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  1. #1
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    Trip to Aurora, Colorado

    My family and I are travelling to Colorado the first week of May. My wife will has been out there several times and will be spending a lot of time with her extended family. This is my first trip. I am contemplating spending the extra money for a travel case and trying to get some rides in. Having no experience with the extra baggage cost, travel case cost, Colorado weather in May, or where to ride, any information is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    If you're going to be in Aurora you can ride the MUT and bike lane system all over the metro area and if you have time, those trails will take all the way to the mountains. A Google Map of the Denver set up to show bike paths and and lanes can give you a real good idea.

    If you want some altitude riding you'll probably want to transport yourself and bike closer to the mountains to begin.

    Be prepared to hydrate. a lot. A lot more than you may be used to.

    May is a great time of year in CO, but you may get rained on, so come prepared.
    Marco Pantani died for your sins.

    " I guess most guys don't think of themselves as larvae, but hey, we're all lucky that pterodactyls are no longer ruling the skies." ~Bob Roll


    2011 GT GTR Series 2
    Blog: Riding With Cancer

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    I dont know the cost of lugging the bike but if you like to ride you are not in a terrible location. The previous post gave some good tips. The bike paths or MUTs are excellent and you can ride them as far as you can go. I would recommend packing up the bike and heading to the hills, there are some great rides and the scenery is better than city. Have fun and bring your bike. Bring extra tubes and CO2 the goatheads can be ruthless on the path in spring. Weather is typically dry and warm but CO has some crazy weather. Bring your warm clothes and most likely you wont use them but nice to have just in case.

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    If you were to come out with your bike, I would recommend riding your bike to Lookout Mountain. You can jump on the bike path to REI and then take roads to Golden/Lookout Mountain.
    I can give you the exact route I take there, if you want.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chill716 View Post
    If you were to come out with your bike, I would recommend riding your bike to Lookout Mountain. You can jump on the bike path to REI and then take roads to Golden/Lookout Mountain.
    I can give you the exact route I take there, if you want.
    I was thinking the same thing. All you'd have to do is find your way to the Cherry Creek Trail, take that to REI and from there find your way to 32nd and take that west to Golden & Lookout Mtn.

    That would be a fine ride and a climb to brag about to your homeboys.
    Marco Pantani died for your sins.

    " I guess most guys don't think of themselves as larvae, but hey, we're all lucky that pterodactyls are no longer ruling the skies." ~Bob Roll


    2011 GT GTR Series 2
    Blog: Riding With Cancer

  6. #6
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    I really appreciate all of the suggestions. I found airfare for $600 less than I original budgeted, so the Tarmac is definitely along for the trip. I'll have five days available to ride, so I'm hoping to get a minimum of three rides (2-4 hours each). I'm in flat Florida and run 11-23 rear cassette. I would assume my 11-26 or 12-25 cassettes would be a far better choice. Or do I need something else? I ride about a 125 miles a week at sea level. I'm certain the altitude and ascents will be more than I can imagine from here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cignal_20 View Post
    I really appreciate all of the suggestions. I found airfare for $600 less than I original budgeted, so the Tarmac is definitely along for the trip. I'll have five days available to ride, so I'm hoping to get a minimum of three rides (2-4 hours each). I'm in flat Florida and run 11-23 rear cassette. I would assume my 11-26 or 12-25 cassettes would be a far better choice. Or do I need something else? I ride about a 125 miles a week at sea level. I'm certain the altitude and ascents will be more than I can imagine from here.
    I have a friend who rides (and climbs) with an 10-23, but then he's acclimated to the altitude, weighs nothing and has Quads Of The Gods. Either the 12-25 or the 11-26 would work. I ride an 11-28 with a 50-34 crank (not a strong climber, either), but you might have to change your chain to accommodate a cassette like that.

    You might ask around about an interval training schedule to better prep you for our climbs of you want to gain altitude. The altitude could beat you up, even if you're fit at sea level.

    If you like, I might be enticed into a meetup to guide you around for a day.
    Marco Pantani died for your sins.

    " I guess most guys don't think of themselves as larvae, but hey, we're all lucky that pterodactyls are no longer ruling the skies." ~Bob Roll


    2011 GT GTR Series 2
    Blog: Riding With Cancer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samadhi View Post
    I have a friend who rides (and climbs) with an 10-23, but then he's acclimated to the altitude, weighs nothing and has Quads Of The Gods. Either the 12-25 or the 11-26 would work. I ride an 11-28 with a 50-34 crank (not a strong climber, either), but you might have to change your chain to accommodate a cassette like that.

    You might ask around about an interval training schedule to better prep you for our climbs of you want to gain altitude. The altitude could beat you up, even if you're fit at sea level.

    If you like, I might be enticed into a meetup to guide you around for a day.
    The meet up is definitely a possibility, Samadhi. I'd much prefer to ride with someone familiar with the area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samadhi View Post
    I have a friend who rides (and climbs) with an 10-23, but then he's acclimated to the altitude, weighs nothing and has Quads Of The Gods. Either the 12-25 or the 11-26 would work. I ride an 11-28 with a 50-34 crank (not a strong climber, either), but you might have to change your chain to accommodate a cassette like that.

    You might ask around about an interval training schedule to better prep you for our climbs of you want to gain altitude. The altitude could beat you up, even if you're fit at sea level.

    If you like, I might be enticed into a meetup to guide you around for a day.
    Cignal 20: Pay attention here, Samadhi is not understating. Both the effects of elevation and hydration requirements for us flatlanders are staggering in the mountains/arid climate of Colorado. Lookout Mountain is a serious climb for acclimated locals in good form. If you're not familiar with the climb, suggest you Google the elevation. 11/28 with compact isn't undergeared IMO, not for someone coming from a few hundred feet above sea level (I'm from the midwest).

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    Thanks for the advice, Billium. The owner of my LBS travels to Colorado every year to ride for two weeks. I've spoke with him briefly and he suggested to consider them touring, not training rides. I plan to speak with him and get more details.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cignal_20 View Post
    I'm in flat Florida and run 11-23 rear cassette. I
    would assume my 11-26 or 12-25 cassettes would be a far better choice.
    Depends on a few things. I'm a Florida transplant and it took me about a year and a half to acclimate. Using the 11-26 would probably make your riding a little more fun. Especially if you want to do some of the hills around. I use either a 12-25 or an 11-28 with my 50/34. Lookout on your 11-26 should be fine. Just take your time and go with a nice easy cadence. As others point out, hydrate.

    Take Samadhi advice. Some solid interval training prior to coming would probably help a bunch.

    If you want to go home with a really tough ride under your belt, consider Pikes Peak! It may be tough on several levels for you coming from sea level. I've done it on my 12-25 but I was pretty mad at myself once I hit the switchbacks. If you are interested in doing this ride, or a ride through garden of the gods in Colorado Springs just pm me when you are here.

  12. #12
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    Hey Cignal_20 - So much of Aurora has grown to the Southeast that it may be worth your while to consider using the C470 Mut and ride out to Chatfield Reservoir if you're out that way. If you decide the ride from the relatives house will take too much of your 2-4hrs then you can take the freeway out to Chatfield and from there you have some fine riding available up Deer Creek Canyon and/or the Hi-Grade, as fun as Lookout if somewhat less iconic. Another less ambitious ride would be to drive out to Sedalia (south of Denver on Santa Fe Dr.) and ride from Sedalia to Palmer Lake. A rolling ride with some hills and about a 50mi out and back. Pretty rural and during the week not too much traffic. Just a little more food for thought. Cheers

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    Thanks for taking the time, RtR Pir8. Every bit of info helps.

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    bike case: I had a "EVOC", which is a semi soft-case. Used it once for an oversea trip to transport my Colango, and it worked fine and holds a lot--including my helmet, shoes, tools and even few sets of cycling bibs/jerseys. I then sold the EVOC because of a great deal on a "Scicon" Hard Case (retail for over usd 1k), which I also used it for an oversea trip. NO doubt Scicon Hard Case feels/looks much more solid. Both would actually hold a bike with intergrated seatpost--my size is 56 toptube. You may also want to consider a brand called "BIKND", which allows you to pump air into the case and serve as padding. It would also hold two sets fo wheels, and fit a ISP frame with 56 toptube.

    I lived in Colorado before moving out to CA, and recently visited Denver with my bike. I also had a chance to ride around Boulder area. One easy route that I had done---take FWY 36 West, and exit Arapahoe Road (as you just enter Boulder). After you exit, go West (toward the mountain) and pass Broadway (you will see a Starbucks at the corner of Arapahoe and Broadway) until you see the sign of "Boulder Mountain Parks".

    You then can do what i did---just park the car on the street and start pedaling up. It's a very good climb and this will eventually loop you around the mountains and bring you down to the other side of Boulder. Part of the fore-mentioned route is the same course for the US Pro Cycling Challange. I like taking off from Arapahoe Rd because it's actually on the west side of Boulder, and you could avoid traffic (going through the town to get back on FWY 36). When you are tired from the ride, every bit of energy counts.

    If time/condition is a concern, you can just turn around (back tracking is the best !) after you have enough of climbing, go back to your car and stop at Starbucks for a recovery drink before you jump back on FWY 36 heading home (east bound).

    Weather in May is perfect for riding.

    Talk is always cheap and everyone (and their mother) has a camera on their phones, so here is a picture for your refernce---where I parked my car and started riding up. Enjoy!

    Trip to Aurora, Colorado-get-attachment.aspx.jpg

  15. #15
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    BTW, I understand that it's a long drive (solid 30 miles) from Aurora to Boulder, but if you have a full day to kill, this is the trip that you would want to consider.

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    Thanks, EightFiveT. I should have plenty of time to take that kind of trip. I live in rural Florida, so a 30 mile trip isn't a issue for me. I drive that far to buy groceries.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EightFiveTwo View Post
    One easy route that I had done---take FWY 36 West, and exit Arapahoe Road (as you just enter Boulder). After you exit, go West (toward the mountain) and pass Broadway (you will see a Starbucks at the corner of Arapahoe and Broadway) until you see the sign of "Boulder Mountain Parks".

    You then can do what i did---just park the car on the street and start pedaling up. It's a very good climb and this will eventually loop you around the mountains and bring you down to the other side of Boulder. Part of the fore-mentioned route is the same course for the US Pro Cycling Challange. I like taking off from Arapahoe Rd because it's actually on the west side of Boulder, and you could avoid traffic (going through the town to get back on FWY 36). When you are tired from the ride, every bit of energy counts.
    Sure about that? There is no Starbucks at Arapahoe/Broadway. There IS one at Baseline/Broadway and Baseline takes you up Flagstaff road into Boulder Mountain Park. Arapahoe ends at the mouth of Boulder Canyon.

    Just sayin .....
    Marco Pantani died for your sins.

    " I guess most guys don't think of themselves as larvae, but hey, we're all lucky that pterodactyls are no longer ruling the skies." ~Bob Roll


    2011 GT GTR Series 2
    Blog: Riding With Cancer

  18. #18
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    I think that's right Samadhi. Flagstaff is the climb. Cignal20, I live about 15 mins from Aurora and I think you have received some great suggestions given your parameters. Not much else I would add, unless you do want to try and take a full day off in the mountains or up in Boulder or something. In which case, I would recommend Mt Evans or Left Hand Canyon, respectively. Hope you enjoy your junket to cycling heaven (ie, Colorado). Good riding! Colorider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samadhi View Post
    Sure about that? There is no Starbucks at Arapahoe/Broadway. There IS one at Baseline/Broadway and Baseline takes you up Flagstaff road into Boulder Mountain Park. Arapahoe ends at the mouth of Boulder Canyon.

    Just sayin .....
    OPPSSS...it's baseline !!

    So if u go up on baseline, pass the starbucks and will get to the point where i took the picture. I'm horrible in giving directiion.

  20. #20
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    Yes, I double checked when I was in Boulder last night.

    The corner you describe at Baseline/Broadway would be perfect to start. There's the 'Bux for a pre-ride pick-me-up, but I prefer Brewing Market across the parking lot to the east. Right next door is a decent bike shop and next door to the LBS and up a flight of stairs is one of Boulder's better Indian restaurants.



    The route in question is, as I understand it, fantastic and a local favorite it's on my list of rides for this summer along with Lefthand Canyon which I hope to ride at least twice.

    If the OP want's to have a go at it, I'd be happy to keep pace!
    Marco Pantani died for your sins.

    " I guess most guys don't think of themselves as larvae, but hey, we're all lucky that pterodactyls are no longer ruling the skies." ~Bob Roll


    2011 GT GTR Series 2
    Blog: Riding With Cancer

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