On two wheels: E-biking my way to the Maroon Bells for the first time
Of all the iconic rides around Aspen — Independence Pass arguably tops this list — the trek to the Maroon Bells is an absolute must for any cyclist. Nearly three years after moving here, I finally “pedaled” my way to the Bells on Tuesday as part of a little media tour put on by Aspen Skiing Co.
I use the quotations because we rode an e-bike and that certainly made things easier. I’ve been to the Bells plenty of times, but that was my first time getting there via two wheels and it was my first time on an e-bike, ever. Long story short, that little motor has ruined cycling for me.
The reason for the e-bike ride was for us to check out the new Maroon Bells Basecamp at Aspen Highlands. Located inside the Four Mountain Sports retail shop next to the ticket office at Highlands, the free-to-check-out exhibit offers up historic photos of the iconic peaks and an interactive Instagram display that you can get on yourself by using the appropriate hashtags.
Now, about the ride to the Bells from Highlands. It’s not all that long — it took us about 30 minutes, one way, on the e-bike — but looks pretty miserable without a motor. Some day I’ll pedal my way up there sans motor, but Tuesday was not that day.
I’ll admit I was pretty taken to that e-bike. I still managed a great workout as it does require you to keep pedaling, but the extra kick the motor gave you to get up those small hills made life bearable. You won’t feel as accomplished by taking the e-bike route, but not all of us are built to make it there without one (I could never make it up Independence Pass without a motor …).
A thank-you goes to Tucker and her Aspen-Snowmass team for giving us the opportunity. Even to us locals, the Maroon Bells never get old and making the journey on two wheels, motor or not, was an incredible experience.
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The Snowmass Cross Country Center will not reopen its doors this winter for Nordic ski rentals or lessons, Ute Mountaineer staff confirmed Thursday.