Exploring Dirt in Southern Chatfield/Roxborough Area

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Location:
Littleton, CO
Date Published:
September 12, 2018
Distance:
41.60
mi
Elevation:
1342
ft
Gravel Ratio:
30% G / 70% P
Difficulty Rating:
⛰⛰
Enjoyability Rating:
⭐️⭐️
Download GPX File
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Highs:

Colorado is beginning to show off her beautiful fall colors.

The scenery near Roxborough is stunning.

A short section on the High Line Trail had the best winding dirt and there was even a little bit of shade!

Lows:

The long straight section on Roxborough Park Rd was lonely, hot and windy.

Finding out Roxborough State Park doesn’t allow bikes was a huge bummer.

While the paved road around Chatfield is newly completed, the trails are NOT and construction detours foiled my plans to go all the way around the reservoir.

Do this ride if you can wait about a year! When the construction around Chatfield is complete, it will be lovely. Until then, trails end abruptly, it is ugly and huge trucks are everywhere.

Other Notes:

If you want an excellent cup of coffee while you are in Littleton, I recommend the nearby Spur Coffee!

Route Updates:
Jan. 2020:  Sadly, the Littleton Spur Coffee is no more. ?
Feb 2020: The High Line Canal Trail has a closure at Roxborough Park Rd until at least the end of May, 2020 (https://highlinecanal.org/2019/11/trail-closure-dec-2019/)

I started this ride from the Downtown Littleton light rail/bus station.

Driving Directions

Route Contributor

Laura Karpinski

I got a bike as a young child and quickly set off making trips up and down the driveway then loops around my neighborhood, but I fell away from the joy of cycling as more and more of my free time was occupied by ballet training (around age 10). It wasn’t until I gave up my professional dancing career and moved to Colorado in 2000 that I began cycling seriously.

From infancy, and well into my late 20’s, I suffered from exercise-induced asthma and was afraid of cardio activities that made me wheeze. If my asthma was triggered by an intense activity, I was advised to stop immediately and use an inhaler.

I was into yoga and Pilates back in 2000 (Still am today!), so when one of my friends suggested we go to a spin/yoga class (30 min of spin, followed by 30 min of yoga), I was game to at least try something new. Even though I had trouble breathing in the classes, the safety of an indoor spin class gave be the ability to choose how hard to push myself, and at just 30 min, I slowly learned to tolerate the stress on my lungs. The fact that the spinning was followed by yoga gave me space to work with calming my thoughts and my head which said: “I can’t do this!”. As I got stronger and more confident and my cardio endurance increased, my asthma problems became less and less, and therefore, my willingness to try more adventurous and strenuous activities increased! I went from seeing cyclists biking up Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO and thinking, “they are crazy!”, to, “that looks kind of fun and I wonder if I can do that?”. And then I bought a bike, joined a club and tried biking up that mountain! My Asthma is nearly non-existent and I have been hooked on outdoor biking ever since.

I currently live in downtown Denver and have been car-free for about 10 years, typically biking 7,000+ miles a year between commuting, road riding and gravel bike adventuring. I have been a member of Naked Women’s Racing Team, and Colorado Women’s Cycling Project.

I teach Pilates and Yoga for a living and have been doing it for over 15 years. Just this year, I went out on my own and began a private-practice Pilates Studio called Align.Move.Breathe. I am a self-proclaimed “body nerd”, constantly reading, attending continuing education workshops and learning as much as I can about movement, bio-mechanics, alignment, anatomy and Ideokenesis.
I love to teach my clients how to relax and have fun with all movement, as well as have new and positive experiences with their bodies while gaining strength and flexibility in body, mind, and spirit. I strongly believe in both Pilates and Yoga as safe, supportive, and healing practices which can profoundly transform one’s every-day life!
If you are in the Denver area and interested in the intersection of biking and Pilates or Yoga, contact me at align.move.breathe@gmail.com.

Laura’s favorite Gravel Route: There are so many great rides it is REALLY hard to decide, but if there was one ride I would do over and over, it would be Four Mile Canyon and Switzerland Trail to Sugarloaf. It’s quiet, beautiful, challenging and fun!

Laura’s Gravel Bike: Spot Rallye Geared (It originally came with an 11-32 rear cassette, but she upgraded to 11-42, and it now comes standard that way.) Spot is a small bike company out of Golden, CO, and the people there have been terrific with customer service!
She is currently using Panaracer GravelKing SK+ 700×35C tires (but the Schwalbe G-One 700×35 that it came with were pretty sweet too).

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