The Gore-Tex Vortex, The People's Republic of Boulder, Boulderlandia... One things for certain, Boulder is the bike racing scene.
Racing bikes has its perks. The Orucase team has traveled and raced all over the world. This has given us a unique, on the ground (or in the saddle) view of all the major cycling destinations across the US. We'll be visiting a different city each month in our blog to showcase the top rides, top food, top bike shops, and other cool features of well known cycling cities.
For our second installment we’ll cover Boulder, Colorado. With an average of 4 bikes for every 1 person, and 1.3 national titles per person, Boulder is undoubtably a shoe-in for bike racer capital of the US. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, moderate altitude (5400 feet), and endless climbs right out your door that take you up to 9000+ feet, Boulder has phenomenal riding. Add in endless bike paths and a who’s who of world tour racing, olympic medals, and a vibrant cycling industry scene, Boulder is something special… Just like it’s inhabitants.
Where to Stay/Live
The median home price just passed 1 million. With that in mind, Boulder is small enough that living on the outskirts of town won’t limit your riding options. 4th street is the closest to the mountains if you want to live in the foothills and the quietest parts of town. The bulk of downtown is positioned between 9th and 30th. While 47th marks the real end of the city proper.
Gunbarrel, which is technically part of Boulder is a few miles north east of town. A nice, newer, and more affordable part of town, just be careful booking hotels up there if you want to be close to downtown.
The Group Ride(s)
The Bus Stop
Boulder's own Tuesday/Thursday evening hammerfest. Named after where it starts and finishes this isn't any ordinary bus stop, its also a gentlemen's club.
What: An afterwork race ride. Anywhere from 20-100 riders. Will roll out of town slowly before going crazy. Watch out for cars, cops, and the old echelon across the yellow line...
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:00pm
Where: The intersection of Broadway and HWY 36. Just across from the Bus Stop Gentlemen's Club.
For something a little more steady, show up to the Gateway Ride. It only runs from early winter through the spring, but you'll enjoy a longer ride up to Carter Lake.
What: Long, steady ride with some attacking on the climb up to Carter Lake before regrouping and heading home.
When: Saturdays, 10am, winter through spring.
Where: Gateway Park Fun Center. About a quarter mile south of the intersection of Broadway and HWY 36.
Project Supertraining Group Ride
Looking to support a cause? Show up to this by donation only fully supported group ride, the only in the country we're aware of. For more info visit: https://projectsupertraining.com/
What: A fully supported group ride. Weather depending, you can expect a 4+hr ride with iconic climbs in the area. Plan for a solid endurance ride and the good news is...you can always toss a few extra items that you don't want to carry in the back of our Subaru follow car!
When: The third Sunday of every month at 10am.
Where: House of Spin Boulder.
Lefthand Canyon: 6 miles north of Boulder, Lefthand climbs for 16.5 miles at 4%. Certainly the most enjoyable way to get up to the Peak to Peak Highway. Half a mile from the end you will reach the town of Ward which is worth a visit to see remnants of the mining rush. A general store has everything you need to restock, and you can add on a few bonus miles of climbing up to Brainard lake which will have you top out at 10,500 feet above sea level!
Sunshine Canyon: A tight and twisty canyon road that climbs half on pavement, half on dirt up to the mining town of Gold Hill. If you continue on Gold Hill Road, you can ride rolling dirt to the Peak to Peak Highway before turning toward Nederland and descending Boulder Canyon.
Note: Boulder Canyon is generally advised against climbing, it's the highest speed and highest traffic canyon with a small shoulder. Descending is fine, but be extra aware of cars.
SuperFlag + Four Mile: Never before Had I done a 5 and a half hour 65 mile ride with 10,000 feet of climbing. Two massive climbs, a good mix of dirt and pavement. Multiple places to stop in both Nederland and Gold Hill.
Olde Stage / Lee Hill Loop: A shorter loop, with two fun small climbs and descents. Well... Small for Colorado.
Boulder has a great, although seemingly trying too hard, food scene. From trendy spots on Pearl, an unlimited selection of Indian and Nepalese food, to cafes stocked with cyclists. Here's a list of some of our favorite spots.
Sherpa's: Awesome Nepalese, Indian, and Tibetan food situated in an old Victorian house from the mining days. Sherpa's is run by Pemba Sherpa, an ex guide from the Everest region of Nepal.
Illegal Pete's: Quick and easy Burrito joint on the Pearl Street Mall downtown. Good food, good beer, and a great place to people watch.
Amante: A North Boulder hang out spot, and Italian styled coffee shop. Super bike friendly you'll find dedicated bike racks outside, a pump, and the Tour playing on the TV. A popular meetup spot for group rides leaving town.
Cured: A cool lunch spot with sandwiches and awesome cured meats and cheese, this place is run by former cyclist Will Frischkorn and his wife. Boxcar Coffee shares the space with them.
Frasca / Pizzeria Locale: Looking for something a little nicer? These two spots, which are right next to each other, offer some of the nicest dining in Boulder and are run by a cycling superfan.
Yellowbelly Chicken: Awesome chicken spot involved in the cycling scene.
The Bike Shops
Rapha Boulder: You know you've made it as a cycling city when you have your own Rapha shop. A cool hangout spot with coffee, WiFi, and TV. The meeting spot for a wide selection of RCC Group Rides too.
Boulder Grupetto: High end service shop located in North Boulder. Zach will get you sorted!
University Bikes: Awesome bike shop in the heart of downtown, they'll have everything you need. Best of all, if they're closed, they have a vending machine outside with any necessities you might be missing.
Vecchio's: One of the coolest bike shops in the country.
The Cyclist's Guide To Boulder Interactive Map
What's next for Orucase's Cyclist Guide?
Got a suggestion for the next city we tackle? Did we leave something out? Let us know! Better yet sign up for our mailing list to be automatically entered to win an Orucase Airport Ninja Bike Case and to stay up to date on tips, tricks and information for the traveling cyclist.