Boulder is one of the best cities in Colorado for cyclists to live, play, and ride in. The clean mountain air, plentiful trails, and (generally!) respectful motorists have marked the ever-growing college town as a favorite for athletes and hobbyists alike.
If you’re considering moving to Boulder, rest assured that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to cycle for fun, exercise, and transportation. Today we’ll be exploring some of the best places to cycle in the city, a few safety reminders and Boulder-specific laws cyclists should always observe, and where you can rent a bicycle for yourself or your family and friends who don’t yet have their own.
Let’s get pedaling!
The Best Places to Cycle in Boulder
Did you know that Boulder is a popular destination for professional cyclists, triathletes, and other endurance athletes? It’s thanks to the high altitude, which helps train your cardiovascular system. There’s plenty of other reasons too, such as the frequent sunshine (300 or more days per year of sun is not uncommon), the well-maintained roads and biking paths, and the generally cyclist-friendly attitude of residents.
The Nelson Loop is a popular trail for cyclists who want a challenge but don’t have the time to spend biking all day. A 2.2 mile trail that offers beautiful views and two options for riders: a steep but shorter route and a longer but easier path.
The so-called Dirty Bismark Route is a 15-mile run through the plains. You’ll enjoy amazing views and a challenging ride that offers plenty of places to stop and take in the scenery. The trail is popular for winter training since riding conditions are usually safe enough unless there’s been a very recent heavy rain.
In the summertime, the Hall Ranch Ride is a popular loop for cyclists looking to beat the heat and follow a trail that offers plenty of natural shade. Cyclists can expect plenty of twists and turns to keep them sharp and a great view from the Antelope trailhead. You can even connect to the previously mentioned Nelson Loop from this route.
For a comprehensive overview of the many, many trails and paths available to cyclists in Boulder, take a look at this excellent map compiled by the city.
Safety Considerations & Laws for Cycling in Boulder
As with cycling anywhere, you should wear all the proper safety gear, bring along water to drink, and make smart decisions based on weather conditions. If you’re a cyclist there’s a pretty good chance you already know these basics, so let’s touch on a few Boulder-specific laws and safety considerations you should be aware of before going for a ride.
A few notable laws:
- Cycling isn’t allowed on Pearl Street Mall.
- You can’t wear earbuds or headphones while riding.
- Bicycle lights are required for riding at night.
Aside from these restrictions, Boulder is a very cyclist-friendly location. Motorists are required to yield to cyclists, and cyclists are required to yield to pedestrians. This “hierarchy” helps keep everyone safe. Boulder observes the Share the Road campaign.
Places to Rent or Buy Bicycles in Boulder
Boulder is host to several bicycle shops and rental outlets, each with their own specialty and selling points.
Boulder B-cycle is a great rental system for families looking to tour the city on wheels! B-cycles are a cruiser-style bicycle with three speeds, lights, baskets, and mud guards to keep your outfit looking sharp. Stations exist throughout the city so that you can rent a bike in one location and drop it off in another, making it a really convenient way to explore Boulder by bicycle. There are 43 stations and 300 bikes available in the city.
Full Cycle is perhaps one of the most well-known shops in the city, since it caters to just about any style of cycling you can think of. Cruisers, electric bicycles, mountain bikes, and children’s bicycles are available alongside accessories and apparel. This shop truly has something for everyone. Both sales and rentals are available. If you’re planning on staying in Boulder for a while and want to make some new friends, Full Cycle even acts as the home base for a number of bicycle clubs.
Training for a triathlon? Colorado Multisport specializes in sales and rentals of high end triathlon bicycles.
Learn More About Living in Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is considered by many to be one of the best cities in Colorado to live in. Nestled in the Rocky Mountain foothills, residents enjoy an active, outdoorsy lifestyle while still having all of the amenities of city living. As we examined in a previous blog post, Boulder is also very pet friendly.
If you’re ready to bring your family, pets, and bicycle to the wonderful city of Boulder, I’d love to help you learn more and make the transition a smooth one for you. Contact me today to set up a phone call or meeting, or reach out to me directly at (303) 525-2425.