Colorado Springs has a strong cycling community that includes all types of riders, from casual enthusiasts and commuters to Olympians, world champions and Tour de France veterans. Keep an eye out for those pros on these three intermediate-level road loops.
10 miles, 900 feet of climbing
This loop is equally split between uphill on the first half and downhill on the second. After departing Criterium Bicycles (6150 Corporate Drive), the route rolls up Delmonico Drive, past USA Cycling and USA Triathlon headquarters. About 2 miles after crossing Rockrimmon, you’ll turn left on Woodmen Road. A few hundred yards later, turn left onto Orchard Valley Road, a challenging 1-mile climb up to Centennial Boulevard. From here it’s almost all downhill, but watch for the left turn on Allegheny, shortly before the traffic light at Centennial and Rockrimmon.
Cool Down: University Village is only a 1.4 mile ride from Criterium along the New Santa Fe Regional Trail with a full range of food and libations.
24 miles, 2,100 feet of climbing
Local pro cyclist Russell Finsterwald starts and ends this Westside loop at Rosco’s Coffee House just west of downtown (432 W. Bijou Street). From there it heads north to Mesa Road, which features incredible views of Pikes Peak and overlooks Garden of the Gods. Following a partial loop of Garden of the Gods with an exit past Balanced Rock, the route heads back to 31st Street. If you need an espresso or water bottle top-off, there’s a Starbucks at 31st and West Colorado Avenue. The big challenge of the ride is the 4.4-mile climb that starts on 26th Street and finishes 870 feet higher at the end of the pavement on Gold Camp Road. Enjoy the panoramic views of the city! The Gold Camp descent and cruise through Old Colorado City takes you back to Rosco’s.
Cool Down: You’re in the right spot for a recovery smoothie or caffeine boost. If you need a tube, tuneup or other gear, Pro Cycling Warehouse is right around the corner.
Cafe Velo Loop
30 miles, 2,000 feet of climbing
A favorite of Carmichael Training Systems cycling coach Jim Lehman, this hilly, northside loop starts and finishes at Cafe Velo (11550 Ridgeline Drive) and features great roads through Black Forest. Highlights include a ride through the Cathedral Pines neighborhood and a short jaunt (1.3 miles) on a gravel road that passes by High Altitude Rhubarb, an organic source of locally-grown horseradish plants and, you guessed it, rhubarb. There are no food or water stops until you reach R&R Coffee Cafe about 22 miles in, so if you need a snack or a caffeine boost, this is the place to stop.
Cool Down: When you finish your ride, jumpstart your recovery with a smoothie or acai bowl from Cafe Velo.