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The Alchemist Ride Journal - Grapevine Road

Images: Drew Van Kampen and Josh Direen Words: Drew Van Kampen

We love Denver. We really do.

This rapidly growing city offers a lot to the cyclist’s lifestyle. Including hundreds of miles of off-road bike paths that can take you just about anywhere in the Front Range, a bustling cycling community that provides for any type of rider, and, most importantly, no shortage of local coffee shops that provide a quality espresso kick at just about any point in a ride. We love Denver, and it’s why we made it our home eight years ago. But where do we go when we just want to get away for a little while? After all, spending time outdoors, feeling the sun on our shoulders, and listening to the sound of the wind as it cuts through Aspen trees is what drew many of us to this great state. While we don’t always have the luxury of making a full-day excursion into the mountains, there are a few hidden gems in our proverbial backyard that allow us to take a breath of fresh air and return home reinvigorated. We want to share some of our favorite routes that are Like No Other. First up: Grapevine Road. We recently took a trip to Grapevine on a day with particularly moody weather; rather atypical for Colorado in the springtime. A ride that usually offers ample sun exposure and Front Range winds instead substituted rolling fog, cool temperatures, and a calmness that bordered on eerie. As we were overtaken with the rarity of the conditions, we joked that we had stumbled into Mordor. As we crested Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO and headed towards Grapevine, the crowds thinned and the cars became fewer and farther between. With a slight mist and cooling temperatures, we stopped to throw on jackets as we prepared for the rolling hills and cattle guards of Grapevine. We began the descent and, as hoped, there was no one to be seen. The isolation of this secluded dirt road inexplicably removes you from the noise of the city and nearby highways. This particular ride down Grapevine, with a close group of friends and weather reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest, is one that we won’t soon forget. If you’re like us and value pedaling away into the seclusion of the mountains, then Grapevine Road should be on your short list. Check out the route here.

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