Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Denver??

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Denver??

Old 05-21-21, 06:46 AM
  #1  
Tandem Tom
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 2,295

Bikes: 1992 Serotta Colorado II,Co-Motion Speedster, Giant Escape Hybrid, 1977 Schwinn Super Le Tour

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 48 Times in 41 Posts
Denver??

We will be driving a rental vehicle to Denver to start our tour. Will be heading north to Cheyenne.
Anyone have some suggestions to ride out of the city?
Not sure where we will stay in Denver.
Thanks!
Tandem Tom is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 09:15 AM
  #2  
headwind15
Bikeable
 
headwind15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 217
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 61 Times in 42 Posts
I don't know how to ride north out of Denver, but if a real tourist were dropping off a vehicle to start a tour, I don't see why one wouldn't get on their bike and ride somewhere and sleep in the tent. (isn't that why you bring a tent ?)
headwind15 is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 09:20 AM
  #3  
jamawani 
Hooked on Touring
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,694
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 234 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 45 Posts
Tom -
All I can say is, "Yikes!"
Not sure if you are heading east, north, or south from Cheyenne.
Ot whether Cheyenne, itself, is a must.
As Mich Jagger would say, "Tought, tough, tough, tough."
Buena suerte!
jamawani is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 11:20 AM
  #4  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,897

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 291 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 66 Posts
Are you wanting to spend time in Denver or mostly depart from there? Are you wanting to ride from airport or your end destination?

There are multiple possibilities, but here is roughly what I would do mostly based on familiarity of places I've been:
1. Take RTD from the airport with bikes. For example, taking the RTD bus to the Wagon Road Park-n-Ride location (https://goo.gl/maps/FC8jKDZiZTo9QjzY7) which also has some basic hotels across the way. https://www.rtd-denver.com/app/route/104L/schedule
2. At this point, you are already fairly far north (so not best place if you want to visit Denver itself), but roughly the arterial streets are OK for riding. For example, Huron north and slightly west will bring you to more residential areas where there is a sequence of paths to Erie.
3. From end of those paths via Niwot and then north on 73rd/75th via Hygene, and then via roads to stay on west side of Loveland and into Fort Collins.

Between the Colorado border and Cheyene, there are limited paved options nearby. Essentially:

A. I-25 after exit 293 (Carr). Before then, paved roads that go via Rawhide Power plant. From Carr to the Wyoming border and first exits into Cheyenne. The con is that you are on shoulder of interstate with 80mph traffic. The pro is you have a wide shoulder and relatively few exits. Before embarking on this however, I would double check there isn't some road construction in either WY or CO that has closed shoulder of the interstate since that definitely changes the equation.

B. US 85. A much smaller shoulder with 65 mph speed limits and also fast traffic.

Neither is ideal and depends a bit on preference, though in my time in Fort Collins I typically preferred I-25.
mev is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 11:32 AM
  #5  
Tandem Tom
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 2,295

Bikes: 1992 Serotta Colorado II,Co-Motion Speedster, Giant Escape Hybrid, 1977 Schwinn Super Le Tour

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 48 Times in 41 Posts
Jon we will be heading into Nebraska.
Whey yikes??
Tandem Tom is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 12:12 PM
  #6  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,075
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13764 Post(s)
Liked 6,713 Times in 3,383 Posts
Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
I don't know how to ride north out of Denver, but if a real tourist were dropping off a vehicle to start a tour, I don't see why one wouldn't get on their bike and ride somewhere and sleep in the tent. (isn't that why you bring a tent ?)
I have driven to the start of a tour, arriving at my destination too late in the day to make it practicable to start riding right a way, especially after something like an 8 hr. drive. Got a room, returned the rental car the next morning and then started riding. Several times. What if I arrive in a fairly large city after dark, the nearest camping opportunity is more than 25 miles away and the route there goes through some sketchy areas?

Maybe now your vision is a bit better.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 03:10 PM
  #7  
jamawani 
Hooked on Touring
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,694
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 234 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 45 Posts
There are just not any good options.
Metro Denver stretches north along the Front Range for 75 miles - past Fort Collins.
County roads are quickly overwhelmed with new developments.

I'd take the Platte River Trail at first -
Then county roads - via Johnstown and Windsor
Connecting to Ault on US 85 which has shoulder all the way up to Wyo.

US 85 south of Ault is 4-lane, high speed, with shoulders.
Doable, but I'd avoid.
jamawani is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 10:07 PM
  #8  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24,314

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4302 Post(s)
Liked 1,807 Times in 1,099 Posts
Here’s Denver to Cheyenne through Greeley. It avoids riding on US 85 as much as possible.

Here’s Denver to Cheyenne through Fort Collins. This route is more populated with somewhat heavier traffic. The last part follows I-25 which is loud but you ride on the frontage road. Most of the traffic will be on the interstate.

Either one will work. Both have warts.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is online now  
Old 05-22-21, 05:53 AM
  #9  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,216
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 593 Post(s)
Liked 194 Times in 155 Posts
I have to wonder... Assuming you aren't crazy about the routes offered, why choose to tour on a route based on rather arbitrary start and end points even if the resulting route is way less than ideal? Why not just choose a great route and ride there instead. I assume that maybe you need to get from Denver to Cheyenne and are using it as a reason to do a tour. I'd suggest that just maybe it would make more sense to forget that approach and pick a great route and go there, especially since you are driving to the route any way. Barring that you could stick with the end point and possibly look at different start points. Perhaps you could find a route that you liked better that way.

Not sure how long your tour is and how it would impact logistics, but how about just starting in Ft Collins or somewhere else.

Maybe I am making incorrect assumptions here. If so please ignore. I have a feeling I might actually enjoy the I 25 frontage road, but without more checking out I can't say for sure.

I can see a desire to use the bike as utilitarian transportation much like commuting, but you are already getting there by rental car and I figure tours are not generally in that utilitarian category and probably shouldn't be. I figure it is better to tour somewhere because you want to see a place, or just because you want to ride from point A to B, not because you need to get from point A to B.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1

Last edited by staehpj1; 05-22-21 at 05:59 AM.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 05-22-21, 11:03 AM
  #10  
balto charlie
Senior Member
 
balto charlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Baltimore/DC
Posts: 2,861
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Liked 123 Times in 76 Posts
Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Jon we will be heading into Nebraska.
Whey yikes??
I can't contribute but can tell you that some of BF.nets most knowledgeable western cyclists have voiced concerns, heed their warning. Some of these guys really know those roads.
balto charlie is offline  
Old 05-22-21, 03:47 PM
  #11  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,216
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 593 Post(s)
Liked 194 Times in 155 Posts
The more I think about it the more I think I'd look into starting in Ft Collins and riding the I 25 frontage road. I kind of like access roads in general though. You may or may not. Even at that I wouldn't want to do it day after day for too long, but I wouldn't mind a section like that. Some people would hate it.

BTW, I don't think I am one of Balto Charlie's "most knowledgeable western cyclists", but the two guys who posted above me are.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1

Last edited by staehpj1; 05-22-21 at 04:57 PM.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 05-23-21, 01:28 PM
  #12  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,897

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 291 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 66 Posts
As far as the "Yikes" goes, I'll offer a counter point...

I grew up in Northern Colorado and was back last year for five weeks including several weekends cycling. I was in Boulder but cycled mostly east of there in region of Longmont/Erie/Lyons and made brief foray up to Fort Collins.

It does depend what you compare it to, and I think overall roads in northern Colorado are better for cycling than roads I have here around Austin. Strava heat maps will show you quite a few folks riding in the area as well as common routes. There is mostly a grid pattern of roads some paved and more unpaved. The population in CO and in the area has grown a low percent a year (growing up Longmont had ~25,000 people; it has had over 100,000 more recently). There has also been a proliferation of subdivisions/developments including through Weld County/Boulder County and along the general corridor. Some places the roads haven't always kept up, but it is a bit of hit/miss because other places they've put shoulders in. Erie is an illustrative case study. On one hand, former "county line road" had become busy and they haven't updated the shoulders (yet, there is a project in planning - https://www.coloradohometownweekly.c...nty-line-road/). Similarly, growing up there wasn't as good an alternative going between Denver and Boulder but for at least a decade there has been a pretty good Denver/Boulder bikeway. I don't always go for there sorts of bikeways touring, but now in that area these are becoming better alternatives.

However, at same time, there is an interconnected network of trails going up through Erie. The trick is finding and linking some of these combinations. In general, it seems Colorado roads are more likely to acquire shoulders than Texas roads as development happens.

With all that said, depending on where you are going in Nebraska, you don't necessarily need to go via Cheyenne. You can also follow the Platte River valley out through eastern Colorado or head first to Fort Collins and then east out CO 14 towards Sterling.

Last edited by mev; 05-23-21 at 01:34 PM.
mev is offline  
Old 05-23-21, 02:43 PM
  #13  
John N
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 303

Bikes: Co-Motion Americano Rohloff, Thorn Nomad MkII, Robert Beckman Skakkit (FOR SALE), Santana Tandem, ICE Adventure FS

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
Tom,

Here are some routes I did about 5 years ago. I re-created the routes on RWGPS based on my notes. Take them for what it is worth. Where specifically are you going in Nebraska? Do you want/need to go to Cheyenne or what?
This route was not the most memorable trip for me (it was part of a longer trip and was more of a connector type route) and I don't recommend it as a "enjoyable" trip, i.e. miles not smiles type.
A couple of notes on the routes. As I said, these are 5-6 years old. The traffic & services then may not be what it is now. Then they were fine. I am pretty sure a few extra miles of bike paths are available now (which I included on the RWGPS) compared to what I had. I was coming from southeast of Denver so never got to Denver. If you can start from the airport, it is easy to get to the route by heading south from the airport on Jackson Gap Rd. then east on 60th Ave. to Imboden Rd. where you would join the HCWC route, which does have about 1-2 miles of gravel. To get to the airport from downtown Denver, take the light rail, bikes are allowed. Anyway, there was a campground in Hudson. I got a hotel in Fort Collins. I did have to ride on the actual interstate for about 15+ miles but it was OK. It was the wind that was a pain at times. I didn't have direct headwinds but even the angled headwinds were quite strong. Sorry for the multiple routes. I just piece together various routes (I have thousands) to create one. While there is a frontage road most of the way, it is gravel for those 15 miles I rode on the interstate. Here are the routes, hope it helps:
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36142062
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36141838
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36141940
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36142211
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36142349
Tailwinds, John
John N is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.