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BackCountry - Wild at Heart

Bike trails and clinics and snow cones, oh yes.

by | July 15th, 2015

With three separate trail systems winding through the breathtaking open space behind the Sundial House, it’s no surprise that BackCountry is a biker’s dream come true. Or that BackCountry has planned its first bike clinic.

Scheduled for 9am-noon on Saturday, August 8, the BackCountry Bike Clinic will be led by five-time World and 10-time National Xterra Off-Road Champion Cindi Toepel, of Energy Xperience. But don’t let her prowess intimidate you. This clinic is geared toward beginner and intermediate riders who will learn how to properly stay upright, handle corners with ease, negotiate small obstacles, and minimize the boo-boos. Instruction will be followed by a trail ride. While all levels are welcome, advanced riders may prefer to contact Cindi directly for advanced instruction outside of the event.


Kids (stable riders ages 7-11) will have their own clinic from 9:15am-10:15am, while adults (ages 12 and up) will meet from 10:30am-11:45am. Both clinics will take place on the BackCountry trails just behind the Sundial House.  A local bike shop will offer bike safety checks and a Highlands Ranch Park Ranger will talk about BackCountry wildlife you might encounter. Music, snacks, and drinks—including beer—will be available after the adult clinic.

This inaugural event is hosted by residents Craig Wilmes and Marni Hall, realtors at Realty One Group Premier. As an avid biker, Craig hopes the event will tempt even more people out on the trails. Craig hits the trails three to four times a week, meeting up with 8-10 neighbors on Saturday mornings. One set of trails is private to BackCountry residents, consisting of two big loops with two smaller inner loops. Craig says, “These trails are fairly tame, well maintained, and I like them because I can basically figure eight the loops however I like.”

These trails connect to the Douglas County East-West Regional Trail system and the Highlands Ranch private trails. “Both systems are very well maintained and offer various degrees of difficulty from ‘not-too-bad’ to ‘that-was-really-hard,’” says Craig. “Make sure to carry your Highlands Ranch ID card with you as I’ve actually been stopped twice by Park Rangers to make sure I was a resident.” (Which means that your lovely backyard wilderness area will never feel overrun with cyclists from all over the metro area.) On the trails, you might see prairie dogs, owls, coyotes, turkey, deer, and the occasional eagle.

BackCountry Family biking

Although Craig and his family have lived in BackCountry since 2011, he only ventured out onto the trails two years ago. After just one ride, he was hooked. “I love the BackCountry trails,” he said. “And the community too, the look of it and all the events.” And now he’s kicking off an event that he hopes turns into a regular one. To his fellow residents, he says, “Don’t wait like I did to jump on your bike and give it a try. If you’re ever interested in going out with other riders, meet our group at the corner of Tiger Lily and Meadowleaf Lane around 8am on most Saturdays throughout the summer.”

Please note that the clinic is a free event, but you must register and sign a waiver at by Wednesday, August 5. The event is open only to BackCountry residents and their guests. You must provide your own mountain bike, helmet, and water. For questions, please contact John Lyon at the Sundial House at 303-346-2800 or Craig Wilmes at 303-810-7299.

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  1. […] degrees of difficulty from ‘not-too-bad’ to ‘that was really hard.’” An avid biker, Craig hosted a community bike clinic in August and encourages fellow bikers to join him and a group of fellow riders each Saturday […]

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