Finally getting out for a decent ride since snow and cold temps have been the norm recently around Denver/Boulder.
We used this beginner Boulder gravel route to try out our new Panaracer Gravelking SK+ Tires. Set up tubeless and pumped to 40 psi, they had a substantial amount of grip compared to our old worn-out tires! Plus, they were fast rolling and handled terrifically on all the multitudes of surfaces we took them on: pavement, single and double track trails, packed gravel, lose gravel, dirt, wet sand, mud, grass and snow! The only time we slid at all was on a few patches of melting slushy snow.
All the usual “Boulder Highs”: low car traffic, beautiful views, friendly biking community and a plethora of dirt/gravel to explore.
There were several sections of the Longmont/Boulder Lobo trail that still has snow on it. While our 700x35cm tires did just fine on the packed snow, we had to slow down as we slid around in the melting snow/ice slush. Same went for the areas that had thick mud and large puddles.
Our least favorite part of this route was crossing the Diagonal Highway (119) at approximately mile 13. Traffic was steady and moving fast, so waiting to find the right time to “frogger” across took awhile.
Do this ride if you want a great beginner/intermediate mixed-terrain Boulder gravel ride with an approachable amount of elevation gain. We did this ride perhaps a few days early after a big dump of snow (before it had all melted), which made it more technical, adventurous and slow. On a day with dry conditions, however, this route could be done at a pretty quick pace.
This route was devised by the Sport’s Garage for their “Gravelanche Harvest Revival” Series (C Group). Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to the cold and snow the day before, but we decided to check it out on our own when it was a little warmer.
Trails get muddy and slushy after recent snow, which means we get very, very dirty! Remembering a towel to sit on in the car ride home would have been nice. Good to know also: there is a self-service car wash perfect for power washing the muck off the bike that is just minutes away from where we ended the ride.
After the first few miles, you will not find any convenient stores, so make sure you take enough water and fuel.
Interested in other winter gravel routes? Check out this blog post for a few others!
We parked near the The Sports Garage bike shop in Boulder where there is plenty of easy street parking. (We love the friendly folks at The Sport Garage, so don’t hesitate to stop in!)