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  1. #1
    Yen
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    Road trip w/bikes in Colorado and surrounding states

    We'll be attending the 50+ BF members annual ride on August 31, driving from California with our bikes.

    We've decided to turn this relatively short excursion into a 2-week "road-trip-by-car, scenic-adventure-on-bikes" through CO and the surrounding states including (in no particular order yet) WY, UT, NM, and AZ --- and, if there's time, NE and ID. The last stop will be at my brother's in AZ before heading home.

    Since we'll have our bikes with us, we'd like to drive through or visit areas where we can ride on as many days as possible on routes that meet the following criteria:
    -- scenic
    -- a little hilly OK; very hilly not OK (again, scenic adventure is our primary objective)
    -- suitable for road bikes
    -- low-traffic
    -- 20-50 miles/day ----- however, mileage is not our primary objective on this trip

    I'm looking for suggestions for scenic/interesting routes (by car) leading to scenic/interesting places to visit near bike-friendly roads or path (is this asking too much? ). We love road trips and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

    Also, any suggestions for on-line resources (e.g. Bikely) to help our research.
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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    During September, I would ride near Cedar City UT: http://www.adventurecycling.org/rout...cliffsloop.cfm

    I would ride the Arches National Monument near Moab, UT. If RV traffic is too heavy, then just drive it. It's a do-not-miss location.

    I would visit Telluride CO.

    These locations are along the way as you return to AZ or CA.

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  3. #3
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Great idea Yen! We're planning to head to Moab when we first get in and I hoped to do a little riding out there-I recall the road along the river to particularly scenic and had not thought about riding the road in Arches but will consider that. I also hoped to get in a loop in Grand Junction around Colorado Monument. You need lights both front and rear for that according to the parks rules!!

    I would probably attempt even more but the golf clubs are traveling with me too!

  4. #4
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    Great idea Yen! We're planning to head to Moab when we first get in and I hoped to do a little riding out there-I recall the road along the river to particularly scenic and had not thought about riding the road in Arches but will consider that. I also hoped to get in a loop in Grand Junction around Colorado Monument. You need lights both front and rear for that according to the parks rules!!

    I would probably attempt even more but the golf clubs are traveling with me too!
    jppe, I've never had lights when I rode the Monument loop and I certainly don't think it's a big deal. They do enforce the ride in single file rule though (you wouldn't know that from the pics I've posted ). There will be a use fee unless you have a National Park Access card.

    The bike path from Frisco to Copper and then up Vail Pass is a great ride too. It will be much, much cooler up there than in GJT. The grade up Vail Pass on the east side isn't too bad, I remember from the TBP. There is one switchback that's about it.

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    I'd consider northern New Mexico - base yourself in Santa Fe or Taos and research some road rides in and around the area. Also, plenty of mountain bikes locally for rent if you want to go off road. The elevation is high enough that it's usually not that hot this time of year.

    If you make it to Wyoming, there are some low-traffic roads and paths in and around Grand Teton National Park. Off season, you can get a great room at the Jackson Hole ski village (Teton Village), which is north of the town of Jackson and just south of the entrance to Grand Teton National Park.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 08-09-09 at 06:50 PM.

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    Yen:

    May I suggest the New Mexico Touring Society for some routes.

    http://www.nmts.org/

    This may also be of interest.

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...cy&context=all

    We would have loved to make the ride but the date is after the start of public schools down here so Mr. Mono is back in the classroom.

    Regards,
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I'd consider northern New Mexico - base yourself in Santa Fe or Taos and research some road rides in and around the area. Also, plenty of mountain bikes locally for rent if you want to go off road. The elevation is high enough that it's usually not that hot this time of year.

    If you make it to Wyoming, there are some low-traffic roads and paths in and around Grand Teton National Park. Off season, you can get a great room at the Jackson Hole ski village, which is north of the town of Jackson and just south of the entrance to Grand Teton National Park.
    I've done the ride From Teton Village to Moose and then through the back road in Park to the Jenny Lake loop and back. Great ride. Not sure I would ride in Jackson itself though. There are a few bike paths heading out of Jackson.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    You can check our blog for ideas. My strongest recommendation would be Zion National Park. Road is closed to most cars, pavement is great, scenery indescribable.

    http://carbiketrip.blogspot.com/2009...n-to-zion.html
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

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    [QUOTE=Yen;9450365]

    Since we'll have our bikes with us, we'd like to drive through or visit areas where we can ride on as many days as possible on routes that meet the following criteria:
    -- scenic
    -- a little hilly OK; very hilly not OK (again, scenic adventure is our primary objective)
    -- suitable for road bikes
    -- low-traffic
    -- 20-50 miles/day ----- however, mileage is not our primary objective on this trip

    I/QUOTE]

    Albuquerque is moderately less hilly then Santa Fe, but a lot busier - it's a city of 600,000 or so, so I'd recommend SF or Taos. Northern NM is pretty much all at 7,000 ft or so and that makes any hills, easier or hard, into a hard ride until you acclimate. This is true of Colorado too, BTW.

    I could type all night with an endless list of road rides that meet your criteria for NM, except that nothing really is all that flat. New Mexico is somewhat tougher then Colorado, IMO, as the roads are older and tend to not have as gentle a gradient. Thus eventually you end up riding hills, at altitude. There are also not as many paved roads that allow loops, most roads leave town and go on for 200 miles, thus a lot of rides are out and back.

    That said, you can do a 40 mile loop around the Santa Fe area by linking roads that are all on Google maps, north a bit, then west and SW, then south and back into town, and never really get bored.

    Ditto ABQ, as well as Colorado. Montrose, as example, is a great town, with a 40 mile RT that takes you up to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Nat'l Park and includes a screaming downhill all the way back to town. It also has 2,000 ft of climbing in 13 miles to the canyon rim, but that's pretty much the norm for riding in the west.

    Another ride in the Santa Fe area would be up to Truchas from Nambe (Rt 84/285 at Rt 503, via Rt 76), 40 miles RT, on what is know as the "High Road to Taos", with exceptional views to the west across the Rio Grande and to the Jemez Mountains. Climb is 1000ft. in 5 miles out of Chimayo.

    Another nice loop is the Bandelier loop from White Rock, either clockwise or CCW, Rt 4 to E Jemez Rd, up to Los Alamos, then Rt 501 up to the "Back Gate" at Rt 4, then Rt 4 down past Bandelier Nat'l Moneymint (Decent into the canyon adds a LOT of add'l climbing to get out !), then back around to White Rock. 27 miles, 2,000 ft in the first 10 miles, then a lot of rolling. Again, a scenic area.

    Bottom line for a lot of the northern NM area, is to get the best views, 'ya gotta' climb hills !.

    Steve B.



    Steve B.

  10. #10
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I did a 100 mile loop out of Taos a couple years ago-would agree there are some nice routes there.

  11. #11
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    Telluride! What a place; love it.
    If you're gonna be in that area, Ouray (You-Ray), SIlverton, Durango- lots of bikers in Durango area- check for clubs/Bikely/MapMyRide.
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  12. #12
    Pat
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    I have ridden Arches National Park on a bike. It was strange. There was lots of traffic. But no one seemed to really mind waiting behind my bike until it was safe to pass. It is a beautiful ride. Take plenty of water though, there is no water in the park past the visitor center.

    There are plenty of great bicycle rides out west. The ride over Trail Ridge Road is not an "easy" ride, but it is a bunch of fun.

    There is a very nice ride from Steamboat Springs to Hahn's Peak. The scenery changes frequently making the ride very interesting and the traffic was light when I did it.

    There is a nice loop from Durango to Silverton to Ouray to Telluride to Doloros to Mesa Verde to Durango.

    You might also think of going up to Banff and Jasper. The riding up there is very good but the window is pretty short... sort of like August.

  13. #13
    Yen
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    Thanks everyone! I appreciate all of your suggestions. We have a tentative route that we'll finalize and fine-tune and begin making reservations for places to stay and visit. While we certainly want to ride, we don't want to miss interesting historic sites, scenic drives and tours (e.g. train rides), and good eating along the way. We want it all in only 2 weeks covering thousands of miles.

    So many places to see, so little time...........
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    If your interested in Taos let me know and I'll give you as much info as I can.

  15. #15
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Lights ARE required by the National Park Service in Colorado National Monument tunnels. No lights, no go.

    The road over McClure Pass down into Hotchkiss and Crawford area, then Gunnison and finally Crested Butte is gorgeous. Crested Butte is on eof the prettiest places in Colorado.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaosWoman View Post
    If your interested in Taos let me know and I'll give you as much info as I can.
    Thank you, I'd appreciate any suggestions for things to see/eat/do in Taos. From Durango, CO, we'll head to Taos, then to Santa Fe.
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Lights ARE required by the National Park Service in Colorado National Monument tunnels. No lights, no go.

    The road over McClure Pass down into Hotchkiss and Crawford area, then Gunnison and finally Crested Butte is gorgeous. Crested Butte is on eof the prettiest places in Colorado.
    I've ridden the Monument Loop five times without ever having a light on my bike. I might have had a rear blinky for one or two loops because it is often on my bike. My brother never has had more than a rear blinky on his bike. I'm not saying they won't decide to enforce the rule he day you show up, just that it hasn't ever been an issue when I've ridden it. The tunnels are way shorter than the ones I routinely ride through on the BRP. There are only two as I remember, both on the East side.

    BTW, ride the Loop counterclockwise, from West to East. The descent on the East side is so much fun.

  18. #18
    cycling for 50 plus yrs colorado dale's Avatar
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    turquoise lake loop near leadville is beautiful

    http://www.coloradobicyclerides.com/...uoiseLake.html

    if you are not going to bike it drive independence pass between aspen and twin lakes

    since you are already in glenwood springs
    ride between new castle and ***** via harvey gap state park

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    I've ridden the Monument Loop five times without ever having a light on my bike. I might have had a rear blinky for one or two loops because it is often on my bike. My brother never has had more than a rear blinky on his bike. I'm not saying they won't decide to enforce the rule he day you show up, just that it hasn't ever been an issue when I've ridden it. The tunnels are way shorter than the ones I routinely ride through on the BRP. There are only two as I remember, both on the East side.

    BTW, ride the Loop counterclockwise, from West to East. The descent on the East side is so much fun.
    You must not have ridden the Monument this year. Things have changed. As DenverFox says "no lights, no go". And there are 3 tunnels. 1 on the east side, 2 on the west.

  20. #20
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Western CO guy View Post
    You must not have ridden the Monument this year. Things have changed. As DenverFox says "no lights, no go". And there are 3 tunnels. 1 on the east side, 2 on the west.
    Not this year, you are correct. IDK why they have to make riding through there such an issue. I remembered the other tunnel after I posted. None of the tunnels are an issue at all as far as I can tell. But they make the rules, funny that they are. I'll have to ask my brother if he's been stopped because I know he doesn't have a light on his bike. I'm supposed to be out there the first week of Oct. for a ride to Moab from Fruita. I had planned to ride the Monument too while there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Lights ARE required by the National Park Service in Colorado National Monument tunnels. No lights, no go.
    Speaking of lights in National Parks - a couple of groups of riders have been told to leave Mt. Rainier National Park this summer because they did not have headlights and tail lights during foggy and/or rainy conditions. The Rangers made them turn around and head back to their cars.

    Group ride organizers are now warning participants to bring lights for day time rides if there is any chance of poor visibility.

  22. #22
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Lights ARE required by the National Park Service in Colorado National Monument tunnels. No lights, no go.

    The road over McClure Pass down into Hotchkiss and Crawford area, then Gunnison and finally Crested Butte is gorgeous. Crested Butte is on eof the prettiest places in Colorado.
    Dnvr: Do you recommend this as a bike ride, or as a scenic drive by car?
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  23. #23
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    There are a few very nice rides out of Sedona, AZ. You can leave Sedona and ride up Oak Creek Canyon, it's a beautiful. If you ride west of town you follow the valley to Clarksdale then up the hill to Jerome, an old mining town perched on the side of the mountain, very touristy now, fun. Both rides get lots of car traffic on weekends, I'd avoid that. A nice ride out of Flagstaff goes out through the pine forest toward Mary's Lake, and beyond.
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  24. #24
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Dnvr: Do you recommend this as a bike ride, or as a scenic drive by car?
    Either - although I think it would be a challenging bike ride. I've only driven it a couple of times. There are drop offs on the sides along the way.

    http://www.nps.gov/colm/planyourvisit/bicycling.htm
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 08-14-09 at 12:11 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  25. #25
    Senior Member toolbear's Avatar
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    We'll be attending the 50+ BF members annual ride on August 31, driving from California with our bikes.

    @@@

    St. George, Utah. Coming from CA, should be on your way. Lot of trails around St. G.

    Snow Canyon State Park. Scenic.

    Has a nice paved bike trail down the canyon into town. There is another one along the west side Rt 18, so you can make an 18 mile loop. You can check it out on Google Earth.

    Check it out at utahmountainbiking.com - good site.

    <http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/>

    Might also check Trail Link. <http://www.traillink.com/>

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