Denver, Colorado, and its surrounding mountains are a training mecca for cycling enthusiasts and a resplendent wonderland for weekend and part-time cyclists. The high altitude, fresh air and bountiful sunshine brings riders from near and far – all hoping to soak up some of the awe-inspiring beauty and health benefits of the region.
Denver, the Mile High City, is a well-known paradise for cyclists. It boasts over 85 miles of paved roads and trails that ultimately lead off to hundreds of additional miles of trails. You’re sure to enjoy finding and riding a road oft traveled, filled with exciting adventure. Luckily, if you don’t have a bike of your own, Denver offers plenty of bike rental stations (over 85 according the city’s website, Denver.org) which house more than 700 red, shiny bikes for adventurers to rent.
Head off to the historic Greenway Trail, along the South Platte River which highlights Riverside Cemetery, Confluence Park, Hudson Gardens and the Chatfield State Recreation Area, a sprawling park at trails end that offers outdoor activities such as horseback riding, sailing, and swimming. Stopping at any of these locations is sure to add to your experience and enhance your day. The trail itself is peppered with more than 20 signs, erected by the Colorado Historical Society, that illustrate the history of the surrounding area.
Another great trail is the Cherry Creek Bike Path. This paved trail is one of the most popular in Denver and wanders through the Cherry Creek Shopping District as well as Cherry Creek State Recreation Area and Castlewood Canyon State Park. From the end of the Bike Path, it is just a few miles along a dirt road to reach the State Park. There you can enjoy walks through the historic canyon and enjoy exhibits on the dam that was once there.
Bear Creek Bike Trail follows Bear Creek from the South Platte river for 20 miles until reaching the lovely little mountain town of Morrison, Colorado. Morrison is the gateway to the famed Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. For those who like a challenge, it is possible to cycle from Denver to Red Rocks, enjoy a concert, and cycle back. All in true Colorado form!
There are a number of additional trails heading around and out of Denver and all are amazing in their own way. You’re sure to create lifelong memories while riding any of these trails. However, don’t overlook the most important aspect of biking which is safety. Joanna Sommer, a safety writer for InformedMag.com reminds us that the two most important safety tips for cyclists is to never bike alone and to always wear a helmet. Both of these tips could potentially save a life.
It’s always best to ride with at least one friend when taking off on a biking adventure, particularly if you’re looking to head out of the city and into the hills. Also, don’t forget to bring your cell phone and ID in case of emergency. Helmets are an obvious safety essential. Many of these trails lead out of the city and into the mountains where a slip, skid, or fall could be detrimental without a helmet.
In the end, any day or multiday bike trip you take around Denver is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime. The area is a destination famous with outdoor enthusiasts that abounds with interesting US history and magnificent natural wonders that will bid you to return, time and time again.