Today, Laura test-rode a Rodeo LabsTrail Donkey bike during this Boulder Foothills and Farmland Gravel Route.
If you don’t know about Rodeo Labs, they are a Denver-based company that makes incredible adventure bikes.
The Trail Donkey frame is one which a rider can build a bike of “supreme function and versatility”. “The spectrum of its abilities ranges from pavement to single track to gravel, and everything in between.”
We chose this route for the demo so Laura could feel how it handled tough inclines. She also wanted to take it on familiar dirt and pavement so she could see how this bike felt in comparison to her current bike.
The light carbon frame sped up steep pavement climbs in the foothills. It gripped the road as we wound our way back downhill on gravel. The disc breaks were awesome in the wet conditions this morning, and the bike was comfortable and quick on the flatter dirt and paved roads around Niwot and Boulder.
Test riding a new gravel machine!
Spotting one of Specialized Boulder’s pink flamingo’s on the top of the first climb. They strategically placed the cute little guys around the best roads in Boulder for a fun game of seek and find!
It was misty and wet the first 15 miles or so, which hid the mountains from view, but made the scenery look like the Pacific Northwest for the day.
It is finally acting like spring time in Colorado which means fields are green, flowers are popping up and lots of adorable baby cows and horses everywhere.
The mist/rain ended up getting us quite wet in the first 10 miles which made for a chilly decent down Old Stage and Lefthand Canyon.
We wished ALL of the last 25 miles had been dirt. During the route, we realized a few places where we could have hit a few more dirt roads.
Do this ride if you want to wake up your climbing legs immediately on pavement and leave the majority of the gravel riding for the flatter, rolling roads that make up the last 25 miles of this route.
We gave this a 5-mountain rating not because of any technical gravel challenges, but just because you gain 1,000 ft of elevation in the first 5 miles and another 700 ft by the time you hit mile 8.5! It warmed us up pretty quickly.
After the first few miles, you will not find any convenient stores or bathrooms, so make sure you take enough water and fuel. (Our favorite gummies right now are Skratch Labs Matcha Green Tea and Lemon Energy Chews that have a little natural caffeine in them!)
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!)
Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.