The Ride: Confluence Park to the Jefferson County Justice Center
Distance: 25.8 miles round trip, 12.7 if you opt to take the train one way
Time: 1.75 to 2.5 hours
Denver's RTD has hung signs from bridges and buses to advertise the W Line to Golden, but few have heard of the new bike path that runs adjacent to the train tracks. This isn’t the fastest route to Golden or Lookout Mountain (for that, check out our route along 32nd street), but it’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon exploring one of Denver’s urban transit corridors. The best part? If you bonk out, just load your bike onto an eastbound train at the nearest station. You will be back to downtown in minutes.
You can depart anywhere along the South Platte Trail, but Confluence Park near REI is the easiest meeting point. From there, head south along the Platte River Trail past Sports Authority Field. When you pass under the Colfax Viaduct, turn the west. This trail winds through Ruby and Sanchez Park so be careful—a popular Frisbee golf course will be just next to you and you might have to dodge some discs.
Underneath Sheridan Street the trail is still under construction. No worries. A glass elevator in the light rail station takes you up to street level and provides a stunning view of downtown Denver. Plus, the vertical element adds an action-adventure feel to your bike ride. From there, circumvent the RTD Park-and-Ride garage to rejoin the trail. When you get to Quail Street, head south and take a right on Eighth Avenue. Follow the signs marking the D10 bike route. Once you get to Johnson Avenue turn south and you should be right under the City of Golden Light Rail Terminus. Take the train or ease down the slight grade back into the city.
Find out more: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2671070
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock