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  1. #1
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    From Austin, TX. Visiting Boulder in May

    So, like the title says, I'm from Austin (aka: Lanceland / Biking capital of Texas) and I just got the word from my boss that I am being sent to Boulder May 8-11 for some work related training. I'm considering extending my stay through the weekend(s) like from the 6th to the 14th and try to do some riding while I'm up there. Any suggestions on nearby trails and places to rent a bike for a few days?

    Thanks,

    Ian
    Austin, TX

  2. #2
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    Lots of options, but for anything more than a day or two day of riding, it's probably worth it to bring your bike.

  3. #3
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    I just moved to Denver form aTx. Haven't rode the bike yet but should know some trails by the time you get here. Which Austin trails do you like best and I'll see if I can find some that fit your needs.

  4. #4
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Boulder Rides!

    You should def. ride Walker Ranch from town. fo sho...

  5. #5
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    University Cycles in Boulder is a great shop and they offer rentals for $25/day. Walker Ranch is the only Boulder trail I've done and I would recommend it. Search the trail reviews on this site for trails near Boulder and Lyons to find several choice rides.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by case
    I just moved to Denver form aTx. Haven't rode the bike yet but should know some trails by the time you get here. Which Austin trails do you like best and I'll see if I can find some that fit your needs.
    I've been riding the Barton Creek Greenbelt once or twice every weekend. It's got a good variety and isn't too easy/boring like Walnut Creek. I rode Mule Shoe once a while back and liked it too. It's kinda easy but is faster than some other local trails. I like a little bit of technical difficulty, but if my wife comes, we may need to tame it down a little.

    Thanks,

    Ian

    Oh, I'm also considering shipping my bike to a LBS up there and have it waiting for me when I arrive. Any experience with Full Cycle Cycles on 13th (I think)? It's close to where I'll be.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallin222
    Oh, I'm also considering shipping my bike to a LBS up there and have it waiting for me when I arrive. Any experience with Full Cycle Cycles on 13th (I think)? It's close to where I'll be.
    IMHO, I would use Sports Garage, Vecchio's or Excel, all in downtown Boulder and MUCH better attitudes.
    BTW, I moved to Boulder from ATX in August. Lot's of good stuff around just bring your climbing legs!

  8. #8
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    Cool-blue Rhythm will you have a rental car?

    there are really only 3 challenging trails *near* boulder (IMHO)--

    walker ranch
    heil valley ranch
    hall ranch

    if you're in decent shape, you can ride to walker and heil from boulder (just did the latter this evening), but you're talking ~30 miles (and you might change your mind on the way to walker halfway up flagstaff ) hall is a bit further north near lyons, but has some fun (technical) rocks at the bottom before a sweeping lollipop loop up top.

    there is a lot of other "fun" or scenic path riding in boulder too (boulder creek, or up canyon) but in terms of singletrack i'd suggest one of the three above.

    or if you've got a car, head up west and hit the switzerland trail, or even sourdough. check out our friends at the 'boudler mountainbike alliance' <http://www.boa-mtb.org/> for maps.

    i'd join you, but i'll be on the kokopelli tail that weekend.

    enjoy.

    terry
    -
    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    there are really only 3 challenging trails *near* boulder (IMHO)--
    <http:>
    Everyone needs "challenging" trails to motivate their riding?

    </http:>

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    Everyone needs "challenging" trails to motivate their riding?
    is that a rhetorical question?


    my point is only that if i lived out of state and went to the trouble to ship my trail bike to boulder, colorado, and then found out i'd be spinning on the boulder creek path i'd be a tad disappointed...

    lots of fine places to ride in/near boulder, but i don't think most warrant shipping a bike.

    $.02
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    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

  11. #11
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    riding in the Boulder area

    I'm going to take the position that (correct me if I'm way off base) that you're an average rider and don't do that much steep climbing at altitude down Austin way. Hall is about 30 minutes away from Boulder and would be a great introductory ride. Try to do it during the week--weekends are very crowded. If you find that too tame, check out Walker Ranch, my all-time favorite. Now we're talking climbing at altitude. If you like Walker, ride it again the opposite direction. I wouldn't attempt to ride Walker from Boulder until you know your legs/lungs/heart are ready for that kind of pump. I don't have an opinion on which bikeshop to ship your bike to, but that's the only way to do it if you're here for awhile. Make sure we know when you're in town so we can hook up with you.

    There are many trails to ride on the Front Range, not just in the Boulder area. In fact, you have to drive to most all trailheads, unless high high mileage is what you're after. If you decide to quit your job and just ride here all summer I'm sure the low humidity will suit you, and those hills back in Austin you thought were tough--well, you won't even notice them when you get back.
    Last edited by xcguy; 04-15-2006 at 04:26 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt

    lots of fine places to ride in/near boulder, but i don't think most warrant shipping a bike.
    Still doesn't make sense.

    If he rents, costs will be comparible...and who knows, his work might ship his bike for him. I think the criterion for whether to ship a bike or not depends on the time spent, not on the quality of the trails. I shipped my bike to Illinois one time because I was there a month. I rode flat roads around cornfields everyday but was happy I was on my bike.

    BTW, Halin, Full Cycle is a great shop.

  13. #13
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    ...to each his own.

    if i'm gonna be spinning on a bike path, i'd happily ride a rental 3-speed/borrowed cruiser/$100 wal-mart special; if i'm hitting walker ranch, i'd want my bike, dialed in just for me.

    now he's got multiple opinions to choose from.

    fwiw, i agree that he'd be fine w/ "full cycle"-- attitude or not, those guys seem to know what they're doing.

    happy trails.
    -
    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallin222
    Any suggestions on nearby trails and places to rent a bike for a few days?
    Maybe call Yeti to arrange a demo and ride White Ranch or do an Apex - Dakota Ridge - Red Rocks loop.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    ...to each his own.

    if i'm gonna be spinning on a bike path, i'd happily ride a rental 3-speed/borrowed cruiser/$100 wal-mart special; if i'm hitting walker ranch, i'd want my bike, dialed in just for me.

    now he's got multiple opinions to choose from.

    fwiw, i agree that he'd be fine w/ "full cycle"-- attitude or not, those guys seem to know what they're doing.

    happy trails.
    Lost focus have we?

    So far you have:

    • expressed an elitist attiude about trail difficulty in Boulder area trails
    • called the kettle black in regards to full cycle
    • tried to use the boulder creek path to support your weak point that one should not bother shipping their bike to boulder based on point number one.
    • Contradict it all with walker ranch which is on your original list of trails, that if your point was correct, it would be worth his time to ship his bike just to ride walker for the 1.25 hrs that takes.
    ....and I validate it all up by taking the time to bother replying...silly me.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loudpawlz
    Maybe call Yeti to arrange a demo and ride White Ranch or do an Apex - Dakota Ridge - Red Rocks loop.
    I'm with this idea....or he could come out, hook up with some locals and borrow a bike! If I had a spare in working order, I would volunteer.

  17. #17
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    ?!

    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    ....and I validate it all up by taking the time to bother replying...silly me.
    silly you indeed.

    guess i'll have to defer to you-- anybody who works w/ lasers and has 3,000+ posts must know what they're talking about.


    ian: bring your bike out, ride walker, heil, and hall, and you'll get a good sense of colorado front range riding. if you have time,
    throw in sourdough and/or switzerland trails. you'll be glad you did (just be ready to ask for a permanent transfer).
    -
    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    I'm with this idea....or he could come out, hook up with some locals and borrow a bike! If I had a spare in working order, I would volunteer.
    Heck yeah. A free bike for a week(end) sounds perfect, regardless of who supplies it. I'm quickly discovering that getting my own bike up there is a pricey affair.

    I'll try contacting Yeti next week to see if they have a demo available in an XL (20-21").

    Ian
    from the ATX

  19. #19
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    I'd say give Anthony a ring @ Wheat Ridge Cyclery and see if he can't point you in the right direction (bike and trail wise).

  20. #20
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    I think I'm going to be renting a rig from Boulder Bikesmith as they look to have a decent selection and good prices. It's just not worth it financially for me to ship my Kona up there for only three full days of riding. Bummer.

    Looks like I'll be riding Sat, Sun, Mon the 6th,7th, & 8th. Work related obligations will keep me busy the rest of the week.

    See you guys on the trail.

    Ian

  21. #21
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    Riding in Boulder

    Give us more info when you get here. We'll show you some good riding.

  22. #22
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    The travel arrangements are set, and I'll be on my way north a week from tomorrow. My wife has decided to come along with me after all, so my choice of trails may have just decreased. Any suggestions on local trails for a beginner? We've both only been riding again for about a year, but am currently in better shape (and much more daring) than she is. She's been recovering from a few minor surgeries over the last few months and conditioning as slipped a little. I still ride about 3 times a week for at least an hour, and up to 2.5+hrs or so at a time.

    My wife's favorite trail is still the Barton Creeek Greenbelt here in Austin, for those of you who know it. She still refuses to try riding up (or down) the Hill of Life though.

    Thanks folks.

    Ian
    ATX

  23. #23
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    Keep in mind that you can ride until about 7 pm now....

    With the wife, I'd suggest Batasso and Heil. For you Walker and Hall, if you have the lungs and legs for Hall and especially Walker, maybe a trip up to Sourdough (if it's dry) would be an awesome end.

  24. #24
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    austin has plenty of climbing..
    just not all at once!

    most guys that ride "the good stuff" here have no problem riding anywhere else in the country..

    the elevation and oxegen deprivation is what slows most of us down..

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammerheadbikes
    austin has plenty of climbing..
    just not all at once!

    most guys that ride "the good stuff" here have no problem riding anywhere else in the country..

    the elevation and oxegen deprivation is what slows most of us down..
    Well, Chuck, even I still have yet to make it to the top of the Hill of Life without dismounting and walking the upper 1/3 or more. Those 18" step-ups and extremely loose conditions make it hard for me to find that balance of wheelies and spinning out. The ride down sure is fun, though. Most other parts of Austin trails are 95% ridable for me. I'm still learning. I tend to power through stuff with not much grace, but I'm working on that.

    We'll be looking into the Boulder trail scene in more detail this week. Thanks for all of your input, folks. t's greatly appreciated.

    Ian

  26. #26
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    Here is a link to the Batasso loop that yinyang suggested. A friend and I should hit it this weekend weather permitting, Iíll let you know how it goes. Altitude and oxygen will definitely affect you as well as the length of the climbs.

    http://www.co.boulder.co.us/openspac...ks/betasso.htm

  27. #27
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    Well, we're here.

    I've read many of the posts in this thread, and other regarding local weather and trail conditions. We're going to start off slow today, as it's been a few weeks since my wife has been riding frequently. Tomorrow and Monday we'll hit slightly harder trails, but today we're looking for a little more casual riding. I don't quite wan to be bored on manmade crushed stone 8ft wide paths or super lame fire roads, but don't want the wife to have to carry her bike on her shoulder much either.

    Know what I mean?

    What is dry that you folks think will suit our needs for the weekend?

    Thanks again,

    Ian & Amy

  28. #28
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    first ride in Boulder

    It's too bad you arrived just as our latest rains ended--some trails are gonna need to dry out. However---Walker Ranch will definitely be rideable, as it's more gravel than dirt so the trails soak up the slop quicker. If I were you two--and I'm not because I have to work around the house all day while you get to try out the riding!--I'd drive up to Walker Ranch (up Flagstaff--watch the road, not the view). WR proper is quite a grind, not what you need for a first ride. But the first Walker Ranch trailhead/parking you get to is called Meyers Gulch (it's a few miles up Flagstaff Mtn. then a few miles further--you'll see other parking areas but look for the Meyers Gulch sign). Park there and ride that for your first ride. It's scenic, pretty casual and has a great view at the end. It's the ride I'll do sometimes if my knees are hurting but I have to put the rubber side down. It'll be beautiful up there. Enjoy. Then, if that was too wimpy for you you can pedal out to the pavement, coast downhill for a few hundred yards and voila! the real Walker Ranch parking area/trailhead. You're on your own from there on out.
    Last edited by xcguy; 05-06-2006 at 05:45 PM.

  29. #29
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    Since it will take a day to dry out you should head to the Sports Garage / Colorado multisport demo. You can try all the new Ellsworths, Yeti's, Titus, SC (?) Also road bikes. They have a Demo going on where 28th st. turns into 36. ( I think. Better call them for more information.) I do belive they have a dirt demo and dirt jumps. Starts at noon and goes til 3pm. Check it out.

    Welcome to CO. you won't wanna leave.

  30. #30
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    Thanks for your replies guys. We'll definately try out Walker Ranch tomorrow or Monday. We rode a short ride around Rabbit Mountain (I rode it twice, Amy did one lap and then waited for me at the trailhead).

    We gthen packed up to head just down the road to ride Heil Ranch, but got there just in time for the showers today. We waited it out, but too much rain fell to make it a fun ride. Plus, I'd hate to be the A-hole tourist that wrecked your trails.

    We drove right by the Demo going on today, but decided not to got. I'm getting a 'demo' on these Haro Shifts that we rented. The Black fork seems to work OK, and the handling and pedalling efficiency is great, but the rear suspension design seems far inferior on rocky decents (common around here) than the rocker arm set-up on my Kona. I do enjoy the steeper head angle of the Haro, as my Kona is VERY slack of an XC bike at 68.5 deg.

    Keep the suggestions coming guys. We really appreciate it. Tomorrow should be a much longer day of riding than today................weather permitting.

    Later,

    Ian

  31. #31
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    Did anyone mention Apex? Fun trail getting close to morison. Also Mt. falcon. Huge climb and descent.

    Then there is Hall in Lyons. You saw Heil (ZZZZZZZZZZ imo), Must do Walker,

    Soo many trails so little time.

  32. #32
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    you two from Austin

    How much longer you here? Definitely do Walker if you only have one ride left. Forget Heil. Hall would be good on Monday as well, without the crowd of bikers/hikers/runners. If you've decided to just give away your return tickets and ride ride ride, Apex/Mt. Falcon/Lair of The Bear/Alderfer-Three Sisters/Dakota Ridge/Deer Creek Canyon Park...lessee...that should last you for at least a week. Maybe you'll have that Haro dialed in by then.

  33. #33
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    We rode Heil yesterday morning. Even that climb was a challenge. I consider myself in pretty good shape, but Austin just doesn't have long, sustained climbs like this. My wife actually asked to be 'dropped' and we met back up at the top after I did the loop and took some photos from the overlook. Incredible views everywhere around here!

    We then took a lunch break and picked me up some new biking shoes at Performance on Arapahoe (Adidas Marathon, for $19.99, WOW). We also picked up some new lycra for me (old Supergo house brand for $7.50, WOW again), and some Supergo house brand flat/downhill pedals for the wife for like $8.00. She doesn't clip in, hates stirrups, and slips on traditional flats, so heavy cheese gaters it is.

    Anyway, after lunch we headed on over to Hall (HAD to ride it, it's our last name) with the wife's new pedals screwed onto the rental bike's cranks. We made the mistake of being first-timers to Hall and put in at the south entrance and had quite a long hike-a-bike section through the rock garden. Anyone who can ride that (climbing) without clipping out is my hero. Again, Amy was feeling bad about slowing me down and ordered me to go on ahead. I then missed the left turn and mistakenly rode down almost all the way to the north entrance before some hikers informed me of my mistake. DAMN! Now I have to ride back UP those switchbacks. ARGH! I'm getting pretty tired by now, but ride on out to the loop, where I find my wife again. She rode with me for a while and decided to return to the bench at the center of the trail system and wait for me to complete the upper loop. I was getting VERY tired by this time. I ride the loop and take some pictures of the cabin, etc. before meeting back up with Amy. She was too nervous about decending the rock garden, so we exit through the north trail head and ride the road 2+ miles back to the truck parked at the south entrance. We were spent.

    None of these have been super technical trails, agreed. But our lack of training for these long climbs, and the damn altitude (!!!!) is making a mild ride, much more challenging. Today (Monday) we might try to ride Walker as it appears to be te 'must ride' trail while we are here. If we have any more energy after Walker this morning, we might hit the Heil ride again as Amy liked that one quite a bit. She's liking how the local Boulder trails are improving her bike handling skills on decents and, of course, endourance while climbing. I commend her for her efforts.

    Later, folks. We gotta get some breakfast in us and hit the road.

    Ian & Amy Hall
    Austin, TX
    .....temporary residence......Longmont, CO :-)

    sorry for the super long post

  34. #34
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    Walker

    I can tell by your post what kind of Colorado-style riding shape you're in. It's great that you're getting to experience our trails. A word about Walker, in light of your high-altitude fitness: the ride up Meyers Gulch might be just the ticket for you two. Then, if you do want to try the Walker Ranch Loop, go on down to the real parking lot for that loop (a few hundred yards more down the paved road) and head to the right out of the parking lot. You'll notice that you're headed downdowndowndowndown. The thing about Walker is that it entails a long grind out no matter which direction you go. So...I'd say go on down, ride along Boulder Creek down there, then turn around and grind back up. Otherwise you're gonna grind upupup from the creek, go downdowndown a supersweet singletrack, then grind upupup again, and none of these grinds up are easy at all. If you were to suck it in and do the entire loop I doubt you'd have the energy to try Heil again. Or maybe you would. Tell us how it goes.

  35. #35
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    Hi all,
    Just reading this post from last year as I am heading to the Denver area tomorrow. I will have the afternoon tomorrow and was thinking of renting a mtn bike at the Boulder Bikesmith and hitting the Walker trail. Anyone locals have time to show me around the place by chance??

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