Pete and I did a bike tour with my new setup this weekend, that new setup being me with some panniers instead of a trailer. The verdict is that they're way better than the trailer, the bike handles much better and you don't feel like you're pulling anything along (other than all the extra weight on the bike). No pictures to upload, they're all on Pete's camera but I'll put up a link or something when he gets around to it.
We started in Frisco early Saturday morning with some breakfast at The Butterhorn, and rode the bike path that parallels I-70 to Copper Mountain. Its a nice stretch of path, slightly uphill but nothing bad. It was a tad cold, but blue skies were abundant. We took the road up to Leadville, which goes over Fremont Pass, about 11,400 ft or something like that. It was a nice stretch of road with a good shoulder.
Once in Leadville, we ate lunch at a pretty sub par burger place and received a few stink eyes before rolling down the road towards Vail. This stretch goes over another pass, Tennessee Pass, about 10,600 ft. It was an easy stretch of road and at the top is the 10th Mountain Division WWII war memorial which is basically a big piece of marble and a turnoff to Ski Cooper, a small ski resort up in the mountains. We rode down into a valley and proceeded to the turn off to Mt Holy Cross, a 14er in the Rockies. We camped off this road at a pretty decent campsite and had burritos and wine for dinner. Let me mention the wine French Rabbit, its pretty decent and comes in a small 1L cardboard box so its perfect for packing along.
Throughout the night it sprinkled a bit, but since I have my new sleeping bag with a built-in bivy, I was very comfortable and got to enjoy sleeping with nothing between me and the sky. The next morning we had a little oatmeal and some hot tea and proceeded to head to Vail. It was much colder than the previous day, with Oregon-like overcast most of the time. In Vail, we went through the Saturday market (or technically Sunday) which is quite big and is mostly a ton of really delicious looking food. We were too cheap to partake and proceeded on up Vail pass, which is about 10 miles of climbing on a path that heads back to Copper Mountain. This stretch of the journey was challenging but really nice as there were no cars to deal with. It was a downhill ride from the summit, about 10,800 i believe, and a little tail wind made the journey to the car a piece of cake.
Overall, I'd say this is an excellent way to spend a weekend, its too bad I don't know more bike tourers as the more the merrier for this kind of thing!