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  1. #1
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Another Colorado move (Boulder, early June)

    Hi everyone! I'm moving to Boulder at the beginning of June and looking to get into biking. I telecommute, so I won't actually be riding to work, but I'd like to be able to do it for light errands and long fitness rides. Anyone here live in Boulder and have a shop to recommend? Any groups in Boulder than can teach me how to ride in-city, which I've never really done? Anyone want to hang out and maybe teach me about bikes in general? I'd love to learn maintenance and repair and upgrade and the like.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Hi there and welcome to Boulder! I think you'll really like it here and you will find it is a very bike friendly city. There are plenty of bike shops around town and they are all pretty good in their own way, it all depends on what kind of riding you do. Here's a link to a map of the bike routes around town. I'd just get on your bike and start exploring, depending on where you want to go you will find lots of good routes in no time. Give yourself a few weeks to get used to the altitude before trying anything extreme and remember your sunscreen! One fun thing to check out would be the 'Happy Thursday' ride that starts around Spruce and 26th every Thurs. night around dark. The Boulder360 will be coming up soon as well and would be a nice introduction to the area paths.

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    That map that Iowegian linked is available free at bikes shops in town. The paths here are really excellent, you can get everywhere in town safely, often barely sharing a road with a car.

    Shops:

    Vecchios - mechanics boutique, great service, great mechanics, high end bikes, nothing in-stock

    Boulder Cycle Sport - very high end small shop with a lot of bikes in a few brands, right next door to Amante -- coffee shop where some of the big group rides start - you won't want to do these yet, they are fast.

    University Bikes - huge selection, all ranges of bikes, nice clothes selection

    Excel Sports - big mailorder business in town, sometimes has how-to clinics - go to showroom, get on their email list for clinic notifications

    Bicycle Village - Denver-metro chain store, medium-low end bikes, often has good sales, has a weekly short shop ride that might be appropriate

    Lots more shops that this too. Some of the other shops might have maintenance clinics, not sure. Possibly even Performance or REI does.

    I'm not signing up for a mentor program for you (sorry) but I'll happily have a cup of coffee and run a highlighter over a map for you to show you some roads that are nice to ride and a few to avoid.

    PM me when you get here.
    ...

  4. #4
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    The important question regarding Boulder has NOT been asked:

    Are you liberal or conservative?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    I thought the question was "How many times have you climbed Mt. Everest?"
    ...

  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I thought the question was "How many times have you climbed Mt. Everest?"
    That, too!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I'm not signing up for a mentor program for you (sorry) but I'll happily have a cup of coffee and run a highlighter over a map for you to show you some roads that are nice to ride and a few to avoid.

    PM me when you get here.
    Sorry if I came off like I was asking for a mentor on the basis of a single post on a forum! I was hoping, at most, for a "This is how those shifters work" sort of thing, but it has occurred to me I should be able to get that out of anyone hoping to sell me a bike. A better question would be, do you (or anyone else?) know of any beginner-friendly groups? I am acutely aware that I am not up to Boulder standards of fitness currently, but it would be nice to have a group to ride with sometimes that I could keep up with. Good for motivation.

    I do hope to get back to a more respectable fitness level and expand the number of groups I can run with; it wasn't that long ago that I would get up in the morning, lift for two hours, go to class, go to cheerleading, er, "stunt technician" practice in the evening, and then play handball with my friends for 90 or so minutes immediately after that.

    And thanks, I will PM you when I get there! It might be after a week or so while I'm getting settled though

    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    The important question regarding Boulder has NOT been asked:

    Are you liberal or conservative?
    I won't apply either label to myself, and different people will give you different answers if you ask them. My sister will say I'm hardcore conservative, but she's pretty much straight-up communist. Other people call me a tree-hugger. I'd be perfectly happy to discuss things with you if you're really curious.

    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I thought the question was "How many times have you climbed Mt. Everest?"
    Yeah... I went indoor rock-climbing once. Not so much my thing. That's the closest I've gotten! I'm not much for skiing either, which is killing everyone at my Portland office.

    And here I thought the important question would be "What kind of dog do you have?", and the answer to that is "The kind who has retractable claws, since my actual dog died a few years ago, poor puppy. My cat actually weighs more than my dog did at the end.
    Last edited by Bah Humbug; 04-25-09 at 03:12 PM. Reason: Adding italicized part.

  8. #8
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post


    I won't apply either label to myself, and different people will give you different answers if you ask them. My sister will say I'm hardcore conservative, but she's pretty much straight-up communist. Other people call me a tree-hugger. I'd be perfectly happy to discuss things with you if you're really curious.


    That's OK - just sort of joking.

    Some folks call it "The Republic of Boulder" - it does tend to have a reputation for a certain ideology!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Hey, no offense, hope I didn't come across as offended or offensive. I meant my offer too.

    There are ALL levels of riders here, just with more really good ones in a lot of places. Boulder is a great place to start riding - there are fun rides of many distances and hill profiles, from flat-as-a-pancake while you're learning up to oh-my-god-i'm-gonna-tip-over for later.

    I have the impression you are male - I have a possible beginner club recommendation if you are female - "Venus de Miles" club thru Full City Cycles.
    ...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    That's OK - just sort of joking.

    Some folks call it "The Republic of Boulder" - it does tend to have a reputation for a certain ideology!

    I heard "Peoples Republic of Boulder"
    ...

  11. #11
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I heard "Peoples Republic of Boulder"
    That, too!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    The important question regarding Boulder has NOT been asked:

    Are you liberal or conservative?
    I understand that if you answer "conservative", they will request that you move to Colo Springs.

  13. #13
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    I understand that if you answer "conservative", they will request that you move to Colo Springs.
    I think that would have to be ultra-conservative.

    Douglas County would be for the "Conservatives."
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  14. #14
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Hey, no offense, hope I didn't come across as offended or offensive. I meant my offer too.

    There are ALL levels of riders here, just with more really good ones in a lot of places. Boulder is a great place to start riding - there are fun rides of many distances and hill profiles, from flat-as-a-pancake while you're learning up to oh-my-god-i'm-gonna-tip-over for later.

    I have the impression you are male - I have a possible beginner club recommendation if you are female - "Venus de Miles" club thru Full City Cycles.
    Oh, no offense, no worries! For coffee, the Brewing Market at Base-Mar is the most convenient to where I will be living at first, but I could get anywhere.

    As soon as I'm skilled enough, hills hills hills. Then more hills. I did cross-country in high school and my coach took pride in having the hilliest course in the conference. We may not have real mountains up here, but we don't have anything that resembles "flat", and doing them is a source of pride. That, and my first real goal is to bike all the way up to that ice cream and used book store up in Nederland, which I understand is another mile of elevation in twenty miles of distance or so.

    And yes, I'm male, or my official sport in college wouldn't have been whited-out.

    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I heard "Peoples Republic of Boulder"
    That's what Mom told me. She actually grew up out there, and majored in Math at CU, so while I grew up on the east coast I do know a bit about the place . She was actually wearing her "Keep Boulder Weird" t-shirt when I saw her this morning. For the first two months I'll actually be staying in the in-law apartment at the house she grew up in, since I can't close on my condo until August.

    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    That's OK - just sort of joking.

    Some folks call it "The Republic of Boulder" - it does tend to have a reputation for a certain ideology!
    Either way. I'm always up for a good discussion. I should be liberal enough to not get banished to Colorado Springs or Douglas County.

    And yeah... like I said above, my mother grew up out there, and she still has a mighty lot of hippie in her. She also calls Boulder an "alternate reality zone". She's planning on retiring out there in 3-5 years.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
    Either way. I'm always up for a good discussion. I should be liberal enough to not get banished to Colorado Springs or Douglas County.
    A good friend of mine still blames Douglas County for electing that embarrassment-to-Colorado known as "Tom Tancredo".

    And yeah... like I said above, my mother grew up out there, and she still has a mighty lot of hippie in her. She also calls Boulder an "alternate reality zone".
    I guy I knew who lived in Boulder until he moved to the NW, maintained a personal web page which described Boulder as:
    "Twenty-five square miles, surrounded by reality".

  16. #16
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    I guy I knew who lived in Boulder until he moved to the NW, maintained a personal web page which described Boulder as:
    "Twenty-five square miles, surrounded by reality".
    Ah, I think I may have heard her say that too!

    God these next five weeks are going to drag. One of my boss's peers in Albany loved to proclaim his ultra-conservative screeds to us in the break room. That whole "liberal NY" thing only applies to NYC; upstate is overwhelmingly conservative.

  17. #17
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    To add to the shops valygrl listed:

    Sports Garage: Really high-end shop, but the some of the most knowledgeable guys I've talked to. Watch for their demo days.

    Pro Peloton: Another really high-end shop, specializing in road gear. Sells mainly custom bikes.

    Full Cycle: Two locations...Pearl St and the Hill (also one in Fort Collins). Good range of bikes, from entry level recreational bikes to $6000 Ibis Mojos and Felt DA's.

    The Fix: Downhill and freeride shop. They've also got a really great pump track and dirt jumps out back.

    Performance: Say what you want about it, but it's your best bet for cheap gear. This is the same Performance people buy from online.

    Also, Cycle Sport isn't only a high end shop. They have entry-level bikes too. People walk out of there with everything from Specialized Hardrocks to Pinarello Princes. Range is pretty comparable to Full Cycle, or a smaller version of UBikes IMO. The rest of the descriptions are pretty spot on.

  18. #18
    Senior Member hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post

    Shops:

    Vecchios - mechanics boutique, great service, great mechanics, high end bikes, nothing in-stock

    Boulder Cycle Sport - very high end small shop with a lot of bikes in a few brands, right next door to Amante -- coffee shop where some of the big group rides start - you won't want to do these yet, they are fast.

    University Bikes - huge selection, all ranges of bikes, nice clothes selection

    Excel Sports - big mailorder business in town, sometimes has how-to clinics - go to showroom, get on their email list for clinic notifications

    Bicycle Village - Denver-metro chain store, medium-low end bikes, often has good sales, has a weekly short shop ride that might be appropriate
    Welcome to Colorado!
    I like Sports Garage best. Nice people and knowledgeable, they are always patient and take time to explain differences between parts and gear options. Never a hint of cyclist elitism. They are high-end though and don't usually have sales. They have a group ride on Sundays that is open to everyone. Vecchios is a boutique shop, I go there and drool at their selection of frames, nice guys too. I've heard about a used bike shop in NoBo, but I can't confirm it. Amante is interesting, latte sipping in spandex and then a brutal hammer fest...truly Boulder indeed. Also, the "Republic of Boulder" stuff is ridiculous...maybe 20 years ago when Boulder was THE liberal enclave of Colorado....there is a bit everything Boulder, mostly rich everything.

  19. #19
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hocker View Post
    I've heard about a used bike shop in NoBo, but I can't confirm it.
    Probably Sports Recycler. Bikes and other outdoor gear. IMO their bikes are overpriced and you can do better on Craigslist, but their cycling shoe selection is pretty good and cheap.

  20. #20
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    That's a lot of bicycle shops everyone has listed! I suppose I shouldn't be surprised though. I was planning on hitting Full Cycle, then REI (I know, but they have Cannondales...), then whatever of the others catch my fancy (though I'll stay away from the really high-end shops, or I'll just drool and get depressed when I won't part with that much money), and then, knowing what's available new, I was going to head over to CycleAnalysts in Denver and see what used stuff they have, since one of the Denver threads had praise for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by hocker
    Welcome to Colorado!
    Thanks! I really can't wait; I'm going bonkers sitting here in the middle of farm country in CT. Four and a half weeks...

  21. #21
    Raising the Abyss celticfrost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hocker View Post
    Welcome to Colorado!
    I like Sports Garage best. Nice people and knowledgeable, they are always patient and take time to explain differences between parts and gear options. Never a hint of cyclist elitism. They are high-end though and don't usually have sales. They have a group ride on Sundays that is open to everyone. Vecchios is a boutique shop, I go there and drool at their selection of frames, nice guys too. I've heard about a used bike shop in NoBo, but I can't confirm it. Amante is interesting, latte sipping in spandex and then a brutal hammer fest...truly Boulder indeed. Also, the "Republic of Boulder" stuff is ridiculous...maybe 20 years ago when Boulder was THE liberal enclave of Colorado....there is a bit everything Boulder, mostly rich everything.
    Thank you for saying that --- I find Boulder to be one of the most capitalistic places I've ever been to. Commies, my arse.
    "...in Las Vegas where -the electric bills are staggering -the decor hog wild -and the entertainment saccharine -what a golden age -what a time of right and reason -the consumer's king -and unhappiness is treason..."

  22. #22
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celticfrost View Post
    Thank you for saying that --- I find Boulder to be one of the most capitalistic places I've ever been to. Commies, my arse.
    That's interesting... there are still a lot of hardcore liberals there, and it's still very liberal politically. My near-communist aunt who lives there, though, is upset at the number of "trustafarians" who have moved there. It certainly has changed, but I look forward to moving there.

    Four weeks now, from tomorrow...

  23. #23
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Be sure to check out Community Cycles. It's a pretty informal place with a lot of volunteer mechanics so I'm sure someone would be willing to give you a few pointers if you need mechanical assistance. It's a bit hard to find by car but easy to find on your bike as it's just off one of the MUP paths in town.

  24. #24
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowegian View Post
    Be sure to check out Community Cycles. It's a pretty informal place with a lot of volunteer mechanics so I'm sure someone would be willing to give you a few pointers if you need mechanical assistance. It's a bit hard to find by car but easy to find on your bike as it's just off one of the MUP paths in town.
    Hmm... not having a bike I can't go like that, but I may park nearby and just walk there. Thanks for the tip!

  25. #25
    SRS
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    http://bouldercyclingclub.com/

    I know a few folks that ride with the above linked group. Their description indicates BCC is a relaxed group of folks therefore it may be worth checking them out when you get to town. The BCC calendar shows regularly scheduled rides on Tues/Thurs evening and on Saturday morning.

    There is also a group that meets (or used to meet) at Scott Carpenter Park (30th and Arapahoe) on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 5:30 or 6p (depends upon time of year). Skills levels/speeds varied significantly so the group would tend to split into faster/slower riders.

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