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Postcard from Erie, CO, our latest Little Bellas chapter

Erie's big secret

There’s some risk to blabbing about how great Erie, Colo. is because it may be that residents want to keep it a secret. That Erie is not Boulder or Denver may be most appealing, then add to that the fact that 99 percent of Erie residents have access to at least one of Erie’s 16 or more parks within a mile of their home, and that it’s one of the top three places to live in Colorado, then it’s pretty amazing that Erie has managed to keep a low profile.

Resident mountain bikers in the mood for flowy singletrack can find that on Erie’s west side or they can session the pump track options to the east of town. Colorado averages 300 days of sunshine per year, which is a tasty little statistic for anyone who savors outdoor recreation. This abundant sun (synonymous with “fun”) is also the reason why the trails will be dry once Little Bellas inaugurates its Erie chapter next July.

Introducing Kristal Boni

Kristal Boni leads by following
Kristal Boni (right)

Little Bellas already has a presence in Boulder and Lakewood, which is great for girls who live there but the demand for more Little Bellas chapters led Erie chapter lead, Kristal Boni, to conclude that bringing Little Bellas to Erie was a “no brainer.” Kristal also reasoned that moving the program farther east would reach new families.

“Boulder is famously a hotbed for cycling, and that extends to families, with many girls coming in with extensive experience, even racing,” Kristal said. “Erie is a little more laid back and low key, so there could be a nice contrast.”

Kristal got into mountain biking several years ago and quickly found that she loved the challenge of figuring out the trails and obstacles. This kind of head game sharpens one’s ability to think fast but also provides enough mental distraction to get “away from it all.” Mountain biking yields many lifelong benefits – most of which riders gradually discover on their own with a little helpful guidance. Kristal and her team of mentors will gently lead the way on this path to self-discovery, where motivation springs from the anticipated outcome of their efforts.

Is Little Bellas all fun and games?

Little Bellas Give It a Whirl Day in Erie, Coloroado 2019
Little Bellas hosted a Give It a Whirl Day in Erie in August for girls to try out Little Bellas

“What I’m looking forward to most about bringing Little Bellas to Erie is getting more girls on bikes in my community in a way that isn't intimidating,” Kristal said. “It's incredible watching the girls gain confidence and create friendships that often extend beyond the program. Fun is the biggest priority (after safety of course!).”

After a solid session in the saddle in this former mining town, it’s only fitting to go for pizza or BBQ at The Old Mine. There’s also the Lazy Dog and the Rusty Melon for tried-and-true pub food. Or flip the script and eat dessert first at Sweets Ice Cream, which sources locally made ice cream.

Erie won’t be a secret for much longer, as evidenced by the double-digit population growth in the last 10 years. Wanna’ know the secret to Erie’s attraction? It’s people like Kristal Boni, whose altruistic will resonates throughout a community that values the well-being of its residents.

Registration for the Erie chapter of Little Bellas opens on February 1, 2020. To learn more about the new chapter, visit the program description here While you're there, follow the "Register" link to sign up for a reminder to let you know when registration is open!

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