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  1. #1
    nice marmot.
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    Best Front Range Trail for Noobs?

    Buenos Dias,

    First off, nice to meet you all! just moved to Denver about 1 year ago from North Carolina.

    Anyway... my wife's just getting back into the saddle after 3-4 years off. When we go ride, I ALWAYS pick the wrong trail for her, as I'm somewhat new to the Front Range. Any suggestions on the best trails to hone the fat tire skills?

    So far I was deemed not as arse for taking her on:
    Green Mountain
    Buffalo Creek

    While I achieved arse status on:
    White Ranch
    Walker Ranch

    Your suggestions are mucho appreciated!

  2. #2
    recovering racer
    Reputation: BipedZed's Avatar
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    Sounds like she doesn't like steep technical climbs. If that's true you may want to try the upper section of Mt. Falcon, particularly Parmalee Gulch. If she likes climbing, just not super steep or technical you could try the long steady climb up Castle (at least 45 minutes for a noob) from the Morrison-side parking lot. Matthew Winters is another place you could try although I rarely ride there. Not much elevation gain. Waterton Canyon is another easier ride with a long gradual fire road for the first 6 miles. For a longer non-technical ride you could try Indian Creek from the Waterton Canyon loop.


    Other places where arse status is likely:
    Deer Creek Canyon - very rocky and steep in the first 20 minutes. Easy afterwards though.
    Dakota Ridge - technical, but little climbing
    Chimney Gulch - long semi-technical climb
    Apex??? - haven't ridden up in over a decade, but my recollection is that it's a technical climb.

    Good luck and enjoy the riding.

  3. #3
    Which way? Uphill.
    Reputation: nepbug's Avatar
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    From what you said she likes and dislikes I would first recommend Waterton Canyon, 6 miles to the dam, another 1.5 miles to Lenny's Rest if you want to add in some non-technical climbing, about 18 miles total if you do the entire Roxborough loop (CCW is the direction to go).

    My next recommendation would be Lair o' the Bear's Bear Creek Trail. You ride about two miles along the creek to the trail then it's another 6 miles or so of singletrack up to Pence Park. Non-technical for the most part, and not incredibly steep.

    The Upper Falcon recommendation by Zed would be good too.
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  4. #4
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    Reputation: Fat Elvis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ictoacoy
    Buenos Dias,
    Anyway... my wife's just getting back into the saddle after 3-4 years off. When we go ride, I ALWAYS pick the wrong trail for her, as I'm somewhat new to the Front Range. Any suggestions on the best trails to hone the fat tire skills?
    Been there before, my friend. Here are some good trails in CO:
    Buffalo Creek
    3 Sisters/Alderfer (although parts of 3 Sister trail is tough; great place, though)
    Bear Creek Trail from LOTB to Pence Park
    Upper Mt. Falcon
    Green Mountain
    Waterton Canyon
    Marshall Mesa/Community Ditch (a real yawner)
    Homestead trail at Walker Ranch
    Blue Dot trails (some aren't too bad)
    Betasso Preserve (the loop, not the out-and-back)
    Switzerland Trail (very easy)
    Southern Section of Sourdough (it may be pushing it, though)
    Heil Ranch
    Rabbit Mountain (maybe avoid the Little Thompson overlook trail)
    Lory St. Park

    Up in Wyoming, there's Turtle Rock (between Laramie and Cheyenne). It's a lot of fun. There's also a real nice out-and-back in the snowy range, too. Can't remember the name, but it's along the river, just west of Centennial.

    Stuff to stay away from:
    Dakota Ridge/MWinters
    Deer Creek
    White Ranch
    Apex
    Golden Gate
    Walker Ranch (main loop)
    Left-hand canyon trails
    Northern Sourdough (from Camp Dick)
    Horsetooth Mountain
    Hall Ranch (sort of on the fence; she may like it when she's back in shape)
    Last edited by Fat Elvis; 07-10-2006 at 11:39 AM.

  5. #5
    abnormally aspirated
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    Ditto on Lair o' the Bear and Waterton... though the 6 mile dirt road up Waterton is enough to turn a lot of people away... oh, wait! That's why I like Waterton...

  6. #6
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    Flying J Ranch

    Try Flying J. Short and non-technical. You can do some loops to add a little distance. Elk Meadow is also a good bet as long as you avoid the trails to the peak. Alderfer/3 sisters is also GF approved as long you avoid the 3 sisters trail.

  7. #7
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    Myer's Ranch is pretty chill and surprisingly fun.

  8. #8
    slow
    Reputation: sgltrak's Avatar
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    If you are looking to drive north, Fat Elvis' suggestion of Lory State Park is a good one. My kids and wife like that one. You can connect the valley trails from the lower lot at Horsetooth Mountain Park. The new Blue Sky Trail (from the north end) would be good for her, too, but do it out and back because she will hate you for finishing it at Devil's Backbone.

  9. #9
    nice marmot.
    Reputation: ictoacoy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions! I think after a few rides she'll get used to the Front Range trails and get to enjoy them more.... right now she's a little put off by the steep technical climbs. I haven't done alot of the trails you guys mentioned so I'm sure I'll have a blast too! Nothing like the feeling of riding a trail for the first time....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ictoacoy
    When we go ride, I ALWAYS pick the wrong trail for her.!
    I was on the receiving end of these inappropriate picks (from my fiance) for the first 1.5 yrs of my riding. I think it's awesome that you're looking for advice on trails!

    I got so discouraged after a Fruita ride (that included my first endo and whip-lash causing head whack) that I almost threw my bike in the CO river. However, after many days this spring on dirt roads, lots of Betassso, Buffalo Creek and West Mags rides, I am thrilled to have completed my first 2 races and the Walker Ranch loop!

    Good luck to you and your wife!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stepchild
    I got so discouraged after a Fruita ride (that included my first endo and whip-lash causing head whack) that I almost threw my bike in the CO river.
    Hold on a second. Are you my wife? Damn, you sound just like her, except we haven't been to Fruita. Yet.
    Last edited by Fat Elvis; 07-10-2006 at 09:42 PM.

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