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Nature & Wildlife
2014 May
Pg 10 - The Sunshine Express
Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail, Glenwood
Springs to Dotsero, 16 miles one way:
The trailhead is located just behind the Yam-
pah Spa and Vapor Caves, near Glenwood Hot
Springs. After roughly a half-mile, it crosses
a few hours in the saddle and for families
looking for rides that can accommodate
different ages and abilities,¡± Langer said.
The Trails
Rio Grande Trail, Glenwood Springs to
Aspen, 42 miles one way:
The Rio Grande Trail offers riders 42
miles of continuous multi-use surface and
is protected from vehicular traffic except
at intersections. The rails-to-trails project
is built along the historic Denver and Rio
Grande Western (D&RGW) railway and
is paved with the exception of a four-mile
section at the trail¡¯s eastern end between
Woody Creek and Stein Park in Aspen.
The surface in this section, however, is
well-maintained, hard-packed gravel that
can be ridden with a road bike. Between
Cycling Made Easy
Paved trails in Glenwood area ready to ride
When it comes to warm-weather activities in
Glenwood Springs, cycling tops the town¡¯s list of
outdoor pursuits, along with soaking in the Glen-
wood Hot Springs Pool and riding the thrill rides
at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Smooth
riding surfaces that extend 42 miles south and 16
miles east of Glenwood Springs provide plenty of
places to pedal for seasoned road biking enthusi-
asts and occasional riders alike.
Despite its location in one of the most mountain-
ous regions in the state, many of Glenwood¡¯s trails
are surprisingly easy rides, making them ideal for
families who may have riders of varying levels of
skill and endurance. Thanks to grades that follow
rivers and rail corridors, ascents and descents are
relatively gradual, with only a few exceptions. Of
course, while the grade is typically easy to moder-
ate, the challenge for road bikers is to accumulate
miles. Round trip from Glenwood Springs to As-
pen is 84 miles, an excellent early-season training
ride.
¡°Glenwood Springs is the ultimate bike-friendly
town, and spring is when the wheels start rolling,¡±
said Lisa Langer, vice president of tourism mar-
keting for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort
Association. Indeed, the city welcomes cyclists and
is often a stop on two of the state¡¯s biggest cycling
tours: Bicycle Tour of Colorado and Colorado Ride
the Rockies. Though both bike tours will stop in
other towns this year, Glenwood Springs¡¯ trails
provide a scenic and safe place to train for distance
rides. ¡°Glenwood¡¯s recreational trails are equally
ideal for road bikers who want to spend
trails that intersect with the Rio Grande Trail in
Snowmass Village and Carbondale enable riders
to explore even further. The Rio Grande Trail is
currently open to cyclists.
For cyclists who want to ride one way between
Glenwood Springs and Aspen, the Roaring Fork
Transit Authority¡¯s (RFTA) Bike Bus is the way to
go. Operating weekends from mid-June through
the end of August, the Bike Express is outfitted
to carry up to 14 bikes. From several stops in
Glenwood Springs, visitors can ride to Ruby Park
in Aspen, where it¡¯s easy to connect to the Rio
Grande trailhead for over 40 miles of cruising on
a gentle grade. See RFTA¡¯s website: www.rfta.
com/bikesonbuses.html for rates and schedules.
opens in late March or early April. It closes oc-
casionally during high spring runoff. Signs are
posted during closures, but local bike shops are
often the best source of seasonal trail information.
Cyclists can ride out and back or take a shuttle
through one of the bike rental shops to the Dotsero
rest area and pedal mostly downhill back to town.
The majority of leisure riders can easily cycle the
entire distance within three hours. For road bikers,
this trail provides convenient access from town for
a workout ride that still leaves time to enjoy other
Glenwood Springs activities.
The Details: Rentals, Shuttles & Tours
Glenwood Canyon Bikes:
www.canyonbikes.com
Glenwood Adventure Company:
www.glenwoodadventure.com
Glenwood Activities:
www.glenwoodactivities.com
MG Cycle and Sport:
www.mgcycleandsport.com
Mountain Sports Outlet:
www.mountainsportsoutlet.com
Sunlight Ski & Bike Shop:
www.sunlightmtn.com/rental-shop
In addition to the almost 60 miles of paved trails,
Glenwood¡¯s biking trails traverse the region¡¯s
diverse topography and provide access to other
recreational amenities like fishing holes on the
Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers, wildlife view-
ing areas, picnic spots, hiking trails and other
towns, such as Carbondale, Basalt and Aspen.
Pet Health: Be aware - hairballs are the natural
result of your cat¡¯s grooming behavior
Believe it or not, April 25 was Hairball Aware-
ness Day, one of the pet-health awareness events
recognized by the American Veterinary Medical
Association.
If you have a pet cat, you¡¯re probably plenty
aware of hairballs: We find them on the carpet and
accidentally step on them when we wake up, an
unpleasant experience that triggers memory of
hearing hacking in the middle of the night. Ugh.
The medical term for hairball is ¡®trichobezoar¡¯.
These masses accumulate in the digestive systems
of animals that groom themselves, including cats,
rabbits, cattle, even llamas. And hairballs are often
no laughing matter for some species, sometimes
requiring surgical removal because they may
cause cause obstructions and dangerous medical
conditions.
In cats, hairballs are a natural consequence of good
grooming and typically are expelled. The sound
a cat makes when evacuating a hairball is scary, a
cross between a cough and a gag; the cat¡¯s facial
expressions are equally startling.
Why does this happen?
The projections on a cat¡¯s tongue, which cause it
to feel rough, are designed to clean off dead hairs
in order to keep a cat¡¯s coat smooth and sleek, the
mark of a feline predator. As pet cats groom, hair
moves to the gut and on to the litter box.
Sometimes, however, hair hangs up in the stomach
or upper intestine and collects fluids and bile. At
this point, the trichobezoar becomes a round or
tubular mass and must be expelled by vomiting.
Hairball Help
Interstate 70 and then
follows the Colorado
River through Glen-
wood Canyon for 16
miles of stunning scen-
ery. Along the way,
the trail intersects with
four rest areas, No
Name, Grizzly Creek,
Hanging Lake and
Bair Ranch, making it
easy to cycle smaller
portions of the trail
and connect to other
recreational pursuits,
including the Hanging
Lake trailhead. Barring
any late-season snow-
storms, the Glenwood
Canyon Recreation
Path traditionally
¡®Rio Grande Trail¡¯ by Glenwood Springs Tourism
well-maintained, hard-packed gravel that
can be ridden with a road bike. Between
Glenwood Springs and Aspen, the trail gains
roughly 2,100 feet in elevation over 42 miles,
a gentle incline that makes for an enjoyable
ride. Many cyclists choose to do portions of
the trail, such as Glenwood Springs to Car-
bondale. Along the way, bikers can take in
the sights: historic old ranch buildings, bald
eagles soaring above the river, herds of elk
passing the hours in wide open meadows and
majestic Mount Sopris in the distance. Spoke