Gravel Ride - East of Longmont

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If you are like me you love to ride dirt roads. There are great dirt road riding north of Boulder but it is relatively limited. These roads are in great shape and can be easily ridden on a road bike. If you are also like me you have a handful of rides that you ride every week. You stay in your comfort zone of rides and don't diverge from that.

This year I have made a resolution to explore. I want to try new mountain bike rides, new road rides and even different bike paths for commuting. I started my exploration last week by heading east to explore some great dirt road riding. I started my ride at Union Reservoir just east of Longmont.

I headed east to start the ride but then north staying on mostly dirt roads in between US287 and I-25. The dirt roads varied greatly from firm packed smooth dirt to very loose and rocky. I was on my cyclocross bike for this ride and I am glad. There were sections that would have been a challenge on a road bike.

Very little traffic on these roads and the views were amazon of the Indian Peaks and Longs Peak.

Ride Info

  • Total distance: 48.2 mi?
  • Elevation gain: 2212 ft



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6 Comments

Nice, I see you went by

Nice, I see you went by Wonderland Lake. I ride out there too, and enjoy it.

One thing I've noticed, and not sure if has been fixed: Some of those dirt road intersections do not have STOP signs! I guess there are conventions about which way has the right-of-way but I always stop no matter what.

I come from the SW Ohio /

I come from the SW Ohio / Northern Ky area and anytime someone around here complains about dogs or drivers, I just laugh.

I've ridden these roads many times. I have been chased by loose dogs exactly twice in the 11 years I've been riding on the Front Range.

Contrast that with the Team Dayton weeknight ride I used to do that we called the "Bad Dog Ride". There was a trailer park with at least a half a dozen vicious loose dogs near the top of a climb on that one (as well as several other places you'd see dogs, hence the name). One time the team coach got so pissed off at a dog we saw frequently and had reported multiple times to the sherriff, that he actually grabbed the dog by the collar / neck, walked up to the owners' house and knocked on the door WITH THE DOG (he was a big dude and no one messed with him). I am not making this up.

So yes, if you're not used to it, dogs can be startling, but unless you've ever ridden in a part of the country where loose dogs are actually a problem? yea suck it up.

the dirt riding out there is phenomenal, and you see maybe 1 or 2 cars an hour out there. You could definitely do worse.

Land of Plenty

There are plenty of great gravel routes in the area with some wonderful bonuses (great scenery, fewer cars, less exhaust and a fewer aggressive drivers). I train and ride on the Front Range gravel for all of these reasons, and started the http://gravelquest.blogspot.com/ blog to publish these routes and connect some of the folks in the area interested in the same type of riding.

There are also an increasing number of gravel based events and races. I'm not talking the half-gravel crits (i.e. Boulder and Mead Roubaix) but rather the endurance and ultra distance events that present a unique challenge. These races typically run at least 100 miles, but they also attract a much different crowd. Most events are still in the Midwest, but the number here in CO has doubled this year (a list of CO events can be found here - http://gravelquest.blogspot.com/p/events.html).