Author Topic: Colorado loop  (Read 2089 times)

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timber

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Colorado loop
« on: January 11, 2009, 03:29:59 pm »
Hi

Did the TA in 2007.  We're planning a trip for 2009.  Looked at PC and the East half of the Northern Tier.  The more I think about it a Colorado loop sounds very enticing.  Can anyone recommend a route?

thanks

jim

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Colorado loop
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 09:49:49 am »
Colorado Cycling Guide by Jean and Hartley Alley covers bicycle riding in Colorado.  Many loops are given in this book.  I used it for a two week trip I did there back in 1998.  My route was Canon City, Salida, Gunnison, Hotchkiss, Ouray, Silverton, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Creede, Lake City, Gunnison, Saguache, Salida, Canon City.  I've been on a couple week long supported tours like Bicycle Tour of Colorado.  You might also check their websites to see what old routes they have used for ideas.

http://75.60.24.163/BMHA/Info/Info-Hartley-bio.htm

Offline valygrl

Re: Colorado loop
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 10:47:13 am »
Hi Jim, in 2005 I did a 5 week tour in Colorado.  After getting some advice from friends, I decided to plan it around the concept of "ride every paved continental divide crossing in CO" - and it worked out great.

here's a google map I tried to make of the route I actually rode
http://tinyurl.com/2ouoay

Google maps isn't allowing the rote to go over independance pass right now - I think the application knows it's winter and reroutes! - so from point "C" on this map, what I really did is continue east and then north to leadville, then over Tennessee Pass to Minturn/Vail.

I really enjoyed my trip.  I had to cut it short, so I missed out on crossing Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mtn National Park - which shouldn't be missed, as well as the northeast passes out by Steamboat. 

Pretty much, the higher the pass, the nicer the riding.  There are more people/cars in the northern parts around the ski areas (i-70) and fewer in the southern loop - Gunnison, Pagosa, Durango.   In addition to the higher passes, the section between Blue Mesa Reservoir and Paonia on Hwy 92 was a real treat - remote, beautiful, rolling hills. 

Generally, there was enough camping and services, the roads had reasonable shoulders (with a few exceptions).  Stay in the mountains, the front range is heavily populated and not really that great riding - too many cars, not enough hills.

Along with the AAA state map and the state recreation map, I used this book, it was very useful, with elevation profiles and service locations on all the major passes:
http://www.rei.com/product/688722

If you have any specific questions, or need a local contact, let me know, I live in Boulder now (yes, I decided to move here partly b/c of that tour).


Have fun....

Offline dfege

Re: Colorado loop
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 08:47:43 pm »
My wife and I did a self-supported route in Colorado last summer.  We drove to Cortez (one long day drive) from San Diego and left our car at a motel. We cycled to Mesa Verde and spent two nights there.  We cycled in the park for a full day.  Then cycled on 160 through Durango, over Wolf Creek Pass, to just past South Fork and then got on 285 to Saguache.  Then we took 114 over a pass (can't remember the name) to U.S. 50 and into Gunnison.  The pass out of Saguache was awesome: no traffic and a gentle climb.  Going down on the other side was also a great downhill through a narrow canyon.  Some of the most spectacular riding I've ever done.  In Gunnison, we took a day trip to Crested Butte.  Then we stayed on U.S. 50 to Montrose and turned south to Ridgeway.  In Ridgeway, we camped at a resort with hot springs.  Was fabulous to relax under the stars.  From Ridgeway, we took 62 and 145 to Telluride. (Telluride has a nice city campground along the river, but no laundromat!!)  From Telluride we took 145 to Dolores and back to Cortez.  The trip was about 600-700 miles.  There were lots of campgrounds along the way.  Hope you have a great trip!!