Best Bike Path in Metro Denver
Sand Creek Regional Greenway
Herons and foxes and muskrats, oh, my! You’re likely to see them and much more at the Wetland Park, the Heron Pond, Bluff Lake Nature Center and the Morrison Nature Center, all of which can be found alongside the Sand Creek Regional Greenway, a fourteen-mile trail that goes from Commerce City to Aurora via Denver and Stapleton, with parking at either end and several points along the way. With connections to the High Line Canal and the South Platte River Greenway, Sand Creek is paved in parts and lined with gravel in others, which makes for a serene and scenic nature ride, in sections running right next to its namesake waterway. Check the website for navigation details — this is an urban trail, so construction occasionally calls for detours — and keep an eye out for joggers and horses.
Lucky Bikes Re-Cyclery
3150 West Jewell Avenue
Lucky Bikes is the local hub for Trips for Kids Denver Metro, part of a national string of nonprofits providing bike-related opportunities for young people. Trips for Kids keeps at-risk youths ages ten and up rolling in several ways: first, by sending them on daylong mountain-biking adventures; second, by teaching them bicycle-maintenance skills and safety rules in order to rebuild and earn a bike of their own; and third, by employing high-school students in the shop. Along with being a training ground, Lucky Bikes is also a used-bike store, offering repair services and refurbished wheels to the public. What goes around comes around.
Golden Bike Library
1010 Washington Street, Golden
There’s no denying that Denver’s B-cycle bike-sharing program is a boon, but what if — instead of B-cycle’s somewhat pricey, one-size-fits-all model — you could borrow a bike that’s just your size and style and ride it for free for the first two hours? That’s the difference at Visit Golden’s bike library, located at the downtown Golden Visitors Center, where your whole family can hop on a bike from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays during the summer and fall months. Daily rentals beyond the two-hour period top off at $10, and there are provisions to return bikes after hours if you want to stop for dinner. Each bike comes with a helmet, a lock, a free water bottle and a golden ticket offering discounts at Golden businesses. And even if it’s more of an amenity for tourists and not really intended for use by hard-core daily commuters, a deal’s a deal.
The Urban Cyclist
3434 Brighton Boulevard, Unit B
“People come in and say something like, ‘I just want to ride [a bike] to work, ditch my car. I want to ride it to the restaurant or the bars,’” says Urban Cyclist owner Darrin Duran. “Two things will happen: Either they just use it for that, or they turn into complete fucking bike nerds.” The Urban Cyclist isn’t a bike shop; it’s a lifestyle. The unique and oh-so-Denver shop cultivates a commuter, fixie lifestyle. Urban’s Pac Man machine welcomes you to the RiNo warehouse space, which is a decked-out, bustling bike heaven. The large warehouse walls are covered in every color rim, accessory, frame, cruiser, chain, pedal and seat you can imagine. You won’t find any cliché hipster decor or arrogance from employees. Instead, you’ll be welcomed into a healthy way of life and leave inspired to ride your bike everywhere.
Read on for more things every Denver biker should know about.