Weekend Wheeling: Dennis's Pick for Denver, Colorado
You are lucky if you're a biker with a weekend to kill in the Mile High City. Want to loosen up on some long, sweet, seemingly never-ending and wonderfully level roads? If so, there's all your heart could desire to the east, the American Great Plains of green fields and red-brown earth. Just grab a state map, drive your rental to one of the smaller towns east of Denver, ask a local to suggest both a quiet road and a place to leave your car and you're set.
Or, if you happened to notice those white lumps to the west and would prefer some mountain pedaling, how about a paved-road ride to a summit above 14,000 feet? Just drive west out of town on Interstate 70 to Idaho Springs, ask someone where you can leave your car for the day, and follow CO 103 for 15 miles to Echo Lake and up for 14 more from there. You'll see this route on the state map's blow-up of the Denver region, and when you look you'll notice that the same CO 103 loops back east and south of the interstate to the small burg of Bergen Park, another place to begin your ride. Or, if 14 grueling but wonderful, kneecapping but eye-popping miles of climbing is enough for you, park at Echo Lake and start your assault from there. Winter takes its toll on the road surface, so watch your line on the descent.
But you're a mountain biker, you say? Well, there are whole books describing what lies in store for you. I lived in Denver for a year, have returned almost every year since to mountain bike one portion or other of this gorgeous state, and still I'm finding something new on every visit.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication