US 36 Bikeway from Boulder to Denver (Almost)

Last weekend the trails were to muddy for riding so we decided to try out the US 36 Bikeway connecting Boulder to Denver.  I had been meaning to do this since the day it opened and have seen a lot of people enjoying it whenever I was stuck in a box traveling down Highway 36.  Summing up this ride in one word is easy: spectacular.  Not as much because of the quality of the path (although it is just as nice as every other bike path in our area) but because of the options it offers to recreational and commuter cyclists alike.  One of my customers has already been using his Bike Friday Haul-a-Day outfitted with an e-Rad system for Costco runs.  This is just one of many uses that this path affords.  Road riders and mountain bikers seeking a few training miles have an almost endless selection of routes that can be connected from this path without having to brave narrow shoulders and texting drivers.  As far as elevation goes, the climb out of Boulder can be as challenging as you are willing to make it.  In a low gear it isn’t too bad, but upshift a couple of clicks and you can put yourself into a pain cave, preparing for a summer of epic rides.  Unfortunately the route does not extend all the way to Union Station and we turned back after hitting Federal.  We would have turned around a little earlier if nature and coffee hadn’t been calling our names.  It is amazing how nice an Americano feels after a little cold weather and 22 miles of riding.  Approximately 18 miles of paved, car free path, only interrupted by two street crossings at Church Ranch and Sheridan. I have faith that this stretch of bike bliss will make designing more paths likely.  Imagine something like this connecting Boulder to Lyons and the lives that it would save.  A path like this from Boulder to Longmont would be equally attractive to commuters, as riding on the edge of the Diagonal seems like rolling dice with the devil.  Riding the LoBo trail is pleasant and simultaneously irritating as you meander through Gunbarrel and Niwot trying to get to work on time.  The route to Denver is even more attractive from the perspective of an e-cyclist that can bang out the hills and mileage at 19 mph.

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The top of the climb out of Boulder rewards the rider with a sweeping panoramic view of the front range.

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The route is very well signed.

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The route as described by Ryde, a new ride logging app that runs in the background of your smart phone.  It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other apps, but it also doesn’t require you to remember to start sand finish your ride.

 

 

 

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