After your latest ride up Flagstaff, you walk into your favorite Boulder haunt for a celebratory burger and a beer. The TVs above the bar are likely showing a peloton of sinewy athletes hoofing their way up a monstrous hill on two wheels. Yep, it’s that time of year—the Tour de France is underway.
With the world's most popular cycling event appearing on screens around the world, we thought it’d be the perfect time to celebrate Boulder's own rich cycling culture. From pedaling around town to scaling a trail’s rocky terrain to tucking in on a long descent, Boulder’s unabashed love affair with bicycles has developed into a distinctive—and nationally recognized—cycling institution.
Our perpetual sunshine, fresh air, and incredible scenery are the stuff of a cyclist’s dreams. Add in long flat stretches, steep curves, and quadricep-busting hills, and you’ve got the makings of any sadistic cyclist’s fairytale adventure. But fret not, novices—you don’t have to be a total gear head to get out and enjoy yourself. Here are some of Boulder’s top rides.
BOULDER’S MOST RELAXED RIDE
For those looking for a leisurely, community-oriented cruise through town, the aptly named Boulder Cruiser Ride sets off every Thursday evening at 7:30pm from Scott Carpenter Park near 30th and Arapahoe. Dressed in costumes, blinking bike decor, and plenty of grins, the participants of the Thursday Cruiser Ride live by this sweet Ride Guide creed:
To have fun and to be nice to everyone...
To ring thy bell, to wish everyone well...
To sing, to dance, to make merry,
To not bring more than I can carry...
To leave no trace, to cruise and not to race...
To ride in control and not be a troll...
To stay to the right and to ride with a light...
And of course to say... "Have a happy Thursday!”
BOULDER’S MOST HISTORIC RIDE
For those who are looking for a more challenging ride, the famous Morgul-Bismark Loop may be more your speed (pun intended). This popular 13.1-mile cycling route includes undulating terrain and several steep inclines including the dreaded “Wall,” located at the south intersection of McCaslin Boulevard and Highway 128. The Morgul-Bismark Loop was featured in the bygone Celestial Seasonings-sponsored Red Zinger Bicycle Classic, the Coors International Bicycle Classic, and made its Hollywood debut in the 1985 film American Flyers, where Kevin Costner and David Marshall Grant play brothers who cycle their way through the Rockies in a three-stage race called “The Hell of the West.” (Spoiler alert: one of them wins.) Despite recent suburban sprawl along much of the route, the stage is still commonly and enthusiastically ridden today.
BOULDER’S BEST NETWORKING RIDE
Every Wednesday morning at Amante Coffee in North Boulder, a crowd of cyclists gather to mix, mingle, and of course, ride. Since 2001, the Wednesday Morning Velo ride has been a great opportunity for business-minded cyclists to connect, share stories, and trade business cards. The crowd splits into three groups, each heading out on a predetermined route varying in speed and intensity, and all meet back at Amante for more networking (and espresso-guzzling). Join the crowd and be ready to head out at 6:30am sharp!
BOULDER’S MOST NOTORIOUS RIDE
And then there’s a ride that’s deemed the black sheep of the Boulder cycling culture. The notorious Bus Stop Ride is a fast, aggressive, guaranteed-to-make-you-suffer ride that has a reputation for getting in trouble with the cops for not following the rules—or speed limits—of the road. This tough-guy ride leaves the Bus Stop Gentleman’s Club every Tuesday and Thursday and heads north. Its bad-boy reputation is so flagrant, it was the subject of a 1993 Sports Illustrated article. Fair warning: ride at your own risk, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
BOULDER’S BEST SOCIAL RIDE
On Club Mod’s weekly group ride, you’ll discover new routes, new friends, and new riding skills in a relaxed social setting. Each Sunday, the group departs from Foothills Community Park at 9:00am. The current route is a box-shaped jaunt to Niwot and back, eventually weaving over to Amante in North Boulder for refreshments (where Club Mod, as always, picks up the tab). This fun, easy-paced ride puts community over competition—all skill levels are welcome, and the ride is open to club members and non-club members alike!
Cycling is not only an integral part of Boulder culture, it’s also an integral part of the Mod Boulder culture. We’re the proud sponsor of Club Mod Cycling, where our members focuses on improving skills, connecting with our community, and staying accountable. And this year, we’re thrilled to launch new kits! We’ve partnered with local Boulderites, Panache Cyclewear, to bring our members an updated, fashion-forward look that represents the Mod Boulder brand on the road. Interested in joining our club? Drop us a line here.