Saturday was another great, early spring day here in Denver. I had decided that I would ride no matter the weather in an effort to show my support to the professional cyclists that were riding the first spring classic of the year, Omloop Het Nieuwsbald and a video. Since my legs are unshaven, I could only ride 47 miles to the pro’s 126. It was also sunny and 50 deg F here, while in Belgium it was raining and 43 deg F. So, I lucked out. I decided to do the standard ride out to Golden from Denver and back, climbing Lookout Mtn in the middle. I call this the short version, not only because it is short compared to the Omloop and what other front range cyclists can do, but also because I take the streets all the way as opposed to the bike path which adds 15-20 miles to the ride. From the REI down on Platte St, this ride is around 44 miles. It trends up to the base of Lookout Mountain in Golden, then shoots up nearly 2000ft in about 5 miles from downtown/Coors. I have found that the climb becomes generally less steep as you go up. There is a little (2 milesish) loop if you ride past Buffalo Bill’s grave and take the next right to the Lookout Mtn Nature Center. The climb up Lookout Mtn is probably the closest, easily accessible, decent-sized climb (for road bikes) in the Denver area. Downtown Golden is a nice little area as well with multiple bike shops and food options. I will usually stop at the Windy Saddle cafe and grab a slice of quiche and/or a cinnamon roll to give me the legs to get home. Door to door, this took me about 3.5 hours. My version of directions from REI are below.
1. Take 15th St. west over I-25 and curve left onto 29th.
2. Take a left on Zuni and cross over Speer Blvd.
3. After crossing over Speer, go half a block and take a hard 90 deg curve to the right. This is 26th.
4. Go west on 26th, jog to the right, then left, as it turns into 27th (no other option really). 27th runs into Youngsfield.
5. Take a right on Youngsfield.
6. Take a left onto 32nd at the light and go under I-70.
7. Take 32nd past Coors Brewing into downtown Golden. 32nd becomes 13th as it passes Coors.
8. Take a left onto Ford then curve to the right onto Jackson (Ford and Jackson become one way)
9. Take a right onto 19th. This takes you out of downtown and up to Hwy 6. Go across Hwy 6 on 19th. As this curves to the left it becomes Lookout Mtn Road and you’re off!