I’m based in Santa Barbara and enjoy traveling to new places. My trips are usually inspired by a bike ride (or two), but that’s not always true. I document my rides, trips, and general life learnings here in hope that someone else might find benefit in what I say.
Coming from Santa Barbara, where it’s dry, rocky, and few opportunities to climb anything but dirt/ paved roads, one of my favorite things about rinding in the Vail area is the seemingly endless opportunity to stay on beautiful, lush singletrack for almost your entire ride.
One of my favorite rides in the Vail Valley is the Lost Lake Loop, which starts and finishes from downtown and links together a number of awesome trails on the north side of I70. The “destination” is Lost Lake, which is a beautiful, mountain lake, and a great place to stop for a snack. However, there is still a good amount of climbing to be done after reaching the lake.
“People come for the winters, but stay for the summers” is what the locals always say about Vail. Most people make their way out to Colorado’s biggest ski resort in the winter months, but never get to experience all the other great things that Vail has to offer when there’s no snow on the ground.
Santa Barbara is a very unique place to ride a mountain bike. The mountains around SB shoot up quickly out of the ocean (~4k feet), which makes for long, challenging climbs and steep descents. Most of the trails in the area were not built with mountain bike riding in mind–so most of them are only rideable in one direction (down).