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  1. #1
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    Colorado Loop Suggestions? (2-2.5 weeks)

    Hello. I am looking in to doing a tour starting July 10 (saturday) pretty much anywhere in CO. I live in Denver and I'm willing to drive somewhere to start, as long as I end up back in Denver or to the car. Not afraid of the big passes, mainly just busy highways. Any route suggestions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Here you go! This is the 2008 Ride the Rockies route. If this one is not good for you, just google ride the rockies routes.
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Nb8DOoLyFw...012822_rtr.jpg

    Their routes are designed for 1 week on a fully supported road bikes with high daily miles. The same on a fully loaded touring bike will be about double.

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw View Post
    Here you go! This is the 2008 Ride the Rockies route. If this one is not good for you, just google ride the rockies routes.
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Nb8DOoLyFw...012822_rtr.jpg

    Their routes are designed for 1 week on a fully supported road bikes with high daily miles. The same on a fully loaded touring bike will be about double.
    The only problem is that RTR routes are one way. I agree that they would be great rides to take 2 weeks to do but you'd have to work out a shuttle system if you didn't want to do 4 weeks instead of 2.

    Here is a somewhat ambitious route that starts in Glenwood goes to Salida, Walsenberg, Alamosa, Leadville and returns to Glenwood via Glenwood Canyon. I've ridden bits and pieces of this route and driven others. I can't tell you the road conditions on all of the route but most of it is pretty good. Salida to Howard is busy but downhill. La Veta Pass is very nice and the ride from Alamosa to Poncha Springs is pretty good with prevailing winds from the south most of the time. On the return leg, US24 is good until you get to Grants and then it narrows some until just outside of Leadville.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    The only problem is that RTR routes are one way. I agree that they would be great rides to take 2 weeks to do but you'd have to work out a shuttle system if you didn't want to do 4 weeks instead of 2.

    Here is a somewhat ambitious route that starts in Glenwood goes to Salida, Walsenberg, Alamosa, Leadville and returns to Glenwood via Glenwood Canyon. I've ridden bits and pieces of this route and driven others. I can't tell you the road conditions on all of the route but most of it is pretty good. Salida to Howard is busy but downhill. La Veta Pass is very nice and the ride from Alamosa to Poncha Springs is pretty good with prevailing winds from the south most of the time. On the return leg, US24 is good until you get to Grants and then it narrows some until just outside of Leadville.
    You mis-understood the timing. He has 2 weeks to tour and this route was designed for 1 week on a road bike. That's why I thought it would work out well for a tourist to do the same loop in 2 weeks.

    The 2008 route is a loop route, starts and ends at the same place.

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    I've seen some of their (Ride the rockies) routes. I only think we'd be slowed by a day or 2 because of the weight. Not a whole week. However, we may be able to alter it a little bit. Thanks!! Any more suggestions?

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    Here's a chunk I chopped out of a longer trip - you would have to do the math yourself to see if you could get this done in 2 weeks, it might be slightly long. The whole southern loop part of it is spectacular.

    http://tinyurl.com/2942ljj
    ...

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw View Post
    You mis-understood the timing. He has 2 weeks to tour and this route was designed for 1 week on a road bike. That's why I thought it would work out well for a tourist to do the same loop in 2 weeks.

    The 2008 route is a loop route, starts and ends at the same place.
    I didn't misunderstand his timing at all. He has 2 to 2.5 weeks. Most RTR routes are one way which makes logistics much more difficult. The 2009 route that you linked to is a loop but most of them are point-to-point.

    My route could be done in about 10 to 12 days with a possible side trip to the Sand Dunes adding 1 or even 2 more days. Right within busys time frame.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Here's a route that starts in Denver and ends in Denver. A bit more traffic, especially from Boulder to Estes Park but I doubt you'll find a more scenic ride. The route has a glitch in it, however. Google maps won't let you map a route over Loveland Pass and down Clear Creek. Go through Keystone over Loveland Pass to Georgetown then follow I-70 along the frontage roads and bike paths to Floyd Hill. Return to Denver along US40.

    If you do the route for a car you get this one. 407 miles
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  9. #9
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    cyccommute has offered a great deal of very valuable assistance here and in the past, but I would suggest that with all the beautiful places one can ride in Colorado, it would be better to stay out of the I-70 corridor. There are just so many awesome roads, and that particular stretch carries such a heavy load of tourist and other traffic. Services & lodging are plentiful but expensive and crowded. Roads are crowded. Reservations for indoor accomodation are often needed in summer.

    Also, I would try really hard not to ride Trail Ridge Road on a weekend, and check for the current road conditions, I think they are resurfacing a lot of the road this summer.

    With respect.

    The 2009 BTC route was fantastic, as was the 2010 (which I just finished). In fact, just about anywhere in the mountains is good, look at a regular road map, find the continental divide, cross it a bunch of times.
    ...

  10. #10
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    Oops, replying to myself here, I didn't look at that map closely enough -- but having just driven 285 from Fairplay to Denver, and having ridden it the other way a few years ago, I would include 285 in my "few roads to avoid" list. Too much traffic, not enough shoulder.
    ...

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Oops, replying to myself here, I didn't look at that map closely enough -- but having just driven 285 from Fairplay to Denver, and having ridden it the other way a few years ago, I would include 285 in my "few roads to avoid" list. Too much traffic, not enough shoulder.
    That's the reason I suggested the I-70 corridor...US285 is worse than I-70. The only part of I-70 that I was suggesting on one map was from Loveland Pass exit to Bakersville which really isn't that bad. It's got a wide shoulder and is a very quick ride for a short way. The ride from Bakerville to Idaho Springs on the frontage road is actually quite pleasant. There's a bike path from Silver Plume to Georgetown that takes a lot of the pucker factor out of that ride. This also allows you to do a ride from Denver and back without a car shuttle.

    Trailridge Road really isn't that bad on a weekend (it is better on a weekday). The road is wide enough and the traffic from the east entrance moves rather slowly. Once you get past the Alpine Center, traffic drops off significantly.

    On the other map, the ride across Tennessee Pass from Leadville to Minturn is a real treat...except Battle Mountain. While the ride along the I-70 corridor from Minturn to the mouth of Glenwood Canyon isn't all that pretty, the ride through the Canyon is. It's a pretty short trip and it avoids most of the high end accommodations. I mean, Eagle and Gypsum aren't really as hoypaloy as Vail
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  12. #12
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    I'm pretty sure I confused myself looking at too many google maps all at once. ;D
    ...

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