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  1. #1
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    September in Boulder . . .

    I'm heading to Boulder for three weeks in September and will have some prime time for fishing and maybe biking. Since I'm coming from the Midwest, I have to decide if it's worth it to bring my bike with me. Here's the deal - I'm an old guy - 65 yrs old - and I'm also a beginner. I've spent the summer doing single track rides at most of the area parks in the Twin Cities and can handle intermediate stuff pretty handily. I'd like to do some riding in Colorado, though. I am riding a Cannondale Trail SL 1 29er hardtail, and it has worked perfectly for me in the Midwest.

    So - are there some trails that will be suitable for me within a couple hours of Boulder? And should I bring my bike (which I would prefer) or would it be better for me to rent something while I'm there? I'm willing to drive a ways and I have a place to stay in Frisco if I need to.

    Any suggestions/opinions would greatly be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Dean

  2. #2
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    My guess is you're going to be spending more time fishing than biking. Yes, there are easier trails here but that's from our perspective. In Frisco you could just rent something and cruise around Lake Dillon, maybe bike up the bike path to the top of Vail Pass (or halfway and turn around). With all respect, no matter what the young riders on this forum might say, at 65 this isn't the time for you to attempt to become an accomplished mountain biker.

    Of course, if bringing your bike is just no big deal at all, why not bring it? The Marshall Mesa/Springbrook area is what we call easy and is close to Boulder and you could start there and see how you feel. Then head to Sourdough...just kidding.

    BTW, you couldn't have picked a nicer month to come. Congrats on your timing.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  3. #3
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    Bring your bike, head up to Lyons and ride the Picture Rock Trail. It's a mild climb up and not overly technical. Your 29er is about perfect for this trail.

  4. #4
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    Go to Summit county and ride some of the trails around Lake Dillon or the Peaks Trail from Breckenridge to Frisco.

  5. #5
    Kaj
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    The South Boulder trails are fun and easy. So are the trails around Mud Lake in Ned.

    check out this site:

    :: | Boulder Mountainbike Alliance

    bring your bike
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  6. #6
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    I think you could have a lot of fun riding near Boulder. Try Marshal Mesa in South Boulder, Betasso (you can make this just a 3.5 mile loop if you feel like you're over your head), and Picture Rock (as mentioned) or Antelope up to Nelson Loop, both from Lyons. A 29er hardtail will be great on these trails and they're all within a 30 minute drive of Boulder.

    My guess is the two things that will be foreign to you are the length of climbs (and remember you'll be at altitude) and the "kitty litter" trail surface. Neither of these is the end of the world; just take it easy at first. I suspect you'll love the riding (and the fishing) around here.

    One last note: our trails get lots of use, so always expect to see someone around a blind corner. 99% of the other people on the trail are super friendly but just be cautious.

    Enjoy!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

  7. #7
    misanthrope
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    Marshall mesa & Betasso (Boulder), North Table Mtn.(Golden) would all be good intermediate trails with easy access and good views.

  8. #8
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Bring your bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Bring your bike.
    yes.. bring your bike..

  10. #10
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    Bring your bike, and if you have a place to stay if frisco, fish the blue river.

  11. #11
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    Hey Everyone!

    Thanks for the suggestions and opinions - I appreciate the help. Here's what I'm thinking: I usually ride 12-15 miles of technical singletrack when I go out, and while I'm not terribly speedy, I am persistent and improving. Road biking, usually 20-30 miles per outing. I have spent a good deal of my life in the mountains (Colorado and Montana), so I'm aware of the altitude issues and usually handle that OK. I think I'll spend the first week riding in the Boulder area doing 5-10 miles rides just to get acclimated and used to the altitude. Then, I'm thinking of heading to Frisco and doing the Peak Trail to Breck and back - guides say it's about 16.5 miles. I'll certainly take my time and roll according to what my body dictates, but I think that might be a nice ride/challenge for me.

    I'll keep looking at other possibilities, too. If you have more suggestions, I'd sure like to hear them! And I'll check out the Blue River!

    Thanks again,
    Dean

  12. #12
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    Peak Trail is great -- no huge climbs or downhills and lots of fun moderately technical bits. It's kind of the default tourist trail in Breck, partly because it's easy to give directions to, but it is super fun.

    If you get out here and feel great and want something with fewer people, try the North Fork/Colorado Trail Loop on this page: http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/Mo...ocumentid=2961

    More of a long climb/long descent type ride than the rolling terrain of the Peak Trail. You get up pretty high too (maybe 11,500'?). The last few miles climbing up the Colorado Trail are a grunt, but the downhill... I'm still grinning from riding it 2 weeks ago.

  13. #13
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    I am going to tag on to Ddeand's post and ask if anyone can recommend a good guide service in/around Boulder. Planning a long weekend at the end of this month and hoping to get some riding in while visiting family.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by H2oChick View Post
    I am going to tag on to Ddeand's post and ask if anyone can recommend a good guide service in/around Boulder. Planning a long weekend at the end of this month and hoping to get some riding in while visiting family.
    In Boulder there's Avery, Upslope, Mountain/Southern Sun. Golden City Brewery in Golden. Denver...uh...Great Divide, Breckenridge...too many to list. Wait, you talkin' trails?
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  15. #15
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    1. You have to do at least some mountain biking while you are here. But you could rent a bike for a couple of days for cheaper than the airline fees to bring your own. (Assuming you are flying). If you are driving, then you still might want to consider renting to avoid the PIA factor if you have limited space. You also get to try a cool new bike.

    2. You have to remember that a lot of the "intermediate" trails in the front range, in other states would be rated "WTFdidIgetmyselfinto - ohmygodimgonnadie". The climbing can seem ridiculous, and the remoteness and ruggedness can seem shocking to a newcomer.

    3. The Peaks trail from Breck to Frisco is a good one, mostly down, but still tough with some steep climbs and technical sections. I don't recommend going back to Breck on that trail. (You will be doing a lot of pushing). Ride it one way and then take the paved bike path along the road to get back.

  16. #16
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post

    3. The Peaks trail from Breck to Frisco is a good one, mostly down, but still tough with some steep climbs and technical sections. I don't recommend going back to Breck on that trail. (You will be doing a lot of pushing). Ride it one way and then take the paved bike path along the road to get back.
    Uhhh... no. The proper way to do this is park in Frisco right at the bottom of the Rainbow Lake trail and finish your out and back with a sweet, sweet, kicka$$ dh to the car.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post

    2. You have to remember that a lot of the "intermediate" trails in the front range, in other states would be rated "WTFdidIgetmyselfinto - ohmygodimgonnadie". The climbing can seem ridiculous, and the remoteness and ruggedness can seem shocking to a newcomer.
    This needs to be stressed. I have a lot of friends come up from Texas and think they are in great shape and can handle anything, they quickly see they are wrong. The altitude and climbs here are not jokes. It also seems that every trail I ride up here starts with a few mile climb.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Uhhh... no. The proper way to do this is park in Frisco right at the bottom of the Rainbow Lake trail and finish your out and back with a sweet, sweet, kicka$$ dh to the car.
    The guy who asked the question is:
    1. 65 years old
    2. A beginner
    3. A flatlander

    And I would again strongly recommend to not do that ride out and back. But, if you are talking about taking the paved path from Frisco to Breck first, then doing the Peaks trail back to Frisco, that sounds like a good plan. You could enjoy your beer in Frisco without having to worry about the ride back to the car.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    The guy who asked the question is:
    1. 65 years old
    2. A beginner
    3. A flatlander

    And I would again strongly recommend to not do that ride out and back. But, if you are talking about taking the paved path from Frisco to Breck first, then doing the Peaks trail back to Frisco, that sounds like a good plan. You could enjoy your beer in Frisco without having to worry about the ride back to the car.

    I hate to sound like a prick but considering the way some of my sea level friends who do triathlons back home have acted on these trails, I recommend the op fish. I'm half your age and it took me damn near a year before these trails got to be fun. They were straight torture for the first few months. I would bring your bike but stay to the trails in towns for the most part. Colorado is a beautiful place that is best enjoyed by bike. September is probably my favorite month here. The aspens start turning, the weather cools, I renew my Epic pass... All is right with the world. You are gonna have a great time.

  20. #20
    zrm
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    Just a heads up on the Peaks trail.

    It doesclimb over a thousand feet to it's high point from Frisco and that climb gets steep and technical in places. That's not a huge climb by Summit County standards, but don't underestimate the amount of climbing on the peaks trail, especially from Frisco. From that high point (the ridge that separates the Miners Creek and north Barton Creeks) it rolls up and down to Breckenridge. It's also fairly technical/rocky in places. It's not difficult for an advanced rider, but it's not what I'd call a beginner trail either.

    Check out the Town Of Breckenridge's trail map. It was updates this year and I think it's the best in the county and has all the trails between Frisco, Keystone and Breckenridge. Town of Breckenridge : Trail Maps

    There's lots of folks out here in their 60s who are still out there riding strong albeit not at the same pace they did when they were younger. Have fun!

  21. #21
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    Thanks to everyone for their input. I'll spend a week in Boulder riding the trails around there and see how I feel in term of the altitude. I've talked with my daughter (who has done the Peaks Trail) and she feels it's do-able for me if I take my time. I'll give it a try and if It's too much, I'll just turn around and head back to Frisco. I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid.

    Again, thanks for the suggestions.

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