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Ride Recommendations Colorado

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Ride Recommendations Colorado

Old 08-25-11, 04:27 PM
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malec
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Ride Recommendations Colorado

I'll be out in Colorado for the week. Any rides that I absolutely must do?
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Old 08-25-11, 04:28 PM
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How long are you looking for? And what part of Colorado will you be in?
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Old 08-25-11, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by malec View Post
I'll be out in Colorado for the week. Any rides that I absolutely must do?
There are lots of rides you should do but many that you can't do...not with a week's acclimation. Unless, that is, you come from someplace higher than Colorado which is hard to do if you live in the US. Like Seattle Forrest said where? Colorado is a big squar(ish) state.
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Old 08-25-11, 04:57 PM
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I'm in Brooklyn now, but grew up in Colorado. I acclimate very quickly. I'll be in Boulder mostly, but don't mind driving for an epic ride. Let's keep them under 70 miles and you all just throw out the rides... if they're too tough I won't do 'em.
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Old 08-25-11, 05:17 PM
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Do you have a car to drive out of Boulder with your bike?

Try the Peak to Peak.
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Old 08-25-11, 05:23 PM
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Peak to Peak looks like close to 100 miles... maybe a little much for vacation riding. I plan on doing Lefthand Canyon up to Ward though.

Fully mobile. Keep 'em coming.
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Old 08-25-11, 05:28 PM
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Lookout Mountain is a great one.
You should also do some rides near Evergreen if you feel like driving.
Eldorado Canyon is a good ride in Boulder.
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Old 08-25-11, 05:37 PM
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Lookout mountain looks very nice!
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Old 08-25-11, 06:35 PM
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Out to Lyons on 36, up the 7 to the Peak to Peak (72), along the 72 to the Ward turnoff and back down Left Hand Canyon. That is a really pretty ride, 60miles all told, and pretty challenging while not being too crazy.

Extra credit - come back over Lee Hill Road. Or if you don't quite have the legs for that, Olde Stage Road. Or if you really don't have anmy climbing legs left, just go all the way to 36 and back.

Depending when you go, stop by Amante coffee shop in North Boulder and see if you can pick up a partner to ride with.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-25-11, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by and1homer View Post
Out to Lyons on 36, up the 7 to the Peak to Peak (72), along the 72 to the Ward turnoff and back down Left Hand Canyon. That is a really pretty ride, 60miles all told, and pretty challenging while not being too crazy.

Extra credit - come back over Lee Hill Road. Or if you don't quite have the legs for that, Olde Stage Road. Or if you really don't have anmy climbing legs left, just go all the way to 36 and back.

Depending when you go, stop by Amante coffee shop in North Boulder and see if you can pick up a partner to ride with.

Enjoy!
This is a great ride. Definitely come back over Olde Stage and down Lee Hill, which will deposit you pretty much at Amante. Say hi to my friends who work there!
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Old 08-25-11, 09:00 PM
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^^ I like that ride too, but I like it even better in the other direction. For reduced mileage but added steepness and dirt, replace either Lefthand Canyon or St Vrain Canyon with James Canyon

Another option: From Golden, make a loop with Golden Gate Canyon - Peak to Peak - Coal Creek Canyon - 93. about 55 miles and 6000' climbing

Another option: Start in boulder (for 100 miles) or Lyons (for 70ish miles), ride up Hwy 7 (South St. Vrain) all the way to Estes Park, turn around and come back the same way, or loop around on Devil's Gulch / Hwy 34 / CR 23 / 75th st. (don't use 36 between Estes & Lyons on a weekend - or ever, really - too much traffic). great views, lots of elevation gain,nothing too steep.

Another option: drive to Estes and ride up to the top of Trail Ridge Road and back. 50 miles but lots of altitude & great scenery. Pick a good weather day. Bring $ for the park entrance fee. Or start at Drake or Loveland to add more miles to the beginning.

Another option: start in downtown boulder and ride out-and back on Flagstaff to the top (not just the amphitheater, the top), turn up Mapleton which turns into Sunshine Canyon ride to the dirt and turn around, head out of town to the north, go over Lee Hill, up Lefthand Canyon to Ward, turn around, turn left up James Canyon, ride that to the dirt, turn around, come back over Olde Stage. Call for a ride home, as you won't be able to lift your foot to use the gas pedal. (this is more than 70 miles and is kind of a joke, but not really)

Another option: drive up to Summit County and do the Copper Triangle loop (Copper - Vail/Minturn - Leadville - Copper). This one is a real Colorado Must Do - incredible scenery. It's 80 miles, though.

Another option: start in Evergreen, ride up Hwy 103 to Echo Lake, hang a left, ride to the top of Mt. Evans (14k'), turn around and either descend the same way or come back through Idaho Springs.


P.S. Cyccomute -- that's not true, you can do anything w/o acclimatization, you'll just breath harder and ride slower.
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Old 08-25-11, 09:23 PM
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Morgul Bismark to Eldorado Canyon, back down to Marshall to Cherryvale. Cherryvale to South Boulder Road up the McCaslin hill. Turn around and head back down South Boulder Road to Table Mesa to NCAR. Back down NCAR to Broadway and Baseline. Up to 9th and then down to Walnut.

Latte at Amante downtown and a peek at the Specialized Venge hanging at Ubikes.

My wife calls it the Triple Treat.
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Old 08-25-11, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
^^ I like that ride too, but I like it even better in the other direction. For reduced mileage but added steepness and dirt, replace either Lefthand Canyon or St Vrain Canyon with James Canyon

Another option: From Golden, make a loop with Golden Gate Canyon - Peak to Peak - Coal Creek Canyon - 93. about 55 miles and 6000' climbing

Another option: Start in boulder (for 100 miles) or Lyons (for 70ish miles), ride up Hwy 7 (South St. Vrain) all the way to Estes Park, turn around and come back the same way, or loop around on Devil's Gulch / Hwy 34 / CR 23 / 75th st. (don't use 36 between Estes & Lyons on a weekend - or ever, really - too much traffic). great views, lots of elevation gain,nothing too steep.

Another option: drive to Estes and ride up to the top of Trail Ridge Road and back. 50 miles but lots of altitude & great scenery. Pick a good weather day. Bring $ for the park entrance fee. Or start at Drake or Loveland to add more miles to the beginning.

Another option: start in downtown boulder and ride out-and back on Flagstaff to the top (not just the amphitheater, the top), turn up Mapleton which turns into Sunshine Canyon ride to the dirt and turn around, head out of town to the north, go over Lee Hill, up Lefthand Canyon to Ward, turn around, turn left up James Canyon, ride that to the dirt, turn around, come back over Olde Stage. Call for a ride home, as you won't be able to lift your foot to use the gas pedal. (this is more than 70 miles and is kind of a joke, but not really)

Another option: drive up to Summit County and do the Copper Triangle loop (Copper - Vail/Minturn - Leadville - Copper). This one is a real Colorado Must Do - incredible scenery. It's 80 miles, though.

Another option: start in Evergreen, ride up Hwy 103 to Echo Lake, hang a left, ride to the top of Mt. Evans (14k'), turn around and either descend the same way or come back through Idaho Springs.


P.S. Cyccomute -- that's not true, you can do anything w/o acclimatization, you'll just breath harder and ride slower.
Sea level to the top of Trail Ridge or Mt Evans? I don't think so. I turned enough sea level relatives and tourists green by just going to the top of Evans or Pike's. It's even something of a sport - granted a sick mean one - but a sport here nevertheless. He asked for rides in Colorado.

Like I said it's a big square(ish) very high state. If he had two weeks, I'd say try some very high stuff but for just a week, stay a bit lower.

On a serious note, going too high and doing too much too soon can result in high altitude pulmonary edema, even in fit individuals especially above 8000 feet.

Lookout Mountain, Peak to Peak, even rides around Boulder out on the plains would be relatively safe. If you do Lookout Mountain, malec, go all the way over the top. The front is fun to ride up but the back is way faster and a lot more fun on the way down. Here's a map that includes Lookout Mountain with a side trip to Red Rocks. If you don't want to do the whole distance, turn left at US40 (12.9 miles) and head back to Golden.
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Old 08-26-11, 12:45 AM
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Acclimate with a simple N Boulder to Jamestown out an back. Bust a right on the return for a backwards Old Stage if you are not dying yet and want to push it a bit more. Its a quick, attractive ride that keeps you close and on a well traveled road of you run into any physical or other "trouble." Give yourself a chance to acclimate and don't be too cavalier as THERE ARE SERIOUS RISKS for even healthy folks coming from sea level.
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Old 08-26-11, 06:00 AM
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Lots of great rides already mentioned.

If you are going to ride up to Ward I usually continue to Brainard Lake, right once you hit the Peak to Peak followed by a quick left. It takes you up to 10k elevation and adds a little more climbing to the ride.

As long as it is before the road closes I would definitely take a trip down to Idaho Springs and ride Mt Evans. The highest paved road in North America hits a little over 14k feet. From Idaho Springs the ride is 28 miles up a fairly constant but mellow grade, total ascent it something around 6.7k feet climbing. From my perspective this is the most spectacular ride around here in terms of scenery and epic quality. Be warned the weather changes fast, even if the forecast is good you want to be riding by 8am so that you have the best chance of not getting caught in anything from showers to hailstorms even in the middle of summer. Also the temp on top is significantly cooler and the descent is long, jarring, and worth paying attention on (due to road conditions, serious drop offs, wildlife and unpredictable motorists that are gaping at the scenery). All that said if you have not done this ride you will remember it long after you forget all of the other rides in the area.
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Old 08-26-11, 06:10 AM
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I rode Trail Ridge Road pulling a trailer my second day in Colorado after taking a 2 day bus ride from California. I felt a little light headed.

I think you guys are over stating the altitude case. If the guy gets a headache or nauseous, there's a good chance he'll be smart enough or feel sick enough to coast back down to his car. The serious symptoms of altitude sickness are quickly abated by descending to a lower altitude.

The rides I mentioned fit the criteria of "Any rides that I absolutely must do? " in Colorado - they are super classic. Morgul Bismark, while classic in a "Coors Classic" sense, is an acceptable week-night urban adventure, but it doesn't do Colorado justice.

OK, thought of another one. Horsetooth/Rist/Stove Prairie loop (see link below). Hard climbing and quiet roads. Either direction is fine, both are hard. probably easier to go north on the east side of Horsetooth Res. first, as the hills along the res. are hard at the end of the ride. I've marked this starting at a gas station in Loveland, but you can start anywhere near Ft. C or Loveland, or you can add another 50 miles of flat riding and do it from Boulder. Very limited services on this route - there's a store in Masonville and another on the south end of the Horsetooth Res, but nothing on the main part of the loop (big climb) so bring enough water & food. There's a c-store close off the route in LaPorte.

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=US...=13&via=3&z=11
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Old 08-26-11, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
There are lots of rides you should do but many that you can't do...not with a week's acclimation. Unless, that is, you come from someplace higher than Colorado which is hard to do if you live in the US. Like Seattle Forrest said where? Colorado is a big squar(ish) state.
this is a general statment and assumption that one must acclimate before riding at elevation that i dont buy into to. FOR ME i dont buy into it. i think it is rider specific and if you are at a high enough fitness level you can handle riding at elevation with little acclimation. maybe not racing up the peaks, but riding just fine.

i did just that in 2009 coming from IL via car to the top of the Grand Mesa, Cottonwood Pass, Independence Pass, and 500+ Colorado miles in 6 days. YMMV. later.
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Old 08-26-11, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
The rides I mentioned fit the criteria of "Any rides that I absolutely must do? " in Colorado - they are super classic. Morgul Bismark, while classic in a "Coors Classic" sense, is an acceptable week-night urban adventure, but it doesn't do Colorado justice.
I didn't realize there was a difference between classic and super classic. The guy grew up in Colorado.
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Old 08-26-11, 02:41 PM
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^^ really, you find the morgul bismark to be an interesting/pleasant bike ride, in and of itself? I don't.

edit - i don't want to start a p***ing contest - nevermind.

Last edited by valygrl; 08-26-11 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 08-26-11, 02:46 PM
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This thread is worthless without pictures.



Come on, people, we're talking about the roof of the continent. The Rocky Mountains. You folks who go up into the halls of the mountain king regularly, take pity on us flatlanders and show off your scenery!
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Old 08-26-11, 03:13 PM
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Trail Ridge Road, summer


Peak to Peak between Ward and Raymond, autumn


Same spot, early spring


On the way between Lyons and Estes Park on Hwy 7 (=Peak to Peak, = South Saint Vrain), June


Copper Triangle route, on Battle Mountain (between Minturn & Leadville), Sept
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Old 08-26-11, 03:13 PM
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Morgul Bismark is a classic Boulder ride. Maybe even "super classic" if you're nostalgic. Add Eldo, Cherryvale, South Boulder Rd, and NCAR, and there's plenty interesting/pleasant with some fun short local climbs. He wanted under 70, is staying in town, and is already doing Jamestown/Ward, which would have been my first suggestion.

Morgul is my go-to ride. There were a number of suggestions that didn't include it. So I suggested a fun variation with a latte at the end. That is all.
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Old 08-26-11, 03:15 PM
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^^ yes, point taken.
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Old 08-26-11, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Trail Ridge Road, summer
I was ten days old the first time I crossed the continental divide. It was on Trail Ridge Road. But not on a bike.

Beautiful photos by the way. Thanks for the nostalgia fix.
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Old 08-26-11, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
I rode Trail Ridge Road pulling a trailer my second day in Colorado after taking a 2 day bus ride from California. I felt a little light headed.

I think you guys are over stating the altitude case. If the guy gets a headache or nauseous, there's a good chance he'll be smart enough or feel sick enough to coast back down to his car. The serious symptoms of altitude sickness are quickly abated by descending to a lower altitude...
Susceptability to "mountain sickness" must be very specific to the individual. I remember evacuating a fellow out of Tuolomne Meadows which I think is only 7000' (isn't it). He hadn't gone higher. He was so debilatated he couldn't make it to the car without help...And another time off of Dana Couloir although the latter person recovered by the time we had driven to Big Oak Flat (which as some remember is not far from the "valy").
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