Riding in Boulder!

I’ve managed to assemble a townie bike; a $20 “frame” from craigslist (that included fork, handlebars, shifters, brakes, and everthing but the wheels) and apparently had been stolen, spray-painted black, and recovered.  Pretty nice stuff; some XT and a Rockshox fork.  I’m beginning to wonder if the story is true.  Anyway, my cousin Steve, (who, by chance, lives six blocks away!) had a back wheel for me, and a kind stranger on the CU Boulder bike list serve had a front.  Bam.  Pretty sweet bike.  $20.  Now I just need a rack; hanging shopping bags from the handlebars is getting old, and is going to go wrong on the twisty bike paths before too long.

Speaking of the bike paths, riding in Boulder is a mixed bag.  The Boulder Creek Path is awesome.  It has bridges at all the road crossings, so you can get across town without even having to stop.  And there are quite a few bike lanes around.  But there are also some really main streets with no bike lane.  Given the substantial infrastructure devoted to bikes, I feel completely unwelcome riding in these places where there is none.  Maybe I’m just used to being where I know how to get around by bike, and I just need to figure it out in Boulder.  But there are main roads where it appears the proper thing to do is to ride on the sidewalk.  I’m not a fan; it’s not just slow, it’s risky.

But the training is awesome.  It was 70 degrees last week.  I rode in shorts.  I haven’t gotten to fully tap into the awesome rides in the mountains (they’re hit-and-miss in winter), but I did take advantage of the fair weather and did a ride through Estes Park.  Freaking awesome.  The climb nearly killed me, trying to hang on to the wheels of Ian and Alex, who are much better acclimated than I!  And the oxygen only got thinner as we climbed.  But man, it was worth it.

Estes Park.  Enough oxygen returned to my brain to think to snag a photo.

Estes Park. Enough oxygen returned to my brain to think to snag a photo.

Of course, the weather isn’t always this good.  This week it was twenty below and snowy.  The cold kept me inside (and was a record).  But Thursday brought warmer temps, though the roads were still bad.  I’ve learned the drill: Snowy roads? Workout on the trainer (if needed), then snow mountain biking at Marshall Mesa!  The trails are pretty straightforward, and so far there’s only been a few inches of snow on the ground.  Perfect conditions.

Snow biking at Marshall Mesa.

Snow biking at Marshall Mesa. The cows (mostly active pasture) are pretty amenable in my encounters.

What a blast!  Hope I don’t get eaten by a mountain lion (see “Wildlife” section).

The Flatirons (I think?) from Marshall Mesa.

The Flatirons (I think?) from Marshall Mesa.

And then there are the group rides.  A hundred people will come out for a group ride.  My first exposure to this was actually in New Haven, where they have the Sleeping Giant ride.

Last weekend I did a bigger, badder group ride called the Oval Ride that leaves out of Fort Collins.  There’s one out of Boulder too called the Gateway Ride – maybe I’ll get to write about this one next.


~ by awerbuch on March 11, 2011.

One Response to “Riding in Boulder!”

  1. […] used to galavant around the mountains.  I’ve probably seen as much of the front range in the last three months from behind the handlebars as a lot of Boulder locals.  It feels like I […]

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