Over the Rockies from Moab (to Boulder)
Hello, I'm asking for advice again... After a stunning ride up from Flagstaff through lots of the parks and stunning scenery I've ended up in Moab. I was planning on riding over the Vail pass towards Boulder, CO, but the cycle paths along the Colorado river appear to be closed.
I can't seem to reach anyone at the Colorado DOT to confirm this (I'll try again tomorrow), but in the meantime am posting this just incase anyone had another recommendation. If possible I'd like to avoid heading south again as I am looking forward to getting out of the heat.
Thanks in advance!
Yes, they are closed, and I expect them to be closed for a couple more weeks.
I see you are on line now - give me 10 minutes, I'll post a couple options for you.
Great, thanks! I'm about to get booted off the computer but will track down some wifi later today or tomorrow morning to check back. I'm taking a break here for a few days to rest and check out the Arches etc. so no massive rush.
wifi in moab - library, the cafe next to Eddie McStiff's, outside most of the motels.
there's camping on potash road north/west of town, there's an RV park and a hostel in town, there are 2 rv-style campgrounds south of town on the highway.
mcstiff's food sucks.
brewery is OK.
Zax pizza is great, Milts Diner, and Moab Diner are OK.
the chinese & mexican places suck.
There are so many options, it's hard to know how to choose. Mainly, are you looking to minimize time over the mountains, or spend as much time in them as possible? Do you like riding up and down passes, or are you trying to keep it flatter? Is there a certain date you need to be in Boulder?
There are 2 potential flood zones. Glenwood Canyon bike path is closed now for flooding. ANd the bike path between Copper Mountain and Frisco has an avalanch, can be walked across (scary, due to possible additional avalanches!!). I just talked to a guy at a bike shop in Frisco who told me that - I would recommend as you get closer, call bike shops in Vail or Frisco to see what's going on there. You may need to bypass that section as well, which is a bummer b/c that means you have to do the whole trip either south or north of I-70, where it would be nicer to cross right there around Vail.
Here's some flood info - I was just looking this stuff up this morning, b/c the Glenwood closure is likely going to affect Bike Tour of Colorado, which I am doing.
Vail Pass itself may be ok and may not - it had a TON of snow on the path 2 weeks ago, as I drove by there in a blizzard, but that may be gone now. And depending on how long you linger in the Moab/southwest corner of CO, the flood & snow issue might resolve - sounds like it may peak this week then start going down.
very direct, but not that awesome - Hwy 285 is not a great road, carries too much traffic as you get near Denver, and it's rather open & windy:
http://goo.gl/maps/t760 (this has the details of how to get from Golden to Boulder I won't do that in the next maps, but use these roads if you can, Hwy 93 between Golden & BOulder sucks)
a bit more convoluted, and nicer approach, more hills. don't be tempted to ride down Hwy 119 into boulder unless you are very confident with riding on a narrow steep, busy mountain road with bad pavement and lots of traffic. Continuing on to Lefthand Canyon (Ward) gives you another 1500 feet of climbing, but it's a fantastic ride, a Boulder classic - and no traffic. Still very steep descent.
tons of mountains, this would be the one i would use if i had unlimited time.
note this shows using Cottonwood Pass from Gunnison to Buena Vista, part of this road is dirt (ascending, the descent is paved), and it is very very high - 12K' - if the weather is bad, don't go this way, but it's absolutely spectacular.
Also, this looks like you are on Hwy 70 after Loveland Pass, but you are really on a new bike path to Bakersville, then frontage roads all the way to Hwy 40.
If the bike paths around Vail and Frisco are open when you get closer, reroute like this:
Basically, your best bet is to stay in the green parts of the map, the white/yellow parts are lower and therefore hotter. Also stay off the "front range" - east side of the mountains - as long as possible, because that's where all the cars & people are. the area around I-70 is most highly populated, as is I-25, and thou you can ride US 285, I-50 and I-40, those have more traffic and are not as safe or nice.
If this stuff doesn't look good, or you have questions, post back here, if you have a phone, Skype or instant messenger, I am PMing you my contact info.
The avalanche deposition on the Copper-Frisco bike path is melting fast, people are walking across on a regular basis. The chutes that the bike path is exposed to are either clear of snow or everything that's likely to slide has slid. By the time the OP gets here I would expect snow/avalanches to be a non-issue. Eagle and Summit counties are seeing 70 degree temperatures now and it's staying above freezing at night, so the snow that's left is going fast.