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Biking at its Peak

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I was mountain biking recently with a friend, and after the first few miles, I stopped to see how he was doing. His pearly whites were the first thing I saw as he pedaled up to me, and the view of his smile was soon replaced by one of his rear tire as he sped past without stopping, eagerly barreling down the single track. On that ride, I also saw a herd of 40 or so elk, a newborn faun and every color of wildflower imaginable.

The bike trails are perfect right now: tacky from a little rain and, for the most part, smooth and fast. Many rides begin from either Telluride or Mountain Village; some are accessible from the midway station of the free gondola (which has bike racks). Prospect Trail, for example, begins atop the gondola near the San Sophia Nature Center and traverses the ski hill, gaining altitude gently and offering in-your-face views of 14,000-foot Mount Wilson, the iconic form that graces a certain famous beer can. From Telluride, riders can bike to the top of Bridal Veil Falls, contour the north side of the valley on the Mill Creek/Waterline or enjoy the single track on the Valley Floor. Those in Mountain Village can hop on Jurassic or Meadows trails. Maps are sold at the bookstore or in sporting goods stores, and bike rentals are available in either Mountain Village or Telluride.

When you and I pass on the trail, I suspect I'll see you grinning. And then, I guess, I'll follow your back tire down the trail, too.

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