My Favorite Way To Discover Denver

June 12, 2018

As one of my favorite events in Denver approaches, I am taking the time to look back on where I started, five years ago in a new city, and how far I've come. Some of my favoirte legs of that journey were done on two wheels.

In 2013, I was fresh off the thruway from Western New York. I hadn't yet figured out my place in a brand new town. Denver was big, and the people were just so active! My hometown was small, and beer curls legitimately count as exercise there. I was a fish out of water, at elevation, and there were no lakes in sight.

Rather than aimlessly drive through the different neighborhoods in Denver, I chose to break out my slightly old, barely used bicycle for some urban adventuring. Two birds, one stone, right? I could get some exercise, and probably not get as lost as I would behind the wheel.

I remember my first ride through the city so well. We were living on Colorado Blvd. and 9th at the time. Kind of a no-mans-land as far as neighborhoods go. I veered south out of my building and 7th avenue, with its hisoric homes, manicured medians, and wide, safe-feeling bike lanes presented itself to me. It was glorious. I swear I hear the Halleluiah Chorus ring out from above. As I started west down that road I really breathed in the Denver air, and I got my first sense of the city itself. Obviously, he memory has stuck with me.

My explorations may have started there, but they still haven't ended. I've stumbled across countless small parks, cafes, and previously hidden city gems, just by getting on my bike and choosing to ride instead of drive. There's also some serious freedom that comes with cycling through Denver. Most of the time, you're a turn away from an unplanned adventure. I've found I've become more of a cyclist than I ever thought I might be. 

Last year, as I considered my first official "ride," I immediately told myself "No. I can't!" I'm not the type of person with clip on shoes and padded shorts. Most of the time I'm riding my bike in heels and a skirt (true story, I even biked to a wedding once). I get passed by toddlers on tricycles and the only lycra I own is also adorned with sequins. I still insist the past tense of "to bike" is "boked!" I would never fit in. This event couldn't be for me.

I was so wrong. The Denver Century Ride convinced me to give it a whirl and just try the 25 mile ride. What's he worst that could happen? I agreed, but mostly because I was promised to free beers at the finish. 

That decision, motivated by beer or not, was a lesson in never letting fear or uncertainty hold me back. All these years later, I was still discovering gorgeous parts of Denver I never knew existed! Cranmer Park? Um, how do I become a millionaire and live there? I saw so much of the city in one morning, it felt like falling in love with my new home all over again.

This Saturday, June 16th, the Denver Century Ride rolls out of Stapleton and through the city. Needless to say, I'll be rolling out with the 25 mile ride again. This year, I'm bringing two friends from out of town along for the ride. This is all a part of my master plan to woo them to Denver, and I can think of no better way to show them the city, than to cycle it with me.

If you want to join our morning Denver adventure, the more the merrier! I'm bringing some speakers and a classic rock-filled playlist with me, so we're really gonna have some fun with it.

Register for the Denver Century Ride here, and I look forward to cycling the city with you on Saturday.