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A Canyon Ride

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 74.96 miles / 120.6 km
  • Ride Time: 2-4 hours
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $5.70
  • State: Colorado
Submitted by:
dwatson636

In Colorado, for some reason, they take all the casinos, and put them into a few small towns. Two of these towns are Central City, and Black Hawk. Now, we are not gamblers, except for the powerball, but we do love old buildings and the great architecture that they have. Both Central City and Black Hawk were booming mining towns back in the hayday of gold and silver mining, and we had seen some photos. A lot of old buildings to look at, what fun.... Oh did I mention the twisties? So we left the house and rode over to Golden. A cute little town just west of Denver, with mostly tourist stores, and restaurants, and the Coors plant. We gassed up and began our trek.
Leaving Golden, we headed up Route 6 on what is known as the Clear Creek Canyon Road. Let me tell you this, they know how to make canyons in Colorado. For the most part it is a nice little two lane road that meanders along a creek. As we went further along, the meandering became the twisties, and the sides of the road became sheer rock cliffs.
Riding through the mountains in Colorado usually bring and occasional spotting of an elk, or long horn sheep climbing the mountainside. But today we saw a new breed of creature we have not seen before. The elusive Rock Climber. And from our untrained eye, all we saw were crazy people climbing sheer rock face with no safety rope. And they call motorcyclists crazy? Anyway, as we rode further into the canyon, we came across the first of 4 tunnels bored into the mountainside. The tunnels were rather interesting, as they were blasted out, they didn't finish the inside with concrete like you normally see. It was just blasted out rock. After what seemed to be an hour of great turns and scenery, but was in reality only 20 miles, and about 40 minutes, we pulled into Black Hawk. To my surprise, it wasn't the old buildings I had expected. Just a bunch of new buildings housing the casinos and hotels. Large tour buses everywhere and people walking from place to place in search of the elusive fortune. So, we rode on.
In what seemed like a minute, in reality it was a minute, we were in the town of Central City. This was more like it. The old buildings, and the great architecture.We thought this would be a nice place to stop for a cup of tea. Low and behold, we found Harley Hippie's Coffee Cafe. Cool, a biker themed coffee shop. Well...... the shop was cool, the tea and smoothie, not so much. Moving on.
It was still pretty early in the day and I didn't want to just turn around and head back to Golden and home again. I pulled out the trusty Google Maps and said to my wife, lets's head on up to Nederland and see what's there for lunch. We stepped outside from the Hippie and saw a bit more cloud cover than before. So we added another layer and headed up north.
There is a very well known road in Colorado that goes from Central City to Estes Park (hello, the Shining) that's called the Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Highway. It is a 55 mile road with altitudes of almost 10,000 feet and some of the most scenic views ever. Nederland is a small hippie town about halfway to Estes Park. We had been there before, but we had gone a different way, so we went for it.
In direct contrast to the Clear Canyon road which took us up 2000 feet very gradually, When we left Central City, we were definitely going up, and the curves got sharper and more challenging. I LIKE IT. And I notice a greater amount of motorcycles coming the other way. They were out for a great ride also. From here, we began our up and down ride into Nederland. Stopping at a little general store for some batteries for the camera. Apparently, batteries don't last as long in colder weather. Anyway.......
Nederland as they say "is a town like no other". With an elevation of 8230 ft, it is always about 10 degrees cooler then Denver. It has some very unique shops and restaurants, and it has something called Frozen Dead Guy Days. Google it. As we came into town, she saw a sign for a llama wool clothing store. We decided to take a look. In Nederland there are three roads in and a roundabout in the center. I am not sure how it happened, but, we got lost trying to find the store. We drove around for 15 minutes trying to figure out which road we came in on. Must have been the lack of oxygen and hunger. Finally found the llama store and while she was shopping, I was looking for a place to eat. And that's when I found nirvana. It came in a place called The Cosmic Cowboy Cafe. Kind of a fitting name for this town. It boasts the best home grown Mexican food around. In reference to the fact that pot (home grown) has been legal here for years. Go figure...
In this little 4 table establishment, I had one of the best burritos with green chili I have ever eaten, and the owner/cook was so friendly, we all could have talked for hours. But hours we did not have. The clouds were starting to move in, as they do in the mountains and as I am not fond of riding in the rain, we decided to start for home.
When I go out for day rides, unless it is absolutely necessary, I try to make a loop of the ride. So instead of going back the way we came, we head for CO Rt 119 and Boulder Canyon. We had been on this road before, but going the other way. So the scenery would be fresh this way. Armed with fresh batteries in the camera, my wife decided to try taking pictures while riding. That was pretty much the ride. It was another hour into and through Boulder and then back down to Golden to where we started the ride. What started out as a short hop up a gorgeous canyon, ended up be a great first ride of the season.

This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Colorado. This motorcycle route has 5 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by dwatson636 in May. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by dwatson636

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 2 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 3 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 4 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 5 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 6 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 7 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 8 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 9 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 10 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 11 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 12 for A Canyon Ride
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 13 for A Canyon Ride

Ride Scenery:

LakesForestMountainsRuralRiver

Best Time to Go

Summer

Road Characteristics:

Sweeping Curves RoadTwisty RoadHillyLight TrafficAverageAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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