April trip to Denver- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    April trip to Denver

    I'm hoping you guys can help me out. Myself and a friend will be in Denver early-mid April for work. We're driving there and are wondering if it would be worth it to bring our bikes? Neither of us have been mountain biking in Denver so we don't know anything about the trails. We'll be there Sun-Fri, and will most likely have classes until 5 pm each day. I don't know exactly where we'll be staying but I'm assuming downtown Denver somewhere. Are there some good trails close by that we can ride after 5 or 6 pm? I guess we're more downhill riders, but any all mountain trail would work, we just want to get out.

    I hope I've given enough information, if not let me know. Thanks in advance for any help.



    - Macpherson

  2. #2
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    If it's dry it'll be worth it. If it isn't dry it won't be worth it. Make the call the day before you come. And keep in mind - the weather forecasters are notoriously bad in the spring here.

    Are you bringing heavy bikes? If so... you might be bummed by the climbs of the "standard" Front Range trails. 'Specially if you're from a lower elevation.

  3. #3
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    I'd bring the bikes. You might see 72 degrees and sunny or 25 degrees and 42" of snow.

    Downtown Denver is only 20-30 minutes from Golden and 40 minutes to Boulder. Lots of great riding close by.

    Schmed
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  4. #4
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    My bike is not heavy, but my friends is a heavy downhill bike. However, he's a stronger rider than I am, so it equals out. We don't mind a moderate climb, and really any trail that's close to downtown will be good, since time may be an issue. And we're coming from Utah if that helps.



    - Macpherson

  5. #5
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    Thought about renting a bike?
    Save your ride from airline baggage apes, leave more money for econ in Golden/Lakewood/Boulder/Lyons, you get a bike more suited for the trails around here...just my thinking out loud

    Oops, missed "driving"

  6. #6
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    We're driving, so airline baggage handlers won't be an issue.

    What trails would you guys recommend?



    - Macpherson

  7. #7
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    Drive south to Lake Pueblo State Park.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y
    Drive south to Lake Pueblo State Park.
    At 5:00 after work?

    Take lights.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macpherson
    My bike is not heavy, but my friends is a heavy downhill bike. However, he's a stronger rider than I am, so it equals out. We don't mind a moderate climb,
    Dakota Ridge-Red Rocks-Matthew/Winters

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    At 5:00 after work?

    Take lights.

    Wooo.... that would be OUT of control!

  11. #11
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    Denver's big . . .

    . . . it'd be good to know where your classes are. That'll help give you an idea of which rides were within range afterwards.

    In any case, the aforementioned Dakota Ridge is probably your best bet and well worth the ride. If it's dry and within range, Chimney Gulch/Apex Park is a great ride. If you have time to get up to Loveland, Devil's Backbone is good and usually drys out fast.

    BTW, if you're driving from Utah, you need to make time to stop in Fruita/Grand Junction on your travel day each way
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman
    <snip>
    If it's dry and within range, Chimney Gulch/Apex Park is a great ride.
    Most of the world would not consider either a "moderate" climb.

  13. #13
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    You've still got time to do a ton of climbing before you come here. Thinking you're going to head to a typical Denver area trail and NOT climb to get your downhill on isn't going to work. There's no shuttling, it's climb, descend, climb, descend.

    You want to have fun while you're here, maybe climbing isn't fun for you now but to have fun here...be in climbing shape. You already are acclimatized to the altitude so you got that working for you.
    Don't load onto your day your year's burden

  14. #14
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    Mt Falcon would be pretty close. It has a nice gradual climb, some rolling upper loops finishing with a fun ride down the hill you climbed.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by coloskifreak
    Mt Falcon would be pretty close. It has a nice gradual climb, some rolling upper loops finishing with a fun ride down the hill you climbed.
    Spoken like a true Front Ranger!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by coloskifreak
    Mt Falcon would be pretty close. It has a nice gradual climb, some rolling upper loops finishing with a fun ride down the hill you climbed.
    Makes me want to hook a lung every time I do it, but yeah, it's "gradual".

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y
    Makes me want to hook a lung every time I do it, but yeah, it's "gradual".
    It's all relative
    Plus, those rest stops allow for time to reflect on the beauty of the land ... oh, and take a pull from the flask.
    “Me fail english? Thats unpossible.” - Matt Groening

  18. #18
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    I haven't done Mt Falcon yet . . .

    . . . how does the climb compare to Chimney Gulch?

    Agreed--Chimney Gulch is not what I would call moderate either. I took more than a few breaks on the way up.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman
    . . . how does the climb compare to Chimney Gulch?

    Agreed--Chimney Gulch is not what I would call moderate either. I took more than a few breaks on the way up.
    I heard about Mt. Falcon from a rider in Moab (all I rode back then was Walker Ranch). He described it as "a grunt". Yeah, it's gradual but I'd say that if the OP gets to the top of Mt. Falcon without puking or a coronary and with a smile on his mug I'd say he's in Front Range shape.

    Mt. Falcon can be as hard as you make it but even at a crawl it's a "steady grunt". Do a time trial up it, now we're talking! I guess I'd say it's "easier" than a lot of Chimney Gulch (not nearly as technical) but I wouldn't call it "easy", like Coyote Song is "easy".
    Don't load onto your day your year's burden

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by coloskifreak
    Mt Falcon would be pretty close. It has a nice gradual climb, some rolling upper loops finishing with a fun ride down the hill you climbed.
    It's posts like this that damn near killed me when I first moved here from the flat state of Ohio.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  21. #21
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    I'd say that if you want to see some technical stuff Dakota Ridge/ Mathew Winters is a must. Fairly close to town, decent amount of climbing but it's broken up a bit unlike Mt Falcon or Chimney gulch, and rocky as hell, well really just Dakota Ridge. Make sure you ride Dakota Ridge north to south or you will be hating life.

    I would make the trek out to Lyons one night and ride Hall Ranch, not to be confused with Heil Ranch. Hall has a bit of everything and is just super fun. Swing by Oskar Blues after for a beer!

    I would hit up Evergreen too. Aderfer/Three Sisters and Bergen Peak are great. Bergen peak is a pretty big climb but the view from the top is fantastic. Three Sisters has a little bit of everything and there are all kinds of paths through there that have some good tech and some nice flowy lines. Evergreen is a little Higher and may have snow on it though, when you are here depending on the weather.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Dakota Ridge-Red Rocks-Matthew/Winters
    definitely dakota ridge/ matthew winters/ with short ride up to red rocks amphitheatre.

    if you like technical, this is some of the best in denver. if this ride was in fruita, it would be world class and on the cover of magazines.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for all of the help.

    If it makes a difference, I think the classes will be in a building around 11000 E Girard Ave.


    - Macpherson
    '09 Scott Spark 60

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macpherson
    Thanks for all of the help.

    If it makes a difference, I think the classes will be in a building around 11000 E Girard Ave.
    Getting to the west side from there at 5pm will be a NIGHTMARE. Daylight savings might still allow you to get in a ride, though.

    Maybe you should consider Limon?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Dakota Ridge-Red Rocks-Matthew/Winters
    All 3- of these I want to hit up this summer when I am out there !!

  26. #26
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    We'll be there in 1 week. How's the weather? We're planning on trying the red rocks/dakota ridge trails, does anyone know how they're riding right now?


    - Macpherson
    '09 Scott Spark 60

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macpherson
    We'll be there in 1 week. How's the weather? We're planning on trying the red rocks/dakota ridge trails, does anyone know how they're riding right now?


    - Macpherson
    We'll need to get a snow total report from yesterday's storm. I heard a storm is coming every three days for awhile.
    Don't load onto your day your year's burden

  28. #28
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    80 degrees Saturday followed by snow on Sunday. Typical spring in Denver.

    Only 1-3" fell on Sun, and 50's and 60's for the rest of the week, so it should be good. If we don't have a blizzard.

    Schmed
    2001 Turner O2 XC
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  29. #29
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    I keep reading that the Dakota Ridge trail is very technical. Is it technical climbing or technical downhill? Technical climbing may kill us, but technical downhill is more of what we're looking for.

    Do you guys know of some good downhill? Neither of us were able to get any riding in before the trip, so we're not coming in climbing shape.

    Also, can anyone recommend a good bike shop close to the Embassy Suites at 7525 E Hampden Ave?

    Thanks again for the help.


    - Macpherson
    Last edited by Macpherson; 04-07-2011 at 04:39 PM.
    '09 Scott Spark 60

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macpherson
    I keep reading that the Dakota Ridge trail is very technical. Is it technical climbing or technical downhill? Technical climbing may kill us, but technical downhill is more of what we're looking for.

    Do you guys know of some good downhill? Neither of us were able to get any riding in before the trip, so we're not coming in climbing shape.

    Thanks again for the help.


    - Macpherson
    "Neither of us were able to get any riding in before the trip..." Huh? A full month and no riding? Priorities, man! Oh well, at least you've got a built-in reason for hating the climbing you're gonna be doing here "we were outta shape". Technical downhill? You're about three months early, Keystone/Sol Vista et al are still under 10' of snow.
    Don't load onto your day your year's burden

  31. #31
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    Welcome to the Front Range, I cant really think of any downhill you can do w/o a little climbing. I always figure the best way to get into climbing shape is to start climbing. Mt Falcon or Chimney Gulch have the best downhills but you gotta work to get to the downhill. Good luck, enjoy and let us know where your riding.

  32. #32
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    Just got back yesterday. Unfortunately we were only able to ride two days. The first day we rode Red Rocks. We started at the Matthew Winters parking lot and just did an out and back (don't know how far out). The second day we went out to 3 Sisters. I'm not sure of the trail names, but we crossed the road (buffalo something I think) and rode up to the top of the loop, then turned around and came back.

    Red Rocks was fun but very crowded. It was hard to get any speed or rhythm on the downhill because of all the runners and hikers. Very nice trail though, some good technical sections.

    3 Sisters was awesome! Good workout going up, but the downhill was about as good as it gets. Great flow and great jumps (almost too good, I came pretty close to an epic crash when I carried too much speed into one of the jumps). Definitely worth the drive up there. Only saw a couple riders on the way up, and none on the way down.

    We talked to a couple riders on Red Rocks. Very cool and willing to chat for a little while. When we got to the 3 Sisters parking lot there was a rider just finishing his ride. We weren't sure which trails to ride, so I asked him. He was nice enough to take some time and explain the trail system and make some suggestions (including the trail we chose to ride). Without him we would have just taken one of the trails that went east from the parking lot. I'm sure we still would have had fun, but I can't imagine it would have been better than the trail we rode. So good job Colorado, I'm impressed and very grateful.

    Thank you all for the help. Let me know if you ever find yourselves in Utah and need anything.


    - Macpherson
    '09 Scott Spark 60

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