I’m no Lance Armstrong. On my most recent trip, I cinched the helmet on too tight and wound up with a migraine. I miss having a bell on the handlebars and being able to pedal backwards to brake. My bicycle has more gears than I know what to do with. Clearly, this article will not be an exhaustive account of Denver’s cycling community.
Having said that, I’ve recently become enchanted with a few bicycle paths around Denver and thought I would call attention to them such that those who do not follow the Tour de France with baited breath yet hold a guilty conscience about the barely-used bike in the garage might find a path close to them and see a part of Denver you just can’t in your car.
First though, a trip to the bike shop is in order to make sure everything is ready for action. Any nearby store will probably be able to give you a good once-over, but if you’re close to Bicycle Village, I’d suggest visiting them. This cavernous temple to all things bicycle has a repair shop the size of an entire Grease Monkey with lots of knowledgeable folks who will get you ready for the road in no time. While there, you can also buy a helmet, gloves, extra tubes, water bottles, shorts, t-shirts, and all sorts of doo-dads to accessorize your trip.
After that, it’s time to choose which of Denver’s 850 miles of bike paths you want to travel. My most recent trip (the one with the too-tight helmet) began in the Stapleton neighborhood where we took some streets to the Sand Creek trail. This path takes you up to I-70 and then westward through Commerce City. It is immaculate. Signs indicate it has been kept up using “your Colorado lottery money.” So THAT’S where all my hopes and dreams have gone!
From the Sand Creek trail, I connected with the Platte River trail (aka The Greenway Trail along the South Platte River) which passes a lot of Old Denver history, including Riverside Cemetery. Heading west, this path takes you all the way downtown to Confluence Park, Elitch Gardens, the REI flagship store, and Mile High Stadium.
Finish off your grand adventure along the Cherry Creek bike path through the heart of downtown without having to deal with intersections and cars. The path winds along the creek itself, sunk just below the hustle and bustle.
For a great round-up of maps of these routes and more, visit the website of Out Spokin’.