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Old 02-17-10, 07:10 AM   #1
JayhawKen
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Glenwood Springs or Grand Junction

If you were to pick between one of these towns for a stopover on a road trip, which would you suggest?

I like to get out and stretch the legs for a couple hours after a day of driving, and am curious which town would be the most roadie friendly for somebody who does not know the local roads.


Grazi!
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Old 02-17-10, 09:03 AM   #2
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One of the nicest rides in the state is the Colorado Monument loop outside Grand Junction. 32 miles with a big climb up to the top of the mesa, then roll along the mesa to a big downhill finish. It's a classic! The other ride to consider is the loop though the vineyards and peach orchards out to Palisades. Nice and flat by Colorado standards, makes a good recovery ride after the Monument.

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Old 02-17-10, 09:14 AM   #3
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I was going to suggest that same thing, the CO Monument loop, that would be my top choice. A tail light is required for that road, due to a couple of tunnels, and there is an entrance fee, but it is totally worth it.

Or if you don't need a town, you could stop in between GJ and GS and ride up from Mesa to the top of Grand Mesa - a very long climb on a quiet road.

Glenwood Springs is not very roadie friendly, although the bike path under the highway is pretty cool. It does involve dodging a lot of slow & squirrely bike traffic, though.
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Old 02-17-10, 10:59 AM   #4
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I was going to suggest that same thing, the CO Monument loop, that would be my top choice. A tail light is required for that road, due to a couple of tunnels, and there is an entrance fee, but it is totally worth it.

Or if you don't need a town, you could stop in between GJ and GS and ride up from Mesa to the top of Grand Mesa - a very long climb on a quiet road.
Having lived in the Grand Jct. area for several years, I would echo these suggestions. But my caveat would be to keep in mind these roads, while not typically loaded with traffic, are still narrow and mountainous with hardly any shoulder. It's especially "interesting" on the descents (and esp. on the monument). If you're not accustomed to this kind of riding, you might consider something relatively more flat.
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Old 02-17-10, 11:56 PM   #5
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If you plan to ride in GJ here is a site with a lot of maps of local rides.

http://www.tomorrowhillfarm.com/John...cycleMaps.html

(My dh made these maps and our friend put them on his website.)
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Old 02-18-10, 02:25 PM   #6
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The Monument and the Glenwood Canyon rides are all great rides.
There is also the Rio Grande trail from Glenwood to Aspen.
The Rio Grande trail is a great ride. 40miles to Aspen and back.
Many stretches between major access points will have no bike traffic at all.

http://www.carbondale.com/TCC/Rio%20...s%20Points.pdf

Don't miss any of them.
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Old 02-18-10, 07:17 PM   #7
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Awesome - sounds like GJ is the answer and plenty of ride options. Too bad I only will have the one day stopover!

Thanks!

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Old 02-18-10, 09:55 PM   #8
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Awesome - sounds like GJ is the answer and plenty of ride options. Too bad I only will have the one day stopover!

Thanks!

As I understand it, you will not be able to ride the Monument unless you have lighting on your bike - for the tunnels. Perhaps this has changed, but there was discussion about this last year.

The Rio Grande Trail is a great, relatively easy 80 mile round trip ride in Glenwood Springs, as described above.
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Old 02-19-10, 09:46 AM   #9
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Lights are mandatory for riding the through the tunnels in Colorado National Monument ($150 fine if you don't have 'em, $75 per missing light), but you don't need some huge Niterider. The lights just needs to make you seen from 500 feet away. I use a couple little LED lights, Planet Bike Spoks, and they work great (http://www.rei.com/product/769615). Very small, very, very light, and they make me legal. The REI in Grand Junction has them in stock.

Also, at least during last summer, the Monument staff has been getting really strict with cyclists and traffic laws (speeding, stop signs, etc.). I haven't seen them get any more strict with motorists, though. The current Monument superintendent has been very hostile toward cyclists during her tenure. I know since I've had to deal with her personally and she's been a real pain.

The loop takes 2-4 hours depending on your fitness and how much you stop to gawk at the scenery. This is a fantastic ride, you'll be very glad you took the time to fit it in to your schedule.

Print out the map I made and enjoy: http://www.tomorrowhillfarm.com/John...2005-07-09.pdf
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Old 02-19-10, 10:04 AM   #10
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Whoops! The link to the .pdf of the Colorado National Monument ride map isn't correct. I'll post when it gets fixed. Shouldn't be long.
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Old 02-19-10, 01:11 PM   #11
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The link to the Colorado National Monument map is now fixed:

http://www.tomorrowhillfarm.com/John...2005-07-09.pdf
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Old 03-10-10, 10:24 AM   #12
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I am a bit biased, living 12 miles from Glenwood Springs. One big factor in your decision should be when you are coming. In March Glenwood is still in winter. Grand Jucntion is still getting snow also. If your road trip is June - Aug, Grand Junction can be very hot. As previously mentioned, the Rio Grande trail from Glenwood Springs to Aspen is a great ride with some awesome mountain vistas.
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Old 05-08-10, 10:01 PM   #13
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Glenwood Springs- Rio Grande Trail to Woody Creek Tavern for lunch. Then ride back....67 miles total. Awesome ride!
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Old 05-09-10, 08:37 AM   #14
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We also have a road trip through Glenwood Springs. It is this week on the way to Missouri to ride the Katy trail. We only have a little time to stop in Co and stretch the legs.

We want to ride the Glenwood Springs Bike path up the canyon and back.....our question is: is the G S Canyon Path open currently????

We are asking because we read that I-70 through the Canyon to Dotsero is down to a single lane of traffic each way due to road repair from some slides this spring so we wonder if the path was also affected by those slides. Thanks

Bill J.
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Old 05-09-10, 08:23 PM   #15
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Having ridden both the Rio Grande trail and the CO Nat Monument....I'd pick the Monument over the Rio Grande trail anyday and twice on Sundays. There is no comparison. The CO Nat monument is one of the best rides you will ever do anywhere in the world....the Rio Grande trail is nice.
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Old 05-10-10, 12:19 PM   #16
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I had an excuse to go to Grand Junction last month, so I rode the monument while there. It's a great ride. Thanks to eofelis for the nice maps. I noticed some of your maps published in a magazine in the hotel, congratulations.
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