February 20th, 2009
If you live in Boulder and work in Denver or vice versa and have a bike then you should consider riding to Denver. It’ll be good for you and the environment
Before I sold my software business to NewsGator (based in Denver), the thought of working in Denver never ever crossed my mind. As an avid cyclist and climber I was pretty content with living, working, and playing in Boulder. But the opportunity to work at the hottest software startup in Colorado was too enticing, so I did it!
One of the pacts I made to myself after accepting the offer was that I would not drive my car to Denver… ever. I think I drove under 10 times over two years. Not bad. BTW, here’s a little tip that will make this care free transition easier… sell your car or have a mechanical problem and don’t get it fixed. In my case, my brakes needed some major love so I intentionally left it alone. I simply started the car once a week and drove around the block cuz that seemed like a good thing to do. But having bad brakes prevented me from getting in a warm car on a zero degree January morning and forced me to hop on the bike instead.
So back to the Boulder/Denver ride…. I would ride one way depending on if I wanted to get up at 5:30 am and the weather. On a snowy day, it was better to ride after work; the roads would usually a bit better and at least there would be plenty of car tracks to ride in. Then I would ride the bus the other direction. This works great. Get a gym membership so you can shower and stretch and with a cross bike you can do this year round. The two years I rode (’06 and ’07) were heavy snow years but I still was able to pull it off.
Figuring out the route was kind of tricky. There was no good beta online, so my only friend was Google maps. Google’s satellite view was great for finding bike paths and stitching the ride together. It took several attempts to dial in the ride, and I have been asked a BUNCH about the ride deets. So here goes…
The route is great from Boulder to 100th and Wadsworth – then it is okay. The stretch on Wadsworth is loaded with cars and they go fast, but there is a good shoulder for most of it. Then there is a section of Lowell that is sketchy; there is no shoulder (but light traffic) and you may need to dodge a shopping cart or two (or a thief). One day I almost got trampled by an officer, with weapon drawn, chasing a dude across the road into an alley. It’s not a great neighborhood around here for sure, but other than that one run in I had no incidents. Just keep your head down and ride.
All in all, it is a good ride, a great way to stay in shape, and a way to keep the stress low by staying out of your car… the environment will be happy too.
You can see the details here.
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