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  1. #1
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    Denver/Golden Better for MTB or Road biking?

    Would you say the greater Denver area (specifically Golden) is better for mountain or road biking? Best I can tell from my research, it's a pretty good place for both.

  2. #2
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    Road. There are a lot more roads than trails.


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    haha. well when you put it that way.....

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    Golden is excellent for both!

  5. #5
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    For Road, you can bike on over 200mi of paths in the Denver Metro area, Golden would be in that 'area'.
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  6. #6
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    Great for both. It's an embarassment of riches. But since I like mountain biking more than road biking, I'll say mountain biking.

  7. #7
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    There's always more roads than trails (unless you're in BFE somewhere). However, you can ride mountain bikes on roads and you can ride road bikes on trails in only rare cases.

    You also have to drive to a lot of trails, so it depends on how far you can drive and still be in the area.

    There's a lot of great hills for road biking just west of Golden and a lot of great empty roads east of Denver as well.
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  8. #8
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    Golden's pretty good for both, but I'd have to say mountain biking gets the edge for Golden. Now if you had said Boulder, road biking would definitely get the edge.
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    Riding...

    If you are talking about riding from your front door, I think the mountain biking around Golden is world class, while the road riding is very average. There are a few good climbing road rides, like Lookout or Golden Gate, but if you want a flatter ride, bike paths are about your only option from there unless you like stoplights. Trying to do any real road riding on a bike path just sucks.

    Road riding is better from Boulder, The mountain biking options there have improved lately, but don't come close to Golden.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    Road riding is better from Boulder, The mountain biking options there have improved lately, but don't come close to Golden.
    Could one just take the S Foothills Hwy from Golden to Boulder (riding), then go from Boulder? Or is that road not safe?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScreenName
    Could one just take the S Foothills Hwy from Golden to Boulder (riding), then go from Boulder? Or is that road not safe?
    You can ride HWY 93, if you've got some serious nerve. It's pretty good until you get past coal creek canyon, then the shoulder disappears entirely as it goes by Rocky Flats (nothing like riding a 2 lane highway with no shoulder and notorious crosswinds). I've detoured over to Indiana to get on a less busy road when making the trip, but the shoulders aren't much better. You can probably find some better roads by going a little further east, but I haven't explored the options too much yet.

    Probably around a 90 minute ride from Golden to Boulder.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nepbug
    Probably around a 90 minute ride from Golden to Boulder.
    I figured, it looks like about 40 miles. But if one wanted to do an 80 mile day, or more, then that seems like a viable option. That is, if all the "good" road biking starts in Boulder.

    Anyway, if the good mtb is in Golden, then I think that'd take priority. Esp since I just got a new mountain bike. (fs, finally).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nepbug
    You can ride HWY 93, if you've got some serious nerve. It's pretty good until you get past coal creek canyon, then the shoulder disappears entirely as it goes by Rocky Flats (nothing like riding a 2 lane highway with no shoulder and notorious crosswinds). I've detoured over to Indiana to get on a less busy road when making the trip, but the shoulders aren't much better. You can probably find some better roads by going a little further east, but I haven't explored the options too much yet.

    Probably around a 90 minute ride from Golden to Boulder.
    Pretty much. I road ride a lot and have a seriously high tolerance for cars and trucks buzzing me on the roads. That said, Highway 93 is very sketchy from Coal Creek Canyon north to Boulder. One of the only times I've ever felt scared on a road bike was on that strip of road when a flatbed semi passed me an dcame within 2" of my handlbars.

    Indiana is better, but not by much, especially if you hit it when there's any traffic at all. The better bet would be to loop farther east through the burbs.

    However, it's not like 93 is flat. It's got some big rollers, so if you want hills, you might as well go up inot the hills. If you want flats, you need to get much farther east.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScreenName
    I figured, it looks like about 40 miles. But if one wanted to do an 80 mile day, or more, then that seems like a viable option. That is, if all the "good" road biking starts in Boulder.

    Anyway, if the good mtb is in Golden, then I think that'd take priority. Esp since I just got a new mountain bike. (fs, finally).
    Like I said in my other post, it's really not a viable option. For a big road day from Golden, you'd be way better off to go up into the foothills near Golden Gate and connect to the Peak to Peak Highway. There's lots of good opitons there, and other options south of I-70. Good roak biking is all over.

    Boulder has some great rides but it's not liek they have a corner on the market. It'd be worth it to drive or take the bus to hit up some classic Boulder routes, but after making it all the way to Boulder riding, you'll be too scraed or tired to "enjoy" Flagstaff, magnolia, or Lefthand Canyon.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    If you are talking about riding from your front door, I think the mountain biking around Golden is world class, while the road riding is very average. There are a few good climbing road rides, like Lookout or Golden Gate, but if you want a flatter ride, bike paths are about your only option from there unless you like stoplights. Trying to do any real road riding on a bike path just sucks.

    Road riding is better from Boulder, The mountain biking options there have improved lately, but don't come close to Golden.
    You're not making any sense to me.

    Why would you want "flatter" roads? They're uninteresting and if you're training, just get a heartrate monitor or power meter to keep easy days easy.

    Why does "real road riding" only occur on the sides of roads? It's all just bikes.
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  16. #16
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    So not true

    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    If you are talking about riding from your front door, I think the mountain biking around Golden is world class, while the road riding is very average. There are a few good climbing road rides, like Lookout or Golden Gate, but if you want a flatter ride, bike paths are about your only option from there unless you like stoplights. Trying to do any real road riding on a bike path just sucks.

    Road riding is better from Boulder, The mountain biking options there have improved lately, but don't come close to Golden.
    First of all, flatter= boring in my opinion. Second, I agree Boulder has better road options. But finally, you can ride East on 32nd (which is pretty darned flat) and link to rides that will go as far as you want. Kansas and beyond.

  17. #17
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    Flat

    Quote Originally Posted by Pabs
    You're not making any sense to me.

    Why would you want "flatter" roads? They're uninteresting and if you're training, just get a heartrate monitor or power meter to keep easy days easy.

    Why does "real road riding" only occur on the sides of roads? It's all just bikes.
    Real road riding does not involve dodging kids with training wheels, rollerbladers, Mildred and her snack-sized dog Skippy, entire families spread out across the bike path and refusing to yield, or refugees from cardboard box shantytowns along the river. All of these are common on the bike paths around Denver and Boulder.

    There is no way to make an easy day of Golden Gate or Lookout, unless you are a Euro pro on holiday. Even going 5 mph, you still have to crank your ass up the elevation gain. A recovery day on a road bike involves spinning easily at low resistance. Boulder has relatively flat roads from town that don't have a stoplight every quarter-mile. From Golden, I guess you could ride back and forth on Easley Road to get an easy day, but that would get old fast. East on 32nd? How many lights to get in a 40 mile ride in that direction? And you'd end up in some seriously sketchy parts of town to boot.

    Golden wins the mountain bike contest over Boulder, hands down. And Boulder wins the road bike contest, hands down.

    I think the tiebreaker between Boulder and Jeffco would be if they would put a velodrome in Arvada near the HS football stadium. Absolutely perfect location. All that is missing is about $5 Million.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    Real road riding does not involve dodging kids with training wheels, rollerbladers, Mildred and her snack-sized dog Skippy, entire families spread out across the bike path and refusing to yield, or refugees from cardboard box shantytowns along the river. All of these are common on the bike paths around Denver and Boulder.

    There is no way to make an easy day of Golden Gate or Lookout, unless you are a Euro pro on holiday. Even going 5 mph, you still have to crank your ass up the elevation gain. A recovery day on a road bike involves spinning easily at low resistance. Boulder has relatively flat roads from town that don't have a stoplight every quarter-mile. From Golden, I guess you could ride back and forth on Easley Road to get an easy day, but that would get old fast. East on 32nd? How many lights to get in a 40 mile ride in that direction? And you'd end up in some seriously sketchy parts of town to boot.

    Golden wins the mountain bike contest over Boulder, hands down. And Boulder wins the road bike contest, hands down.
    I guess we have different ideas about what "real road riding" means. I thought it meant riding a road bike, be it on a bike path, smooth tarmac, cobblestones, etc. It seems like, under your definition, "real road riding" would also require matching team kit, a new 10-speed gruppo, carbon fiber, shaved legs, heart rate monitor (bonus points for power meter), a training regime, and a coach to report back to.

    It's understandible to beleive that such commonalities are required, but it's ultimately subjective and silly. I agree that bike paths are not always the best, but its absurd to raiase steroetype to the level of prerequisites.

    If you really want to recover, you should be on the couch, not the bike, and if the bike, not for over an hour. Lights suck, but it's still road riding and on an easier day you can time out the lights. Sketchy parts of town are intersting at least. The risk of a bike-jaking is pretty much nonexistent. I also contend that there are easier days in the mountains. Where your not full gas, but you can ride at 70% if you have discipline and know what your doing. I guess we could argue all day about training, but what's the point?

    But I still agree with your conclusion.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    I think the tiebreaker between Boulder and Jeffco would be if they would put a velodrome in Arvada near the HS football stadium. Absolutely perfect location. All that is missing is about $5 Million.
    I've heard gossip about one going up in Erie, somewheres along County Line Rd. Don't know any more than that.

  20. #20
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    "real" road riding

    Honkinunit's right about riding on "bike" paths. Those paths are really meant for really slow riders, walkers, runners, and roller bladers. If one wants a good work out, fast ride, or to cruise at a consistent effort without constantly needing to slow way down because you can't pass someone, one needs to be on actual roads. The fewer stop lights or signs, the better too. "Bike" paths are only safe for really slow cruising. There are some great routes on roads near Rocky Flats and Stanley Lake. I personally enjoy climbing. However, if one is really averse to hilly routes one can go east of the metro area. It is true it can be a tad challenging to find a easy road route near Golden. However, in my opinion there are some great difficult to moderately challenging routes in the Golden-Arvada-Superior area.

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  21. #21
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    Once and for all, there is NO GOOD road or mountain riding in Golden. All the good stuff is in Aurora. Geez!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle
    Once and for all, there is NO GOOD road or mountain riding in Golden. All the good stuff is in Aurora. Geez!
    Good point.
    Not sure what I was thinking. I retract my earlier statement and hope nobody was mislead by them!

  23. #23
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    you should live in coal creek canyon. all the roads you want plus walker and GG park plus easy access to golden mnt biking. And way less mini vans. And when they open up eldorado canyon you can just cruise downhill to work.


    live in the mountains and enjoy the real colorado.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    you should live in coal creek canyon. all the roads you want plus walker and GG park plus easy access to golden mnt biking. And way less mini vans. And when they open up eldorado canyon you can just cruise downhill to work.

    live in the mountains and enjoy the real colorado.
    You should only ride road bikes in Coal Creek Canyon if you like hillbilly Gilpin County residents throwing insults and Pepsi cans at you.

    Riding on the eastern plains is really enjoyable, and yes, it's really in Colorado. There's endless empty dirt roads, with big rollers if you go against the hydrological gradient. Plus, there's less snow and more bike riding in the winter.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcdelroy
    Honkinunit's right about riding on "bike" paths. Those paths are really meant for really slow riders, walkers, runners, and roller bladers. If one wants a good work out, fast ride, or to cruise at a consistent effort without constantly needing to slow way down because you can't pass someone, one needs to be on actual roads. The fewer stop lights or signs, the better too. "Bike" paths are only safe for really slow cruising. There are some great routes on roads near Rocky Flats and Stanley Lake. I personally enjoy climbing. However, if one is really averse to hilly routes one can go east of the metro area. It is true it can be a tad challenging to find a easy road route near Golden. However, in my opinion there are some great difficult to moderately challenging routes in the Golden-Arvada-Superior area.

    Marc
    I guess it depends on the bike path. In some places, like Boulder or Fort Collins, your depiction of bike paths is true, especially during busy times. But in a lot of areas, I've been on very deserted paths and enjoy having to actually employ bike handling skills.

    I just don't buy the "real" road biking false dichotomy.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

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