The golden years never looked more righteous than at the Starbucks inside the flagship REI store, which acts as a hub for cyclists who have all day to ride -- and the looks to prove it. Converging in droves from the Platte River, Clear Creek and Cherry Creek bike paths, senior cyclists stop here for their mid-morning beverage break. Bike racks are placed conveniently next to a paved pathway leading to a scenic patio where java junkies can check out the aging action; about 10 a.m. on summer weekdays is peak time. You'll be counting the minutes until you're eligible for that AARP discount.

Longtime Colorado mountain dweller, avid third-generation skier and keeper of a vintage ski museum Richard Allen is more than a collector. He wears his love for dated clothing and equipment -- wooden skis, bindings, lace-up boots -- on his sleeve and everywhere else, and he's known for dressing like he just stepped out of a 1950s ski-town snow globe, all reindeer sweaters and low-tech woolen stirrup pants. Now he's found a way to share his zeal: Vintage Ski World is lined with antique skis, boots and poles, classic posters and other memorabilia, just when old-style is suddenly good style on the slopes.


Longtime Colorado mountain dweller, avid third-generation skier and keeper of a vintage ski museum Richard Allen is more than a collector. He wears his love for dated clothing and equipment -- wooden skis, bindings, lace-up boots -- on his sleeve and everywhere else, and he's known for dressing like he just stepped out of a 1950s ski-town snow globe, all reindeer sweaters and low-tech woolen stirrup pants. Now he's found a way to share his zeal: Vintage Ski World is lined with antique skis, boots and poles, classic posters and other memorabilia, just when old-style is suddenly good style on the slopes.

At a time when it seems that every ski area is turning into a real-estate venture with a faux Ye Olde Alpine Village at its base, Loveland is a welcome throwback. The runs may be shorter than those at nearby mega-resorts, but what you get in return is priceless. There are no condos or ski-in, ski-out chalets slopeside, no golf course to pull in guests when the snow is gone. In other words, the only reason to come here is the riding. Parking is free, and even if you're on the far edges of the lot, you're never more than a three-minute walk to the lift. Unlike the resorts on the far side of the Divide, there is also no atmosphere of privilege suffocating the place. The food is reasonably priced -- ask the french-fry guy to pile your plate high; he will -- and the people who work at Loveland all seem to love what they do. Families come here year after year for the short drive, the homey feel and the prices: A kid's full-day lesson costs about 40 percent less than it does at a resort just up the road.

Loveland Ski Area
At a time when it seems that every ski area is turning into a real-estate venture with a faux Ye Olde Alpine Village at its base, Loveland is a welcome throwback. The runs may be shorter than those at nearby mega-resorts, but what you get in return is priceless. There are no condos or ski-in, ski-out chalets slopeside, no golf course to pull in guests when the snow is gone. In other words, the only reason to come here is the riding. Parking is free, and even if you're on the far edges of the lot, you're never more than a three-minute walk to the lift. Unlike the resorts on the far side of the Divide, there is also no atmosphere of privilege suffocating the place. The food is reasonably priced -- ask the french-fry guy to pile your plate high; he will -- and the people who work at Loveland all seem to love what they do. Families come here year after year for the short drive, the homey feel and the prices: A kid's full-day lesson costs about 40 percent less than it does at a resort just up the road.

Most professional snowboarders are all about themselves: What move can I bust today? Will my picture be in the next magazine spread? Breckenridge's Jesse Csincsak is the rare exception: a snowboarder who gives back to his sport. Four years ago, the Ohio native started J-SAK Snowboarding, a non-profit corporation that raised money -- and then gave it away to promising young riders. The cash isn't about to make anyone rich; a season pass and some tournament entry fees are standard endowments from J-SAK. But for a demographic that is marginally employed to begin with, a few extra bucks can keep a boarder in ramen for an entire season.


Most professional snowboarders are all about themselves: What move can I bust today? Will my picture be in the next magazine spread? Breckenridge's Jesse Csincsak is the rare exception: a snowboarder who gives back to his sport. Four years ago, the Ohio native started J-SAK Snowboarding, a non-profit corporation that raised money -- and then gave it away to promising young riders. The cash isn't about to make anyone rich; a season pass and some tournament entry fees are standard endowments from J-SAK. But for a demographic that is marginally employed to begin with, a few extra bucks can keep a boarder in ramen for an entire season.

With the traffic and crowds, sometimes you just have to leave the I-70 corridor to get a relaxing skiing experience. Try driving west another hour to Glenwood Springs. Ten miles outside the city, you'll find Sunlight, a nostalgic world away from the hustle and bustle of the Summit County madhouse. Decent-sized -- the longest ride is four miles long -- Sunlight sells lift tickets all season for only $36, 1980 prices at most other resorts. Parking is free; a studio rental in the well-worn, nearly forty-year-old ski-in, ski-out Brettelberg condos is just $120 a night; and a lift line is as rare a sighting as a Yeti.

Sunlight Mountain Resort
Courtesy Sunlight Mountain Resort Facebook page
With the traffic and crowds, sometimes you just have to leave the I-70 corridor to get a relaxing skiing experience. Try driving west another hour to Glenwood Springs. Ten miles outside the city, you'll find Sunlight, a nostalgic world away from the hustle and bustle of the Summit County madhouse. Decent-sized -- the longest ride is four miles long -- Sunlight sells lift tickets all season for only $36, 1980 prices at most other resorts. Parking is free; a studio rental in the well-worn, nearly forty-year-old ski-in, ski-out Brettelberg condos is just $120 a night; and a lift line is as rare a sighting as a Yeti.

The logic of snowshoeing became apparent around here two years ago this March, when some blizzard-socked folks used the devices to get from their living rooms to their garages. But snowshoeing has benefits beyond survival -- and 'S No Wonder! Tours, run out of the Breckenridge Nordic Center, offers folks the chance to get on the mountain without being run over by a crazed snow-cyclist. A half-day trip up Peak 7 to the Hallelujah Hut is just the thing to make winter cool again.


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