I summited the 14,264′ Mt. Evans a couple of summers ago via an easy route (over mt Spalding from Summit Lake). At that time we were with some inexperienced hikers, and I wanted to give them an easy day. I really enjoyed this mountain, and have been longing to return here and summit via my road bike.
This post is to describe some of my favorite road bike rides in the Castle Rock Colorado area. If you are new to the area, or new to cycling this post should help you find great rides that are not to far from home. Many new cyclists get stuck riding loops in their neighborhood. One of the best parts of cycling is getting out, and exploring your area. I hope that you will find new routes to ride. Continue reading
Some friends of ours who moved to Wisconsin a few years ago, invited us to join them for two nights in one of the 10th mtn division huts. I have been wanting to check out these huts for some time so we jumped at the chance. The 10th Mountain Huts are a network of 30 back-country huts. They are named after the light infantry division who trained at Camp Hale (near Leadville) during WWII.
Our hut (The Continental Divide Cabin)
One of my stated goals for the summer was to do at least a 30 mile ride. In the last couple of months I have gone on three rides 30 miles or longer. My Uncle Dave has been cycling the past couple of years, and he completed a 50 mile ride this year. Not to be outdone, I decided I would like to try a 50 mile (half century) ride. Although I knew it would be difficult, I was looking forward to completing this milestone.
Two of my previous 30 mile rides included a lot of climbing. In order to make this ride a litte easier, I picked a relatively flat route. I decided to follow the cherry creek regional trail from 470 and arapahoe road into downtown Denver, and back out. I would have liked to start this ride further south, however, the trail has a short section that doesn’t connect (near Arapahoe road), and there is really no safe way to navigate this missing section.
On Cherry Creek Trail cyclists, walkers and runners enjoy varied scenery as they travel beside Cherry Creek. From the urban setting of Downtown Denver to the rolling hills of rural Parker, the Cherry Creek Trail offers visitors a taste of the wide range of habitat that calls Denver and its surrounding areas home
There is a map of the trail at the bottom of this post
My Trusty Steed
I rode on my Trek 7.6FX hybrid bike. I bought this bike back in March, and I have been so happy with it! Having a quality bike has made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the sport.
This ride was not part of an organized event, so I needed to cary or purchase all my snacks and drinks. I carried my Osprey hydration pack with 2 liters of water, a pack of cliff shot rocks, and a stinger waffle. I also had a water bottle with a full packet of cytomax in it.
Here is my run keeper data for the ride. I went way faster for the first 30 miles I had an average pace of 3:40 per mile (roughly 17 mph). I didn’t pause my run keeper except for the break at REI. I slowed way down the last 15 miles.
The ride went really well. I felt good most of the time. My legs hurt bad for about 5 miles after I stoped at REI, and they hurt for about an hour after the ride. Here is a video with the story of the ride itself.
Here are some more pictures of the ride
- Training – a good rule of thumb is to have your weekly mileage at least equal to the distance you are planning to cover (i.e., 100 miles) and have ridden at least 3/4s of the distance in a single ride one to two weeks prior to the ride. Don’t over train on the week before the ride
- If you are going on a long ride such as a half century, I would suggest buying a pair of padded cycling shorts, and using a lube such as chamois butt to prevent chaffing.
- Bring plenty of water a high calorie snacks. A long ride is not a place to cut carbs, calories, or limit sodium intake. Keep your energy stores up and you will ride harder and enjoy it a lot more.
- Don’t stop for more than 10 minutes or you will really stiffen up. When you do stop stretch out and move around instead of sitting still.
- Move around on your bike as much as possible. change your hand positions, wiggle your fingers, stand up, shift forward and backward in your saddle.
- I ride a comfort bike and just bought some bycicle ends that give me two extra hand positions. I think it really helped me keep comfortable.