I am not a fan of gyms. As such, I’m always on the hunt for a way to keep in shape outside throughout the year. My preferred activity these days is mountain biking and Colorado is a great place for that, with an abundance of trails a quick drive away in the foothills. From the Hampden/Happy Canyon area, Mount Falcon and Green Mountain are the quickest spots to hit, each about a 20-30 minute drive depending on traffic. If I want something a bit more aesthetically pleasing, Bear Creek trail at Lair of the Bear park is my favorite, but requires about 10 more minutes of driving.
But, I don’t always have time to load up the bike and make the drive out to the trail head. Closer to home, a few options abound as well. The Highline Canal always provides a good opportunity to stretch the legs. Unfortunately, its not the greatest for getting the heart rate up, although you can mix in some loops through the Kent campus to get a bit of climbing. Its also a good jumping off point for accessing any of the trails in Cherry Hills Village (Check out their new interactive map viewer HERE), or Three Pond Park.
My latest destination is the mountain bike park at Village Green Park in Greenwood Village. Its a quick 10 minute drive or a 20 minute ride from Happy Canyon/Cherry Point. It has a 2.7 mile single track trail with several man-made obstacles to keep my mountain bike skills honed. There are 3 short-but-steep steep climbs that are very technically challenging, one of which I have yet to ride cleanly. Each of these has a by pass, and all are steep enough that your heart will be cranking hard. Along with the cli=mbs there are several technical descents, also with bypasses. The loops are also interspersed with flat-land obstacles to build your balance and technical abilities.
If I’m short on time, I’ll head to the park and crank out a couple laps and mix in some resistance exercises between each lap. Check it out HERE, or to get a view of the trail from a video that is way to long and old, click HERE.