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Perfect Weekend: Winter

Tools for the Transitory:
Celebrating Trail and Snow

When those first few warm days arrive at the end of winter, the Western Slope is able to indulge in a perfect multi-sport weekend of snow and dirt. The Grand Valley is still far from leafing out, but a drier winter has afforded much more trail riding. The Grand Mesa and many other nearby alpine areas will be muddy in coming months, but for now they are covered by a benevolent snow pack. Whether you choose to spend a weekend or even a single day experiencing the topography changes between the desert vistas of Fruita and the powdery glades of the Grand Mesa, a perfect weekend of snow and singletrack calls for just a little while longer. 

It's a perfect weekend like the ones myself and many coworkers have enjoyed recently which drives home the elegance of movement by bike and ski. Lifts, cars, and other machines have established roles in our recreative spaces, but the well-made bicycle or set of skis are what grant efficiency and momentum to human movement without any outside energy input (except for plenty of Honey Stinger chews). 

In praise of tools such as these, philosopher Ivan Illich wrote, “Individuals need tools to move and to dwell. They need remedies for their diseases and means to communicate with one another. People cannot make all these things for themselves. They depend on being supplied with objects and services which vary from culture to culture. Some people depend on the supply of food and others on the supply of ball bearings.” 

We experience these tools as a form of liberation because they give us what we cannot have on our own: a heightened efficiency with which to be present in more of our world. They place us in the elements, invite exertion, and remind us how to play. Whether breaking powder, gliding on crust, or clearing a new rock garden, we aren't escaping time and place— we're embracing them in our individual ways. 

Josh’s perfect weekend combined a gravel ride connecting Hawkeye Road, Highway 6, and 1.8 Road out to the Utah border and back, with endless laps at Powderhorn. His Revel R+ is outfitted with Revel’s carbon wheels, a Brooks saddle, and a Revelate Designs Jerrycan frame bag full of Skratch chews which fueled his ride.

Kevin traveled the farthest from Fruita for the snow portion of his weekend, since he skinned up Red Mountain and enjoyed the epic views of the San Juans on the first day of his perfect weekend. The next day he did a techy ride at Third Flats on a Santa Cruz Tallboy and enjoyed the relative solitude.

Aaron began his perfect weekend with a homemade latte with Best Slope's Ethiopia blend, followed by a skin up Maverick at Powderhorn and a few laps on the lift. The next day Aaron took out his Pivot Firebird for some fun on the Kokopelli trails, followed up with some snacks from Skip's Farm to Market and a latte around the corner at Best Slope.

Megan’s perfect weekend started with a quick stop at Best Slope before driving up to the Grand Mesa’s Skyway trails for a picnic and an afternoon of skate skiing. Her perfect weekend also included a more mellow gravel shakeout the next day out and back on Mitchell Road on a Revel R+, dipping into Kessel Run on drop bars, followed by dinner at Karma Kitchen in downtown Fruita. She ended this perfect weekend by riding Lunch Loops the next day on a the Pivot Trail 429. 

Whether you prefer gravity or exertion, solo exploration or the group outing, the Western Slope offers unique adventures at all elevations. While we wait for the big bike adventures of the Palisade Plunge and Whole Enchilada, embracing the snow along with Fruita's dry singletrack can be the perfect way to celebrate what won't last forever.