Any good gravel grinder/dirt road routes?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Any good gravel grinder/dirt road routes?

    Looking to get out on the crossbike this weekend for some gravel grinding on dirt roads on the eastern plains, etc. Anyone have any good recommended routes? Obviously don't mind a bit of snow and mud.

  2. #2
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    I'm really familiar with a lot of the roads north of Denver. Where are you starting from?
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  3. #3
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    I would pretty much start from wherever.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele
    I would pretty much start from wherever.
    I spend a lot of time grinding the gravel roads that are in NE Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties. Starting in Boulder or Longmont, there are a lot of good options for low traffic, high mileage rides that involve pretty minimal paved or bike path connections.

    For instance, starting at Sandstone Ranch in Longmont you can go up CR3 1/2 on gravel up to the Mead Roubaix course (http://dbcevents.com/home/mead-roubaix/). You can also link that up with the Boulder Roubaix course on the other side of Longmont with some bike path and road.

    There are an endless amount of gravel roads NE of Longmont in Weld County.

    What kind of mileage are you looking for? 30? 50? 100?

  5. #5
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    What's the dirt road mileage equivalent if they're snowy/muddy? Five dry dirt miles = one snowy/muddy dirt mile?
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  6. #6
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    Great question. I am also interested in some info concerning these type of roads for training on the monstercross.

    Any suggestions for SW Denver. Specifically anything near Chatfield/Waterton area to Golden? Yes, I know I am getting greedy trying to leave from the house. Any distance is fine. Climbs and views always a plus. Connections to singletrack would be almost too much to ask!

    Appreciate any suggestions and I hope this is not considered a hijack of the thread. Not intended to be.
    "Biking lets you come alive both in body and spirit- the bike disappears and you feel as if you're suspended in midair"GKlein

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdub
    I spend a lot of time grinding the gravel roads that are in NE Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties. Starting in Boulder or Longmont, there are a lot of good options for low traffic, high mileage rides that involve pretty minimal paved or bike path connections.

    For instance, starting at Sandstone Ranch in Longmont you can go up CR3 1/2 on gravel up to the Mead Roubaix course (http://dbcevents.com/home/mead-roubaix/). You can also link that up with the Boulder Roubaix course on the other side of Longmont with some bike path and road.

    There are an endless amount of gravel roads NE of Longmont in Weld County.

    What kind of mileage are you looking for? 30? 50? 100?
    30-50 miles. That is a good start. Thank you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdub
    I spend a lot of time grinding the gravel roads that are in NE Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties. Starting in Boulder or Longmont, there are a lot of good options for low traffic, high mileage rides that involve pretty minimal paved or bike path connections.

    For instance, starting at Sandstone Ranch in Longmont you can go up CR3 1/2 on gravel up to the Mead Roubaix course (http://dbcevents.com/home/mead-roubaix/). You can also link that up with the Boulder Roubaix course on the other side of Longmont with some bike path and road.

    There are an endless amount of gravel roads NE of Longmont in Weld County.
    Yup. I would suggest starting in north Longmont or even out in Platteville and just heading out onto the roads and go where you feel compelled. You could also peruse a map and head for interesting-looking areas, like the mesa west of the South Platte River south of Johnstown, or the areas in and around Lower Latham Reservoir, or farther east in the Box Elder Creek basin. North of Windsor and east of Wellington are other good areas. A majority of the county roads in these areas are dirt, so you won't be disppointed in that respect. Also, Weld County roads are generally all one mile apart, with north-south roads with odd numbers and east-west roads with even numbers, so it's easy to calculate mileage on the fly, if you remeber where you started.

    There's also a really nice string of dirt roads on the Boulder Roubaix course just north of Boulder.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  9. #9
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    My annual east colorado rides

    Every july -on my way to the mountains- i drive south of La Juanta to the Withers Cyn trailhead,down in the valley to the Ranch House and all around on top. A remote and historically interesting area. Lots of ranch roads in the Grasslands Area to explore so mileage can be as you wish. I'm sure less aware of the eastern plains than many but I chose to ride this area several times. Map gazeing, someday am wanting to follow the roads southwest from Las Animas and then up the Pergatory valley to the Withers trailhead.

  10. #10
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    Any thoughts on dirt road conditions? Kind of surprised how much snow was on the Cherry Creek path and has me fairly skeptical that things would be worthwhile riding tomorrow. Looking pretty much anywhere east of denver, north/south, does not really matter.

  11. #11
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    An option in the Springs - try Rampart Range Road, starting from Garden of the Gods and climbing up. A huge part of the first 1500' of climb is South Facing, so was completely dry 4.5 miles up, and only short sections of mud/slush to the 7 mile/2000' climb point. Not many roads clear right now where you can get 2000' elevation in an uninterrupted hour on dirt. Do repeats if you want more! Very little traffic this time of year as well. Nice middle chain ring, unrelenting climb, so good for cross, SS, mtb's alike. Super warm in the sunshine yesterday - shorts and t-shirt, and great views off this road. There are trail connections, but most of that had packed ice/snow and being that warm was coming unglued. Avoid this road when wet - clay will ruin your bike. The road surface has long smooth sections, then long gravel sections, then long shale sections. It can get serious washboard, but right now was in great shape. Nice high speed decent and drifting/flatracking the corners.

    Here are some views of Pike Peak, North Colorado Springs, and of the Garden rock formations. Take The Garden of the Gods exit off I-25, head West until it ends, go South on 31st to the visitors center and park. No fees here. There are a few mtb single track trails in this park, but it is mostly hiking and road biking. Rampart Range Road starts near Balanced Rock, a couple winding and rolling miles inside the park, just ride the nice bike lane for your warmup, watch for tourists' doors opening!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any good gravel grinder/dirt road routes?-0215111309.jpg  

    Any good gravel grinder/dirt road routes?-0215111327.jpg  

    Any good gravel grinder/dirt road routes?-0215111408.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele
    Any thoughts on dirt road conditions? Kind of surprised how much snow was on the Cherry Creek path and has me fairly skeptical that things would be worthwhile riding tomorrow. Looking pretty much anywhere east of denver, north/south, does not really matter.
    Sorry, didn't see this until it got bumped today. Dirt roads are in very good conditions, I hit some up yesterday and they were firm and fast.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any good gravel grinder/dirt road routes?-175218_10150099024229723_532174722_6049597_2917852_o.jpg  


  13. #13
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    slippery slope here

    Gravel grinding is getting awfully close to... (gasp) road riding.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy
    Gravel grinding is getting awfully close to... (gasp) road riding.
    It is closer to road riding than mountain biking, but instead of tons of riders and cars I see miles of countryside, cows and pastures.

    Its nice for this time of year to get in some longer rides.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy
    Gravel grinding is getting awfully close to... (gasp) road riding.
    Yes... but it's not! And rather than getting on my roadie for those base miles, I'll do the Santa Fe and Rampart Range road grinds, too!

  16. #16
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    What about the road to Gross Res or that road off of Hwy 6 just past the Cone? The road just past the Cone is steep to start an then rolling to the upper Cone lot.

  18. #18
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    ect. West

    Got a couple rides in this week. Just a little mud, snow and ice.
    It was nice just to get out on the bike.
    From Kerr Gulch Grapevine Loop




    From Oh My Gawd Central City Parkway



  19. #19
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    Just say these gravel rides this morning on 303Cycling.com's Twitter feed: Front Range Gravel

  20. #20
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    Gravel Quest: Routes

    Colorado Dirt Road Randonneur: Welcome to the Colorado Dirt Road Randonneur!

    two nice sites with a bunch of info. I've seen, but can't find the link right now, a map that someone has put together that shows every dirt road in the state. I'll keep looking for it, or check with someone who I know has the link, and post it later.

  21. #21
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    Good long local route(Springs) I did a few years back-
    Casa to Sante stinky trail> Stinky to Monument> ride thru town to Mt Herman rd> up MH rd to Rampart range rd> RR rd back to GOTG's park> little road work to Ute park and some singletrack to finish back to casa.

    Makes me want to do it again before the snow starts flying. I also like to ride the Stinky up to the Palmer divide and back on my 'gravel' bike, good 50 miler with tunes jamming.

  22. #22
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    I rode the Santa Fe trail for the first time on Sunday. I went from my apartment to Northgate and back on the SS. That was obviously the wrong bike for that trail, but it was pretty fun still (well, relatively at least). I'm getting an XC bike this week and I'm looking forward to doing it again on a bike that's a little more suited for the trail. We should meet up and hit it together sometime Rick.

  23. #23
    rr
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristian View Post
    I rode the Santa Fe trail for the first time on Sunday. I went from my apartment to Northgate and back on the SS. That was obviously the wrong bike for that trail, but it was pretty fun still (well, relatively at least). I'm getting an XC bike this week and I'm looking forward to doing it again on a bike that's a little more suited for the trail. We should meet up and hit it together sometime Rick.
    Definitely, text me I'll go out. The stinky is fun on the right bike, I use it to access AFA and Palmer on the MB but love to ride it on the cross bike.

    Here's my cross/gravel/stinky slayer, I also ride some trails on it, I've done Stratton and AFA
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any good gravel grinder/dirt road routes?-stinky-slayer.jpg  


  24. #24
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    You're going to eat me alive on that thing if we ride the Santa Fe! I might be able to do better once we get to the Falcon trail though. I don't text so I'll shoot you a PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    I've seen, but can't find the link right now, a map that someone has put together that shows every dirt road in the state.
    That's me, here's the link: Colorado Gravel Roads.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristian View Post
    You're going to eat me alive on that thing if we ride the Santa Fe! I might be able to do better once we get to the Falcon trail though. I don't text so I'll shoot you a PM.
    Yeah right, yous guys are fast these days! I can keep a good pace on this bike on the stinky but it's no lightweight- steel frameset, Stans 29er trail wheels, over 25lbs. It's heavier than most 29er XC bikes.

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