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Denver area riding...(12 posts)

Denver area riding...C-40
Nov 4, 2002 3:12 PM
I'm planning to move to the Denver area by September of next year. My wife will work in downtown Denver (yuk). Don't know where I'll work.

Any thoughts about biking friendly areas? I'm spoiled now. I can reach rural roads with moderate traffic within 4 miles of home. I can ride from the house and rarely transport my bike.
re: Denver area riding...jtolleson
Nov 4, 2002 10:03 PM
Denver gets mixed reviews for biking, but I give it a thumbs up.

You can live MANY places in Denver and be a stone's throw from a bike path that gives you many, many miles of trail to get your miles it. To get the good mt riding, you CAN start from home (to, say, Lookout Mtn) but certainly schlepping the bike a few miles away can give you access to world class mtn passes.

Picking a neighborhood in Denver for biking is frankly VERY income dependent. Northwest Denver can be a hop-skip-jump from either the S. Platte bike path OR the route to Lookout Mtn and reasonably priced. The 'burbs will get you closer to the TRUE mtns. And central Denver (Hilltop, Cherry Creek, etc.) will cost you a body appendage for a very nice home not close to MUCH biking but you can get on the Cherry Creek Bike Path.

The issue is whether you wanna spend $150K on a house, or $500k on a house. Too hard to advise.
Don't knock downtownSherpa23
Nov 5, 2002 7:20 AM
No reason to knock downtown Denver. I live in the Country Club, only 5 minutes (by bike) from downtown, and it is one of the best places that I ever lived in the world. I live in nice house in a great neighbourhood, and I am close to everything, unlike the suburbs where I lived 4 years ago. The riding here in the city is great and it is very easy. I did not even ride on a bike path until this year and I put it 20,000 miles a year. You are close to all kinds of great cycling right here in central Denver.
Agree w/ JT about the bike pathsRickC5
Nov 5, 2002 6:13 AM
Riding the bike paths is great. I believe we have over 200 miles of bike paths in the metro area. Most are well kept-up and free from broken glass. From my house in SE Aurora, I can do a 60+ mile loop ride with 50+ of those miles on bike paths.

the flip side is the surface streets. The freeway system here is woefully inadequate for the amount of traffic, so many drivers use the surface streets instead. Lots & lots of traffic (except when the Broncos are playing). Most major streets have no real shoulder to ride on and cars frequently pass inches (or was it millimeters) from my left elbow. Consequently, I avoid the streets as much as possible. In fact, I absolutely hate riding on the streets here.

If you're looking for rural solitude, you will most likely have to truck your bike to a more remote part of the state to ride. Once you're 10-20 miles East of the metro area, there are some nice country roads to ride.

Lots of places to ride your mtn bike, even in town. Several miles of the Highline canal are gravel, plus many connecting trails. There are lots of great trails in Jefferson County. The mountains are anywhere from 10 minutes to 90 minutes away, depending on where you choose to live.
bike paths dangerous??C-40
Nov 5, 2002 9:08 AM
The bike paths in Kansas City (where I live) are OK for leisurely rides, but there are so many walkers, runners and dogs that getting up to any serious speed is dangerous. Most of our paths follow a creek and tend to have a lot of sharps corners and abrupt, but short hills that also keep speed down. Are the paths wider or do they have a dedicated cycling lane in Denver?

Thanks for the info.
Not necessarilyRickC5
Nov 5, 2002 9:44 AM
Some of the paths near downtown can be pretty busy. Depends on when you're riding and the weather. Early mornings aren't very crowded, especially if its cooler. The VERY popular Cherry creek trail actually splits near downtown, with bikes on the South side and peds & bladers on the North side (at least that's how I remember it. Could be bikes/bladers on the South.). I do most of my rides as early in the day as possible specifically to avoid the crowds later in the day.

Most trails are concrete and quite wide, although passing people requires typical care, and a friendly "On your left" always helps. Families with small kids on bikes are always a challenge. Bladers with headphones on (lots of them) can be oblivious to people coming up behind them, requiring extra caution.

Not many sharp or blind corners, nor steep hills to deal with. As you get further from town, the trails (Like the C-470 trail) cross busy streets, requiring you to stop, push the button and wait for the signal to change in your favor. Or, you stop and wait for a break in the traffic.
Not necessarilyPDF
Nov 5, 2002 10:32 AM
RickC5 is correct. I do most of my rides in and around town on the bike paths to avoid cars. Common sense is needed when approaching others on the past (slow down, "on your left", "thanks", etc) but you will have no problem letting it rip. I've been told that Denver has the most extensive bike trail network of any city in the US. I'm sure if that is in fact true but you will be pleasantly surprised at the system. Getting in a century entirely (sans the few street crossings) on the trails is very easy. Another nice thing we have going for us that hooks into the trail network are the numerous parks with paved bike paths. Cherry Creek reserviour is probably the most popular of these and is a very bike-friendly place.

Do you know where you will be living? Perhaps some of us Denverites can suggest some rides for you from your house. I know I can.
re: Denver area riding...PDF
Nov 5, 2002 8:51 AM
I agree with the other posters. Denver is quite nice for riding and, in my mind, the extensive bike/rollerblade/walking trail network is awesome. Pick up the Denver Bicycle Club map of the trails when you get to town.
re: Denver area riding...KSC
Nov 5, 2002 10:54 AM
I would tend to disagree with other posters in regards to the bike paths. I live in north/northwest denver and find the bike trails around my house, although extensive, totally inadequate for riding. I use the trails merely as a conduit to roads I want to ride. I've ridden the south platte bike path into Denver on a cold dreary day with very few people, but still found between the occassional slow biker or walker and winding around bridges, underpasses, avoiding obstacles in the path, I couldn't maintain the kind of speed or continuity that I'd prefer.

I find that Denver is short on bike lanes & heavy on traffic. Of the places I've lived (Austin & Nashville) I find there's fewer good riding routes from my house. That said, there's a few pretty good routes I stick to that are pretty nice heading north and northwest of where I leave. I've tried to find some good routes in the northeast denver area without much luck unless you really go far north out of town.

Seems most areas close to the mountains have some pretty nice rides heading west (of course homes cost more). I know Boulder has a number of nice routes going into or away from the mountains.
re: Denver area riding...Anaerobic_Nut
Nov 5, 2002 12:12 PM
Can't comment much on Denver Metro area; but I live in Broomfield and love it. I usually start from my house and can get to rural roads within 20 min. I'm also close to Boulder and will sometimes drag the bike there to hook up with my team. Broomfield is very affordable and only a short 20 min drive to downtown Denver. However, it is the burbs. If your wanting more character then look in the immediate Denver area. Good luck and enjoy CO!
Thanks to all !!!C-40
Nov 5, 2002 2:51 PM
Appreciate all of the feedback. I'm in the early stages of house hunting. I spent a couple of days driving around Denver this last weekend. I did find Broomfield to be more affordable than most areas. Highlands Ranch is another possibility. Next time I'm out there, I'll try to spend a little time checking out the trails. Job hunting is the next step for me.
Thanks to all !!!PDF
Nov 5, 2002 4:16 PM
I'm sure biking is not your criteria for housing location but if you end up in Higlands Ranch you are in a prime location to get on the C-470 trail to Chatfield Reservour then out to the popular Deer Creek climb. I'm sure once you are here for a bit you will discover Deer Creek and the climb up High Grade Road to Conifer and see what I mean. Best of luck to you on your move to Denver.