Upon leaving Walden, it was 25 miles of mostly fast and easy travel on desolate country roads with vast views of wide open spaces.
Seeing cowboys and cows in an impressive cattle crossing. (Though I have to admit, it was a little intimating to be so close to such big animals!)
Feeling good, getting in the zone and crushing it while taking in the views.
Being strong enough physically and mentally to do a “bonus” 14-mile loop of extremely technical and steep ranch roads.
The Hohnholz Lakes Campground, is right on the Laramie River, and taking an invigorating post-ride dip felt awesome on my tired feet and legs!
Listening to wild coyotes howl at a full moon as I fell asleep in my tent, exhausted from a full day of adventure.
The morning temperature in Walden was the coldest I’d endured on a bike to date- 27°!! (Apparently, Walden is known for getting quite cold…) Packing up the tent, getting dressed and eating breakfast in the cold was seriously painful. Even though I was wearing my best winter gear, I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes for the first two hours!
Do this ride if you want to experience a remote, gorgeous and quiet area of Colorado where you’ll see more cows than people or cars. (Oh yeah- and you should probably enjoy tackling tough hills and extremely challenging terrain too!! ?.)
If you’re on a 4-day bike camping trip, you want the full experience and you’re feeling good, it’s worth it do the “bonus” miles. (Those are miles 34-48 on the map.)The condition of the roads in that 14-mile loop were some of the most challenging on this trip. There were very steep sections with loose gravel, washed out roads, puddles that looked more like lakes, and just generally difficult terrain on a gravel bike.Though it was tough, the beauty of the landscape and the ability to rise to the challenge made it totally worth it!
As part of my contract with Ramble Rides, I agreed that I wouldn’t share a GPX file of the route, but by clicking on the map at the top of this page, you can still see the route on my Strava profile.
We started this ride from The Vic & Sigrid Hanson Memorial Park in Walden, CO. There are public bathrooms at the park.
Go to Day 1 of the Ramble Ride
Go to Day 3 of the Ramble Ride
Go to Day 4 of the Ramble Ride
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).