Cycling from Boulder to Denver

143…What could that be a number for? Your credit card security code? Your ticket number while waiting in line at the DMV? Nope, it’s the number of turns Google Maps gives you when you type in a route for cycling from Boulder to Denver. That’s a lot more than the 9 turns required when using an automobile, yet I decided to embark on this great journey anyway. I was using a Samsung Galaxy S8 (yes some people don’t have an I-phone), with Google Maps as my guide. At the time of this writing, the bicycle directions are in beta…and it shows. The tiny bike trails it discovered had pros and cons.

While riding on a road, the directions would blurt out, “turn left,” and I would have no idea if I was to be seeing a bike path, sidewalk, or small road.  Usually I would see them all at once, confusing me into choosing one and ultimately leading to numerous recalculations from my digital guide. Some of the smaller trails I discovered with lead me to nice peaceful and scenic vistas of parks and lakes, others were not so scenic.  That being said, I’m appalled at the complicated route you need to take on. Next time, I decide to go cycling from Boulder to Denver I will use this map here, which seems like a better option. It took me 3 hours to complete this epic 32 mile trip.

Want to know some Colorado Biking Statistics?

Begin boring statistics part: Both the city of Denver and Boulder have impressive cycling infrastructure. According to the US Census, Denver ranks 8th among the 70 largest American cities for bike-commuting.  In 2010, 2.2% of population in Denver over the age of 16 commuted to work. That may not sound impressive to the average Joe, but for cycling enthusiasts, it’s a high number.  Just to give you a little perspective, in that same year, the Census Bureau found that only a mere 0.55% of the American workforce commuted by bicycle. Now 2.2% seems bigger right? Now prepare to be impressed…Boulder, Colorado has the highest rate of bike commuters with 12.3% of the workforce regularly biking to work (data collected in 2018). THAT IS HUGE! So now you can join me in my astonishment over the lack of bicycle paths/lanes/routes in between these two cycling giants. End boring statistics part.

What I learned from the Adventure

There are some interesting sights/paths along the way:

Dry Creek Canal
Dry Creek Canal

It’s complicated the first time you make this epic journey. You will need to constantly look at your map, which you will bring right? After doing it once or twice, you can learn your way making the whole trip more enjoyable….or so I hear.

It’s easy to bike a long distance as long as you don’t push yourself. Seriously, I have done numerous cycling trips, and I can’t stress this enough. You need to pace yourself whenever going on any long cycling journey. If you start out grinding on your pedals you’ll wear yourself out before you hit Westminster.

It’s more or less a flat ride. So if you’re feeling adventurous and you own a bike, cycling from Boulder to Denver is a great accomplishment to have under your belt. It can’t beat an astronaut’s story at the dinner table, but hey it’s not to shabby of an accomplishment. So what are you waiting for?