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I have a mantra: Never pay for an activity I can experience on my own for free. But being a Mile High City newbie (I moved here in June)—and a writer for the city magazine—meant fast-tracking my introduction to my new home. So recently, in an effort to quickly learn about every part of town, I forked over $50 for Bikalope Tour‘s City Loop excursion: a 9.3-mile, two-and-a-half-hour bike trek around Denver.
The guided trip—the company was founded by University of Colorado Denver graduate Bobby Weidmann—starts at Confluence Kayaks at 15th and Platte streets at 10 a.m. Each member of the group is provided with a bicycle, helmet, and water bottle (hello, convenience). Over the next couple hours, the tour guide directed us to 18 different landmarks from Capitol Hill to LoDo, including Confluence Park, the Molly Brown House Museum, and Sports Authority Field at Mile High. He was patient (two British tourists kept getting left behind at traffic lights and railroad crossings) and knowledgeable; at each stop, our guide regaled us with bits of trivia like the origin of Dinger, the Colorado Rockies’ mascot, and how Denver became the only city in the modern era to win the Olympics and then turn it down. (Spoiler alert: Residents weren’t supportive. Plus, it would have been a disaster even if Denver had gone through with it—officials had somehow managed to convince the Olympic Committee that the Mile High City had enough hard-core slopes for the wintry events without actual mountains.)
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
If you’ve ever hoped to know Denver a little better, or simply want to kill a morning meandering the city with well-informed company, snag a seat on a Bikalope Tour. My recommendations: Check the weather ahead of time and book for a sunny day; eat before you ride, as the stops are too brief to snag a snack; and use the restroom (as your guide will recommend) before you hop on your bike.
Price: $50 plus a $2 service fee
Insider’s Tip: Bring your own bike and use the “mybikecityloop” coupon code when you book online to receive $10 off your tour.
Follow editorial assistant Mary Clare Fischer on Twitter at @mc_fischer.