Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Colorado Freeride Festival (Part 1 of 5)


It's that time of year again, the largest Mountain Bike festival in the country is returning to Winter Park, Colorado. The Colorado Freeride Festival takes place on the weekend of July 25-28, 2013. This International competition includes a Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour Gold level Slopestyle event and an Enduro World Series race. There is an Epic Singletrack cross country race, an air downhill race and an intergalactic pond crossing event. Riders will battle it out for $45,000. worth of prizes while the audience enjoys a festivillage full of bike sponsors and games.

My wife Terri and I will be traveling to Trestle Bike Park to experience CFF for ourselves. This will be our first trip to Colorado so we are learning every step of the way. This is the first article in our five part series that will cover travel, lodgings, restaurants, bike rentals, racing and all manner of competition.


You wouldn't think there wouldn't be a lot to learn before you get on the plane but you'd be wrong. With the brilliance of the internet you can register, reserve and confirm many of your plans before even leaving the house. Let me give you some examples.

First let's put aside the obvious. Everyone knows that you can get your plane tickets reserved and paid for online, I think we all do it now. However, I do love that now you can pick your airline, stop overs, price ranges and even select your seat on each aircraft that you'll be on. If you are into great views you can pick the window that will be facing the direction you choose to see the ocean or deserts or in our case - the rocky mountains.

Photo by Dave Tempore
Moving on to hotel reservations, Trestle Bike Park is part of the Winter Park Resort group. Their website is very interactive. Not only does it give you information on where to stay, eat and play but also how to travel and you can even get package rates. It was here that we reserved our hotel room, rented downhill bikes and discovered where to find shuttle service from the Denver airport.

Our shuttle company is Home James Transportation as it specializes in the Winter Park area. You can learn about other travel options on the Denver International Airport's website which also provides you with a list of their restaurants and other amenities. We were even able to reserve parking at Tampa International Airport Parking Garage for the full weekend.


So what about the fun stuff? Thanks to an abundance of GoPro cameras you can go to Youtube and look up each trail at the bike park by name and then watch someone ride the trail to see what it is like. I've watched a dozen videos and I'm looking forward to the wide array DH trails that Trestle has to offer.

This goes the same for events. To get an idea what the action will be like at, for example, the Slopestyle competition you can find last year's finals in full or watch the highlights. Many of the same riders will be present but Slopestyle is one sport that progresses quickly. The tricks will be levels above what 2012 had to offer.


One last source of information on the area came from an unexpected source. Grand County Colorado put together an online television channel known as GrandCounty17.com. Here you can see commercials for everything in the county from lodging and activities to food and festivals.

There you have it, a wealth of online resources for anyone hoping to attend the big weekend. Terri and I are bringing our cameras, our enthusiasm and a desire for exploration. To find out what happened next - check out part 2 of our journey.

Colorado Freeride Festival (Part 2 of 5)


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