Last week I wrote about a new bike project I am working on based off the popular book, “Popular Bike Rides in Denver and Boulder”, that has 40 great road and dirt rides to explore the Front Range. My goal is to ride all 40 of these in 40 weeks.
After one week I have attempted 3 rides, and yet haven’t officially completed one! At first I was frustrated with this outcome as I didn’t ride the routes as prescribed (I’m a bit type A.) The more I have thought about it, the more I realize this first week has been a complete success. There are three new areas of town I have explored, and many additional miles on my bike than before.
Ride #1 – North Table Mesa Mountain Biking
This 35 minute ride was cut very short as I had a small mechanical with my front fork. After putting air in my fork the night before with a well used suspension pump it seemed that my valve core worked it’s way loose enough to lose air overnight. My front end was nose diving on the initial climb and rocky single-track. After trying to ride 60-80mm close to my front wheel I called it a day.
The time driving was well spent. Seeing the sunrise over the mesa was a glorious event. As this park opens an hour before sunrise it would be a perfect place to strap a light on and welcome the day with a night to morning mountain bike ride. It is a very quick drive from I-70 and the loop recommended in the book is strenuous but you could get in a couple laps and head to work with plenty of time. The bathrooms are also very nice and roomy to bring your bike in so not to allow it to be stolen.
Ride #2 – South Platte – Big Dry Creek Loop
The South Platte River Trail is a hidden gem in Denver. Many people know about the Cherry Creek Trail as it runs through a well populated area of town, but the South Platte runs north and south for miles starting at the most northern end of the Cherry Creek Trail. There aren’t many places to commute to by using it, but it is a great pathway to escape away from the city for a bit.
Last Friday was a joyful day in Denver. 60+º and blue skies every direction. It was a wonderful day to be on a bike, and the South Platte River Trail was the perfect place to enjoy it. This will be a ride I attempt again soon. Simply put, I ran out of time.
Ride #3 – South Denver Bike Path Loop
This is the first route in the guide book, and it sure does spoil you. Looping you away from the city west towards the mountains and Morrison. The views are breathtaking and remind you exactly why you live here.
Be warned though, there is a large detour around Bear Creek Lake which adds a couple miles and this isn’t a route to attempt if it has snowed recently. It snowed last weekend and a good amount of Bear Creek Trail and 470S trail were covered in ice and snow. These two things slowed my ride down dramatically (12.9 avg mph compared to 18 avg that I did last time I rode this route with touring panniers!) and I was left to cut it short.