesome!   We were even overtaken by a sight never to be seen in the UK, a fully-camoflauged biker with a crossbow and massive sight strapped across his back, just out doing a little bit of hunting…only in America!

Anyway, it was high 5’s all round as we regrouped at the bottom with our varying tales of breathlessness and excitement from the 10 miles (yes 10 miles) that we’d just descended.  Today the mountains: tomorrow the desert….

Breckenridge: Anyone seen Jim Carey?

Breckenridge: Anyone seen Jim Carey?




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