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A Pretty Nice Little Friday

June 25, 2013

Last Friday, I found myself in a position I hadn’t been in for quite a while: a day off from work with nowhere to be and no plans to speak of.  On a beautiful summer day in the Vail Valley, that translates to heaven.

After sleeping in and putting a coffee date on the books, I had enough time to jump on my road bike for a quick ride.  I wanted to get a good workout before meeting my friend in about an hour and a half, so I decided to climb up Cresta Road in Arrowhead.

Cresta Road

If you live in (or are visiting) Edwards and are looking for a quick climb, I can’t recommend a better one than this.  You’re riding up a mountain, so it’s an excellent workout, but it’s shorter and less steep than Strawberry Park, Bachelor’s Gulch or Bellyache.  The climb itself is only about 2.5 miles.  In other words, perfectly doable.

Cresta Road

Peddling up Cresta, I passed townhouses, beautiful vacation homes and stands of aspens.  After the first couple of switchbacks, the views down to the valley opened up and it was lovely to gaze down beneath the blue sky.

Cresta Road

Speaking of switchbacks, this road does have quite a few hairpin turns.  So these handy mirrors are really nice for cyclists to help you see if there are any cars approaching.  One of the best things about this ride, however, is that there is hardly any traffic.  I think I passed maybe 3 cars during my whole ride, and the speed limit is only 20 mph, which you’ll probably exceed on your way down.

Cresta Road Ride

The climb is steady, getting steeper as you approach the summit.  I dropped down to my granny gear about 3/4 of the way up, but stronger cyclists (and the late-summer version of me, if I remember correctly) won’t even need it.  Just when you’re starting to feel the grind, you’ll come to a hard left turn and then the summit.

Cresta Road View

Ride to the cul-de-sac at the top, gawk at the monstrously huge ski homes, and get ready to fly down.

Cresta Climb

Arrowhead View

Just be careful around those corners, ok?

Cresta Descent

Door-to-door from Riverwalk in Edwards, this ride took me around 45 minutes (I didn’t time it exactly), even dilly dallying to take these photos.

Back in town, I met a girlfriend for an iced latte and a walk by the river, followed by a lunch date with my guy.  After heading home for a shower, I went back out, by car this time and in the direction of Vail.  I met a friend at the driving range in Vail to hit some balls.

Vail Golf

I’m not exactly what you’d call a golfer, but I’m having fun trying this summer.  Plus, the Vail Golf Course’s driving range is the prettiest place I’ve found yet to hit a bucket of balls.

Vail Driving Range

Vail Golf Lilacs

It is situated so that you are hitting directly into the Gore Range.  The driving range is close enough to I-70 to see from the highway, so I’d always assumed that it would be loud and unpleasant.  This was my first time there, and within the first couple of minutes I forgot that the highway was there at all.

Vail Driving Range

On this sunny, blue sky day, I couldn’t imagine a prettier place to swing a club.  I suppose it didn’t hurt that I was hitting the ball decently as well.

Vail Driving Range

Vail Driving Range

After golfing, I even had time to stop by Home Depot to pick up some flowers to plant by my front door.  I’m no longer the only neighbor on the block without any greenery!

Home Depot -> Post title reference… yes I’m a dork.

From there it was home to work on a few projects and then out on the town for drinks with friends.  I hope you had a great weekend and are soaking up summer!

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