Feature

The Bike Stuff

Summer is the best time for hemet heads. From mountains to the plains, cyclists are out in force - and in the city, riders have a big-time advocate.

June 2003

Ahhhh, mountain biking after work, it’s one of the great joys of summer. A great way to get in a quick workout, enjoy nature, and escape from the noise of the city. So you head to one of Jefferson County’s Open Space Parks – you and everyone else. You decide to fight the crowds because this is one of the best metro area trail networks in the country. They have good signage, maps at most trailheads, and beautiful views. Getting there is pretty easy, but once you’re there you have to struggle with dozens of other riders (and hikers) for a parking space. And then once you’re on the trail, there are even more riders and hikers.

So, why not try another mecca for mountain biking? Clear Creek County (CCC) is located 20 miles past Golden, straight west on I-70.

CCC’s trail system is not as well managed as the Jefferson County Open Space Parks, but what it lacks in management is more than compensated for by the sheer volume of trails. CCC was formed in 1861, with much of its history in mining. Due to the expansive mine network, Clear Creek County has hundreds of miles of railroad grade, stagecoach trail, and mining roads. This trail network sprawls across the county like a spider web. In fact, many of the great singletrack trails in the county started as doubletrack wagon trails. There’s a great variety of trails throughout CCC from beginner paved bike routes and moderate singletrack to heartbreaking climbs and a handful of trails that are truly insane.