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  1. #1
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    Tamer front range trails?

    Gonna be visiting the front range in July. Bringing a Salsa Fargo as a do everything bike while I'm out there. Not planning on doing a lot of mountain biking with it. More exploring.

    Any recommendations on tamer trail systems in and around Boulder and Golden?

    Also, wouldn't mind spending a day riding connector trails from town to town if they're known and identifiable.

    TIA
    "Ride what you love, love what you ride"

  2. #2
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    Switzerland Trail might meet your criteria. The Boulder Creek path is always nice too, albiet crowded during peak hours. Marshall Mesa/Dowdy Draw/Springbrook etc would also be doable on your bike.

  3. #3
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    although I said pfft, the Switz trail makes sense

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    Yeah, the Switz trail. I missed the part about Golden/Boulder. Look into a Golden Gate road/trail ride?
    Last edited by jugdish; 02-11-2013 at 08:19 PM. Reason: because the Swtitz trail makes sense and I'd originally thought, pfft
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  4. #4
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    I think Betasso (just west of Boulder) is probably the most fun "tamer" trail system around. You can easily ride from Boulder- take the Boulder Creek path up from town, go across to FourMile Canyon, and take that up a few miles to the new connector. Do a couple laps on each loop at Betasso and come back into town- easily 20 miles or more.

    Another set of tame trails is Boulder Valley Ranch, which can also be ridden directly from town. Take the trail system north all the way up to Boulder Reservoir (or further) and make your way back down; another great ride.

  5. #5
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    Near Golden, we also have Green Mountain (yeah, its technically Lakewood, but super close to Golden). The Fargo could probably handle most stuff around there.

  6. #6
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    Ok, you said you did not plan a lot of mountain biking but wanted to explore.
    If paved trails work you can do a lot of town to town rides.
    Golden, north around North Table Mountain, hook up with either the Ralston Creek Trail or the Van Bibber trail and ride to the Arvada Beer Company (some great stouts). From Arvada take the Clear Creek Trail to the South Platte River and up the river trail to downtown Denver (too many brewpubs to list). From Denver either back to Golden on the Bear Creek Trail or the new light rail which opens in April. Also from Golden, up thru Red Rocks Park and down into Morrison. Back to Golden thru Bear Creek Park and either over or around Green Mountain. Combining dirt with paved trails adds a lot of options!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I think Betasso (just west of Boulder) is probably the most fun "tamer" trail system around. You can easily ride from Boulder- take the Boulder Creek path up from town, go across to FourMile Canyon, and take that up a few miles to the new connector. Do a couple laps on each loop at Betasso and come back into town- easily 20 miles or more.

    Another set of tame trails is Boulder Valley Ranch, which can also be ridden directly from town. Take the trail system north all the way up to Boulder Reservoir (or further) and make your way back down; another great ride.
    While tamer (in terms of it has less rocks so it is easily rollable) Betasso is still fairly hilly which may be tough for riders unaclimated to the elevation here. Two laps out and back from Boulder will be getting you 3-4,000 feet of climbing and descending. Obviously one lap would cut that by about half. Depending on where there OP is coming from (elevation) and age his lungs may not be up for such a ride. If healthy, sure go for it, it would be doable on a Fargo.

    Otherwise I will give a +1 to Boulder Valley Ranch, Marshall Mesa/Flatirons Vista. I will also throw in, if the OP doesn't mind multiuse trails, the East Boulder bike path heading north to do an out an back at White Rocks. I do that one on an extended Boulder loop on my cyclocross bike a fair bit.

  8. #8
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    If you like paths and beer, ride the LoBo North from Boulder to Longmont. Depending where you are in Boulder, and where you pick it up, you can include multiple breweries along the way, AND get a lot of miles in. After the LoBo, in Longmont you can ride the St. Vrain Greenway out to Sandstone Ranch. An out and back from Boulder would probably be in the 30+ mile range.

    South to North, Asher, Bootstrap (haven't been), Oskar Blues, and Lefthand are all either right on these trails, or short jaunts off it. OK maybe I am changing the subject...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonny boy View Post
    If you like paths and beer, ride the LoBo North from Boulder to Longmont. Depending where you are in Boulder, and where you pick it up, you can include multiple breweries along the way, AND get a lot of miles in. After the LoBo, in Longmont you can ride the St. Vrain Greenway out to Sandstone Ranch. An out and back from Boulder would probably be in the 30+ mile range.

    South to North, Asher, Bootstrap (haven't been), Oskar Blues, and Lefthand are all either right on these trails, or short jaunts off it. OK maybe I am changing the subject...
    The OP specifically asked about "town to town" rides.
    We can't discuss town to town rides without discussing brewpubs!

  10. #10
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    For something tame, I would recommend the Dirty Bizmark loop (Dirty Bismark Route | Boulder Mountainbike Alliance). This is just south of Boulder and is around 15 miles. You can extend it to be around 22-23 miles by adding in the Flatirons Vista/Dowdy Draw/Spring Brook/Community Ditch system that's on the west side of highway 93.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderWhitewater View Post
    North Table Mountain
    Taken many first time Front Range riders (with TX lungs) to North Table Mtn. One nasty climb (if you go up the fire road on the west side of the table), nice ride after that.

    Matthew Winters/Red Rocks/Morrison Slide trail is also nice for beginners. Not crazy elevation gains.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the great suggestions!
    "Ride what you love, love what you ride"

  13. #13
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    I don't consider Matthew's Winter, Morrison Slide appropriate for beginners in my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiebrett View Post
    Taken many first time Front Range riders (with TX lungs) to North Table Mtn. One nasty climb (if you go up the fire road on the west side of the table), nice ride after that.

    Matthew Winters/Red Rocks/Morrison Slide trail is also nice for beginners. Not crazy elevation gains.
    I would recommend not using the fire road climb at NTM but rather using the new trails by Golden Bike Park and the Railroad Musuem off Easily Rd. From there you can easily access the 8-10 miles of trail at NTM. They have a shallow grade and lots of switch backs.

    I take my kids riding at Red Rocks/Matthew Winters but we never do Morrison Slide. That is no beginner trail and have only seen a few guys clean the whole thing climbing. You need a descent skillset to descend it as well.
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  15. #15
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    I had to look up what a Salsa Fargo was. If it has fat tires on it it, it would do fine almost anywhere on the front Range and excel at NTM, Green Mountain, and my first stop now for beginners, Bear Creek State park just south of Golden. Easy to get 10-15 mile loops with short climbs and lots of fast singletrack.

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    Tamer front range trails?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobGolden View Post
    ..and my first stop now for beginners, Bear Creek State park just south of Golden. Easy to get 10-15 mile loops with short climbs and lots of fast singletrack.
    Would you say that this trail system would be good for a 10 year old girl? My daughter wants to upgrade from her 24inch Spesh to a 26er (she's tall) and I want to find out how committed she will be to the "mountain" side of things before committing resources.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    Would you say that this trail system would be good for a 10 year old girl? My daughter wants to upgrade from her 24inch Spesh to a 26er (she's tall) and I want to find out how committed she will be to the "mountain" side of things before committing resources.
    Yup. BCLP is very beginner/kid friendly.

  18. #18
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    Bcst

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    Would you say that this trail system would be good for a 10 year old girl? My daughter wants to upgrade from her 24inch Spesh to a 26er (she's tall) and I want to find out how committed she will be to the "mountain" side of things before committing resources.
    I have taken my daughter out there a few times, first on a 20" and then on her brother's old 24", first she was 7 and again last year at 8. We skip the climb up the dam and stay on the low trails. We did a x-mas ride there a few years ago as a family, fun times.

    Me and my 10yr old son will go a 3 or 4 times a season. He can handle the climbs and we typically do the same 10 mile route as the Battle of the Bear. He gets a kick out of Corky's climb as Corky lives in our neighborhood. He got a 26" for his birthday last April, it took a while for him to get used to a heavier bigger bike but it's second nature now.

    Here's a pic from a few years ago in Crested Butte with her on the 20 and him on his old 24:


  19. #19
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    Of the trails mentioned, are any of them candidates for extreme thorns/flat concerns? I do not have tubeless tires and am trying to get an idea of how much extra inflation/how many spare tubes I may have to bring.

    Thanks!
    "Ride what you love, love what you ride"

  20. #20
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    Thankfully we don't have many thorns to be concerned about. Not to say they don't exist but I haven't had any issues around Boulder or Golden. I always ride with a spare tube and pump but haven't used them in a while. Now that I say that I'll probably flat next ride!
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  21. #21
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    switzerland trail isn't tame. it's littered with 6in rocks and is like riding a jack hammer.

    betasso and marshal mesa-springbrook are your best bet.

  22. #22
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    Tribulus terrestris - is the one thorn we have around here. Goat heads are not much of a problem on ST, but in the cities, it grows in every sidewalk crack and any patch of disturbed soil. Always carry a spare tube, patches, and a pump.

    A thing of nightmares:

    Tamer front range trails?-800px-starr_030612-0070_tribulus_terrestris.jpg

  23. #23
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    That pic gave me the heebie jeebies. I had "one" in my backyard and every flip flop in my family is now porous. Fing hate Tribulus Terrorist

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobGolden View Post
    I had to look up what a Salsa Fargo was. If it has fat tires on it it, it would do fine almost anywhere on the front Range and excel at NTM, Green Mountain, and my first stop now for beginners, Bear Creek State park just south of Golden. Easy to get 10-15 mile loops with short climbs and lots of fast singletrack.
    Man I don't know about GM! Those river rocks up there...you kinda need to be on your game w/ those! The trail is pretty overgrown at the moment so your visibility sucks, and those friggin' rocks jump out at you at the last moment! And Box of Rocks trail...with those loose golf ball to baseball sized smooth granite balls, you'll think your bike has a mind of its own tracking down that trail!
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