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  1. #1
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    Best place to live on the Front Range (CO) for a cyclist?

    Hi guys-

    We're currently living on the western slope, and the possibility of my wife getting a job in Denver or the Springs is pretty good.

    I'm just getting into road bikes, but would like to choose a place to live that has access to the best cycling I can get at within distance to either Denver or the Springs.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!


    John

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    I live in Boulder, and have only been here a couple of years, so take this with that as a reference: if you need a Denver commute and want to live near great foothills riding, Golden is good, and there are a lot of west side Denver areas I'm not familiar with. But stay on the west side, or you'll spend too much time driving. If you like flatter riding, there's a huge network of bike paths through Denver that people actually use to ride on.

    From Golden, you have lookout mountain right out your door, and Golden Gate Canyon - awesome climb! -- there are lots of great foothills rides just south of I-70 (bike distance from Golden). I think the flat rides are a bit more limited, with lots of urban/suburban traffic, but there are great bike paths that you can ride. Boulder is 1/2 hour by car and there are several absolutely stellar climbing rides, and lots of good flat rides too. I hear there is a very active bike community in Golden.

    By the way, Denver is a gigantic city in terms of area, so you'll really need to pay attention to the details of where the job is with regards to where you might live. It would be pretty easy to end up with an hour commute within the metro area.

    According to a friend who just spent the summer in CSprings, the riding is really good but you have to drive to it, and it's very cycling un-friendly. You would probably want to visit both places - they are very different culturally.
    ...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I live in Boulder, and have only been here a couple of years, so take this with that as a reference: if you need a Denver commute and want to live near great foothills riding, Golden is good, and there are a lot of west side Denver areas I'm not familiar with. But stay on the west side, or you'll spend too much time driving. If you like flatter riding, there's a huge network of bike paths through Denver that people actually use to ride on.

    From Golden, you have lookout mountain right out your door, and Golden Gate Canyon - awesome climb! -- there are lots of great foothills rides just south of I-70 (bike distance from Golden). I think the flat rides are a bit more limited, with lots of urban/suburban traffic, but there are great bike paths that you can ride. Boulder is 1/2 hour by car and there are several absolutely stellar climbing rides, and lots of good flat rides too. I hear there is a very active bike community in Golden.

    By the way, Denver is a gigantic city in terms of area, so you'll really need to pay attention to the details of where the job is with regards to where you might live. It would be pretty easy to end up with an hour commute within the metro area.

    According to a friend who just spent the summer in CSprings, the riding is really good but you have to drive to it, and it's very cycling un-friendly. You would probably want to visit both places - they are very different culturally.
    Hey, thanks for the quick, and detailed reply.

    The employer is about 3-5 blocks south of Coors Field; hopefully that is a fairly precise starting point.

    I'm guessing Golden would be a good place to look. I'm also hoping to keep it somewhat west as I'm also a skier, and would like to keep the commute as short as possible.

    Any other suggestions?

  4. #4
    cycling for 50 plus yrs colorado dale's Avatar
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    When you come for house hunting stop at REI, Performance, Bicycle Village or a LBS and pick up a Denver bicycle map published by Denver Bicycle Touring Club(DBTC). When I moved here almost 5 yrs ago I found it very helpful.
    I had Morrison and Golden in mind when I was house hunting. I ended up in SE Lakewood just above the Bear Creek valley/ trail. That has me between the massive open space to the West and shopping to the east (Wadsworth has at least 2 of every retail shop known to mankind)

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    Not Thornton. God I want to move.
    I would say Boulder but it is a bit on the busy side for me. Instead I would pick the bordering towns but that would be a bit of a drive for you.
    Your best choices may be Lakewood or western Denver. Golden as well. Heck, in central Denver it is easy to get anywhere with wide variety of paths and bike routes.

    Personally, if I need to stay up north to be near my ex I may pick western Westminster or Broomfield. It is fairly easy to get to some decent riding from those areas.

  6. #6
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    good road riding without driving? Anywhere on the west side of Denver works. If she's going to be downtown, I'd look at Highlands or Wheat Ridge, or Lakewood. You could look further south (Highlands Ranch, Littleton) but her commute will be affected (not terrible, but a "real" commute). From downtown you can ride to Lookout Mtn and beyond; from Lakewood you have Red Rocks, Morrison, south to Deer Creek Canyon, etc.

    Boulder->Denver is a rough commute; I'd avoid that.

    I'm in Highlands Ranch (20ish miles south of Downtown in 'Burbia) but it's a great launching pad for road cycling --Deer Creek Canyon is 15mi away, Downtown is 25mi via the Platte Trail, etc.....

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys.

    I'm looking for a bit of property, and looking to keep it less than $500K. 2+ acres, so that rules out many areas in my price range.

    Would the Golden commute be horrendous? Google shows 33.9 miles and approx. 47 minute commute to the place of employment.

    I also like it because of it's closer proximity to Winter Park for my skiing.

    Thanks again!!

    John

  8. #8
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Colorado Springs is home to me, the riding is quite good once you figure out the roads and traffic patterns. It wasn't very often that I'd drive my bike to ride (I lived near downtown and in Cheyenne Canyon), it depends on what you want to ride. As far as a$$hat drivers, it's pretty typical and anywhere in Colorado (maybe with the exception of Boulder County), I dealt with it just fine, only occasionally tried to jump inside a car to fight

    Like anywhere, knowing the best roads and the time to be on/off of them is the key.

    It changes and I've lived away for a while, but still go back to ride with friends every couple years, so I'm not to far off here. It's just not the big metro area that Denver is, so much more livable (biking).
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  9. #9
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado dale View Post
    When you come for house hunting stop at REI, Performance, Bicycle Village or a LBS and pick up a Denver bicycle map published by Denver Bicycle Touring Club(DBTC). When I moved here almost 5 yrs ago I found it very helpful.
    Or order it online:

    http://www.bikedenver.org/maps/

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    Personally, if I need to stay up north to be near my ex...

    Sounds counter-intuitive to me.

  11. #11
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    Where are you looking in Golden? It is only 12 or so miles from Coors to downtown Denver.

    I can't imagine getting two acres in Golden for $500K. We considered a house in Golden and it was $600K on a city lot, 1/3 acre. I imagine you are looking farther out. I am not sure where the town limits are.
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post

    Sounds counter-intuitive to me.
    We have co custody of the kid. Perhaps if I or her eventually become primary that would change.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    We have co custody of the kid. Perhaps if I or her eventually become primary that would change.
    Oh!
    I thought you had no kids;
    Now it makes sense.

  14. #14
    So it is LAJ's Avatar
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    Any commute is basically crap in this city. I don't know how DataJunkie did his north to south trek for so long. Golden to Coors Field may only be in the teens as far as mileage goes, but time wise, it will stink. Trying to commute off hours would be best.

    Living close to skiing is cool, but getting to the hills once a week as opposed to living close to work where you have to be 5 days a week is an unusual choice to me.

  15. #15
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    LAJ. I would agree. I just don't agree with the whole concept of commuting. I work from home, but I live in central Denver to keep me close to everything else.

    I don't find the east side to be an issue. I live near City Park and I ride to the foothills all the time. I also find that the only sane way to ski weekends is to leave very early, so I don't have an issue crossing downtown at that time.

    I do generally fill up my gas tank once a month, whether it needs it or not though...
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    The answer is simple, to get away from my ex wife as much as possible. That or I landed on my head one too many times. The drive is terrible from north to south and it would take me 90-120 min. Riding took 2 hrs just about no matter what. A no brainer for me.

  17. #17
    So it is LAJ's Avatar
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    Understood dark13star. If I didn't live in Westy, I would choose to live a little more central. I really don't drive a ton, and like you, fill up here and there to keep the gas fresh... On another note, I finally saw that Highgrade sign. Went up Brook Forest above Evergreen, and Black Mountain or some such? Thought I was going to throw up. Looking more and more at a compact.....

    Time away rather than time in the slammer is a wise choice, DataJunkie.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dark13star View Post
    Where are you looking in Golden? It is only 12 or so miles from Coors to downtown Denver.

    I can't imagine getting two acres in Golden for $500K. We considered a house in Golden and it was $600K on a city lot, 1/3 acre. I imagine you are looking farther out. I am not sure where the town limits are.

    The house is on Robinson Hill Road; looks about 4-5 miles north of 75 and about 7/8 miles west of downtown Golden. Yes, It seems to be out there, but I currently live on 27 acres in Palisade, and I just don't think I can live ( personal reasons) on a small city lot with the high density again. I've lived in South Florida, as well as NYC, and I like to have my privacy.

    My wife, while she will have to commute to Coors Field, there is a good possibility that she'll be able to work remotely.

    We've also looked into Castle Rock. What's it like there?

    Thanks...

    John

  19. #19
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    I guess the market affected values out there more than it did in Denver. I am surprised you can get that much land for that price, but I guess it is a good time to buy.

    I would take Golden over Castle Rock any day. You do have a town there, and a very outdoors-oriented one at that. Good cycling and mountaineering shops...
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    I googled Robinson Road -- it's way up Golden Gate Canyon - a very narrow, twisty mountain road. It's beautiful up there, but if you want to ride from home your ride choices will be very limited (up or down canyon). and the commute would be horrible, especially in winter. do NOT buy that property without a visit - it's really a lot farther away from town than it looks on the map.
    ...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I googled Robinson Road -- it's way up Golden Gate Canyon - a very narrow, twisty mountain road. It's beautiful up there, but if you want to ride from home your ride choices will be very limited (up or down canyon). and the commute would be horrible, especially in winter. do NOT buy that property without a visit - it's really a lot farther away from town than it looks on the map.
    Hey, thanks for the info.

    Yeah, I figured it'd be up there; I guess more so than I had wished.

    Ah well, back to the drawing board.

    If you guys were to name, say, your 3 highest recommended places to live, and based on my criteria, what places would they be?

    Thanks!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I googled Robinson Road -- it's way up Golden Gate Canyon - a very narrow, twisty mountain road. It's beautiful up there, but if you want to ride from home your ride choices will be very limited (up or down canyon). and the commute would be horrible, especially in winter. do NOT buy that property without a visit - it's really a lot farther away from town than it looks on the map.
    +1
    I just looked it up as well.
    I rode up there last summer.
    Barely enough space to ride along the edge, and I certainly wouldn't be caught on that road after dusk.

    The nice thing about living on the Front Range is being able to ride nearly every day, (except on the days it snows).
    But living up in the mountains would severely cut down on the riding days in winter.

  23. #23
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    I love that ride but it is a steep one and not too safe. That would be a terrible place to live unless you want to drive everywhere and then winter...

  24. #24
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    I think your criteria are impossible -- leaving out the biking:
    $500K to spend for a house on 2 acres with privacy within reasonable commute of Coors Field

    For your price range, you could get a suburban tract home, which you clearly don't want, or a remonte mountain house, which while meeting your other criteria, is going to put an unreasonable burden on your commuting wife, unless she really can work remotely quite a bit.

    Something needs to give. Only you can decide which piece it is. You should come visit and get a realtor to show you around, and also visit Colorado Springs - you can probably get your criteria met better there - I'm guessing you get more house for your money there - but you would really have to see for yourself which place is a better fit, and how you want to balance your requirements.
    ...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I think your criteria are impossible -- leaving out the biking:
    $500K to spend for a house on 2 acres with privacy within reasonable commute of Coors Field

    For your price range, you could get a suburban tract home, which you clearly don't want, or a remonte mountain house, which while meeting your other criteria, is going to put an unreasonable burden on your commuting wife, unless she really can work remotely quite a bit.

    Something needs to give. Only you can decide which piece it is. You should come visit and get a realtor to show you around, and also visit Colorado Springs - you can probably get your criteria met better there - I'm guessing you get more house for your money there - but you would really have to see for yourself which place is a better fit, and how you want to balance your requirements.
    I hear ya. Thanks again for your honesty.

    I guess I'd have to settle for a "tract home" and keep my wife happy, as long as I'm as close as possible to A. Skiing and B. Good to great cycling.

    I saw it mentioned earlier, but Lakewood, what do the other think about it?

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