Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 29 at the Black Bear Hole

Here's a one-minute video I made of kayakers at the Black Bear Hole.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lyons kids kayaking, river update, October Hole, & mountain bike update of Hall Ranch and Picture Rock Trail

Lyons Kids kayaking program

More than a half dozen kayakers were out at the October Hole today, including a couple kids from Berthoud. In fact, Jason Beausoleil is currently teaching a group of kids from Lyons, Berthoud, and elsewhere how to kayak, and two of the Lyons locals--Garett and Keagan Parker--are "picking things up so fast that they are going to be joining the cadet rodeo this June at the Lyons Outdoor Games." Cool!

The Town of Lyons has actually started a club that has signed up seven kids so far. They have been doing pool sessions in Longmont, and "the kids have been working hard and having a blast," says Beausoleil. "Some of them have learned to roll their kayaks upright already in just a few lessons--a skill that takes some adults months or years to learn!" The Town will be starting the program outdoors on Tuesday May 12th, and it will run every Tuesday and Thursday from 5-7 p.m. The kids will be learning all skills to navigate and control there kayaks. They work on strokes and fundamentals, boat control, self rescue techniques, and of course how to roll the kayak. For more information, visit the Town of Lyons Website.

I'll put photos of the kiddos on the blog in the next few days.

River Update

According to local kayaker and last year's Lyons Outdoor Games organizer Adam Schwartz, "The October Hole is "not loopable." I'm expecting more of a report from Adam later this evening.

Mountain Biking Update

According to Dave Chase at Redstone Cyclery, conditions on Hall Ranch and the first part of the Picture Rock Trail are excellent. He and the Tuesday night posse of hardcore Lyons residents (and friends) had a great time last night.


This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games

Mountain Flyer magazine features Lyons Outdoor Games

As reported on the Oskar Blues blog (thanks to Chad Melis for the photos), the latest issue of Mountain Flyer magazine features the Lyons Outdoor Games. Click here for more details on the mag.

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games, Lyons, Colorado

Sunny and gorgeous in Lyons, Colorado

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. The weather report said 70 degrees; it feels more like 55 here in Lyons, but it's still gorgeous. I'm going to head out this afternoon to see if I can get some video of some kayakers in action at the Black Bear Hole. I had a nice interview with former Wold Cup kayaking champion Scott Shipley on Monday. I'll post it by the end of the week.

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 pictures from LOG 2008

You can check out the entire set at's Flickr set HERE

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lyons Outdoor Update April 27

Today Lyons' residents awoke to a light smattering of snow, which melted by 8a.m. Now it's drizzly and cool, but the river is running high.

Scott Shipley on is three-hour excursion down the South Saint Vrain yesterday (his second time on the river in five years): "I liked it a lot. I forgot about how good it was until I got up there yesterday. It helped that Scott Young had been down it a lot. We didn't have to scout as much because he knows the river so well."

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lyons Pump Park in its beginning stages

The Lyons Pump Park has been designed. Work will begin on it the third week in May. Here are the designs for the park, provided by Glenn over at Bitterbrush Cycles.

Report from Scott Young on South Saint Vrain River kayaking & Hall Ranch report, April 26

Paddled low water mank on SSV today with Scott Shipley, Shane and Jakob. Adam and Arn showed up and watched us bumpety bump down the crick! It was minimum flow, and the phrase "Plastic is Fantastic!" kept rolling through my mind. First run on SSV for Shipley, who catches lots of eddies, just like a good slalom boater should. I catch eddies so I can catch my breath. I think he catches them for other reasons. Great to get the first paddle of the year in on my favorite home creek!
-Scott Young

In re: Hall Ranch...
Conditions on the trail were dry, good. Perfect. There were a lot of bikers out there.
-Madaleine Sorkin

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games, Lyons, Colorado.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lyons river and mountain bike

The day dawned sunny, cool and bright, though things have clouded up a bit since 9a.m. Last night it rained steadily, but lightly for a few hours last night. It drizzled on and off yesterday, but it probably didn't affect the trail conditions too seriously (at least if my still parched garden is any indication of Lyons' dirt ability to retain water). I suspect conditions are probably a bit wetter than they were a few days ago. I'll have a bike report later today as a few of my friends got out to Hall early and should be back afternoon sometime.

The river's running high. A couple fellows had an early morning session at the October Hole, but no one was there at 11a.m.

Here's a video of the Picture Rock Trail.
This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games, Lyons, Colorado.

Picture Rock Trail conditions today

Picture Rock Trail sure is rocky. It's also wet in a few spots, but mostly conditions on the trail are perfect (until it rains tomorrow). Dozens of bikers were out this morning as it was sunny and gorgeous, but not too hot. Here are some photos of the trail. I've got some video as well that I will post later.

The Picture Rock Trail is just one of the great trails Lyons has to offer. If you come for a visit or to see the Lyons Outdoor Games this June 12-14, bring your mountain bike. You can access this trail from the town of Lyons.

Lyons Outdoor Games update: pump track, sponsors, bike and kayak races, etc...

More than a dozen volunteers met to discuss the Lyons Outdoor Games last night at our fearless leader's house (Reed Farr). We discussed the South Saint Vrain creek race. Front Range resident and pro kayaker Kyle McCutchen, who was in attendance and who is helpling out with the Games, said the SSV is "world class" and is psyched to race in the creek boat race this year. "Hopefully water levels are high!" he added.

Good news on the bike front, all the plans are ready and supplies have been acquired and/or promised for the construction of the new pump park, according to Glenn over at Bitterbrush Cycles (the local bikeshop owner who spearheaded the building of the park). More news on that to come next week. If you want to volunteer building the pump park, please contact Dave Cosgrove at davec @ or stop in and see Glenn.

Other good news. We've got 30 sponsors on board now. Despite the recession, companies are recognizing that the possibilities with the Lyons Outdoor Games are endless. It is exciting to have these folks on board. We're looking for more local sponsors. If interested, please contact Dave at the email address above.

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games, Lyons, Colorado.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lefthand Report from Rockin Ron Burgundy

(as stolen from Redstone Cyclery blog today)

Rockin Ron Burgundy's morning glimpse of the Lefthand area.
I'll have photos of the entire Heil to Hall Ranch trail tomorrow afternoon.

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games, Lyons, Colorado.

More on river conditions

There were 10-15 kayakers at the Black Bear Hole (just below confluence) today as the flow was up to around 200-220 cfs because of the epic snowfall last week and the perfect springtime weather today.

-Reed Farr

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games, Lyons, Colorado.

River Update from Scott Shipley

River no good today—especially between 5 and 6 when I’ll be doing gates. Please tell your friends.
Scott Shipley, P.E.

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games, Lyons, Colorado.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This just in from local kayaker Scott Young

I just went over South St. Vrain, and it is at the minimum runnable flow of probably just north of 100 cfs. There is a "gauge rock" if you stand on the bridge where Old South crosses SSV, look upstream, and if the water is flowing over the flat rock located river left of center (viewer's right of center), then SSV is runnable.

I checked out Black Bear Hole and A-hole too, and both are looking great!

-Scott Young
Blue Sky Mortgage Group, Inc.

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games, Lyons, Colorado.

Where to find information on kayaking conditions in Lyons, Colorado

Hey all, for more information on kayaking conditions in Lyons, check out, and if you want to start and/or contribute to a forum topic on the subject of kayaking in Lyons, visit I'm working on getting some locals to provide some commentary, and I'll be taking photos and video over the next month. Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lyons Outdoor Games to be held at Sandstone Park, June 12-14

LYONS, CO (March 31, 2009) – The Smith Optics Lyons Outdoor Games, presented by Oskar Blues to be held at Sandstone Park June 12-14, 2009

The Smith Optics Lyons Outdoor Games, presented by Oskar Blues will be held Friday, June 12-14 in Lyons, Colo. In its 7th year, this thriving multi-sport competition now draws the country’s best whitewater kayakers and mountain bikers as well as thousands of spectators.

“People have really flocked to the Games in recent years,” says Lyons Parks and Recreation Director David Cosgrove. “The Lyons Outdoor Games are like the TEVA Mountain Games, but they have a much more hometown, grassroots feel to them. We have the world’s best professional athletes competing—such as kayakers Tao Berman, Joe Keck, and Scott Shipley, who actually lives here—but we also have plenty of opportunities for beginners to learn new skills and for the everyday athlete to test his mettle.”

The Games have also become a place for fly fishers to showcase their talents and for dog lovers to exhibit the aptitude of their well-trained pets. Organizers decided to add a significant number of new events in 2009, including more bike and kayak races, daily chainsaw carving exhibitions, and a skateboarding competition, among other things.

“These added events and the new central location will really help the Games evolve into one of the premier multi-sport competitions of its kind in the Rocky Mountain West”, says Reed Farr lead event organizer and Lyons resident. “I have been coming to the Games for several years, and it’s exciting to see how they have grown and how much the Town of Lyons residents and businesses have embraced the event”.

This year’s vendors and the bands will be located in the town’s centrally located Sandstone Park. The venue, says Cosgrove, will offer more visibility for the Games’ sponsors, who will have tents and equipment for sale during the three-day event. Plus, he adds, “it offers shaded, grassy areas for athletes to relax in between competitions and also for participants to get a beer, a snack, or listen to some of the great music that will be played all day.”

The mountain sports will take place throughout the town’s various world-class facilities: biking events (including the new pump track) will be located in Bohn Park, freestyle kayaking will take place at the Black Bear Hole, slalom kayaking will occur at the October Hole, and the creek race will happen on the South Saint Vrain River. Additionally, the dog events will take place at the Lyons Valley River Park Ponds for dog events, and the Kurt Carlson Skateboard Park will be the location for the skateboarding comp.

The event begins with a kick-off party in Sandstone Park, sponsored by Oskar Blues. Delicious BBQ and the brewery’s signature Dales Pale Ale will be served, in addition to a variety of other fine beers. Saturday’s events start with some bike comps in Bohn Park and a kayak rodeo at the Black Bear Hole (on the east side of Lyons across from the Black Bear Restaurant). Spectator friendly competitions will be held throughout the weekend including freestyle kayaking and creek racing on the Class V waters of the South St. Vrain, mountain bike short track racing and jump competitions. The dogs will be competing for speed and splash in the speed retrieve and canine cannonball competitions.

The Games also include clinics. “If you’re interested in casting a fly rod or learning how to loop a kayak, this is the event to attend,” Cosgrove adds. “We’ve got some of the world’s most elite athletes on board to teach these classes and do demos.”

“The volunteers and sponsors are already getting excited about this year’s Games,” adds Cosgrove. “If the success and numbers of participants and spectators of the past few years indicate anything it’s that this year’s event is going to be the biggest yet.”

Camping will be available in Meadow Park.

To register online please go to If you have any questions please call Lyons Parks and Recreation at 303-823-8250 or email

Lyons weather, outdoor activities, and other musings

Today temps will reach in the 80s here in sunny Lyons, Colo. From my front porch, I enjoy a stellar view of a large swath of Hall Ranch open space. The sprawling landscape is just turning green, the frogs are going nuts in the numerous ponds that have formed in the old quarries, and the birds have started their dueling songs (my territory, no mine, ooo look a worm, I need to get some action...).

Despite the heavy rainfall over the past weekend, things are drying up quickly around here. I'll be out running Hall Ranch later this afternoon, chasing some of my friends as they bike up the steeper, technical sections (click here for info on this fabulous mountain bike/running trail).
According to Dave Chase, owner of Lyons' own Redstone Cyclery, there are some muddy spots, but the riding's good. I stole a couple photos off his website ... To see more photos, read his musings, and find out general trail conditions in the area visit his Redstone Cyclerly blog.

The river is raging, loudly. It puts me to sleep at night, like white noise. I haven't seen any kayakers yet, but I'm sure they're going to be hitting the water as soon as they realize how raging it is. For information on the Lyons playpark, click here. I'll try to get some information on local conditions to post here over the next few days. Until then, happy spring days!
-Lizzy Scully
Lyons Outdoor Game PR

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lyons Outdoor Games, the Front Range's only community organized multisport event

In Lyons, Colorado, miles of the Front Range’s best mountain bike trails weave through the rocky desert landscape of Hall and Heil ranches, up over sandstone buttresses and down through sage-filled ravines. And two rivers—The North and South St. Vrains—converge in town, their winding paths offering world class creek boating, a fun kayak playpark and plenty of flyfishing. The 1,500 locals know their town is a Mecca for outdoor adventure sports, and now, because of the fast growing grassroots event—the Lyons Outdoor Games—thousands of people throughout the West are also beginning to recognize the opportunities it offers.

The Games grew from a one-day event celebrating the “grand opening” of the $300,000 playpark, which was built in 2003. Because spectatorship and participation were surprisingly high, Lyons locals decided to expand the event to three days and to include other sports—mountain & BMX biking, flyfishing, skateboarding, rock climbing, a 5K, etc.

Though similar in nature to the X-Games and TEVA Mountain Games, the Lyons Outdoor Games differs in that it’s an almost exclusively volunteer run event and all proceeds go directly to town’s Parks & Rec department. Driven by their shared love of adventure sports and a desire to boost the Town’s image, volunteers put in hundreds of hours organizing each aspect of the event.

“Lyons has always been a community of volunteers,” says Lyons Parks and Recreation Director, Dave Cosgrove. “What makes this event special is that there are also many amazing local athletes who participate. It’s good to see the community take ownership in the events that it participates in.”