10 Legendary Summer Bike Rides In Colorado

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In 2015, I wrote a feature for Denver Westword aimed at providing 10  epic bike rides for folks to try in Colorado when summer comes around. To be flat-out honest, I’ve only completed eight of these 10 rides; however, it’s fun sharing these article with you all at Iron Velo five years after I wrote it, because summer is almost here again and one of my goals this year is doing all 10 of these rides before it’s 2020.

Read the article here, and get rolling ASAP.

Adam (mppedro@gmail.com)

 

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Ten Best Things About Biking the C&O and GAP from D.C. to Pittsburgh

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Ten Best Things About Biking the C&O and GAP from D.C. to Pittsburgh
by IronVelo.co’s Adam Perry for Boneshaker Almanac

1. More wildlife than you might imagine seeing. Since it was April, we were frequently the only people on the trail for miles. And, since my riding companion had been doing long bike trips through the U.S. and Europe for many years and was not only faster than me but also riding a road bike, I was often by myself on my Kona mountain bike for long stretches. Alone, you see things on the trails: a turkey stumbling up a cliff when it sees you flying towards it; ducks flapping their wings as they struggle to fly from the trail to water shortly after you wheel into view; whole families of turtles (10 or 12 of them at a time, from tiny to huge) promptly plunking themselves from sunning spots on tree branches into muddy Maryland canals as you look their way; mother geese not only hissing, but violently charging at you as you try discreetly to have a look at their newborn yellow offspring; deer outrunning your bike with grace.

2. When your iPod runs out of battery and you’re able to listen to the sounds of nature all around: geese hissing, cardinals chirping, rivers rolling, crushed gravel being further annihilated by your spinning wheels. Sure, the sounds of Midlake, First Aid Kit and Fleet Foxes juxtapose beautifully with the dark forest trails of Pennsylvania at sunrise. Mid-’80s Metallica bootlegs got me through the 23-mile climb from Cumberland past Frostburg. And the drawling soul of Maryland’s own Cotton Jones perfectly accompanied my ride from Little Orleans, Md., to Cumberland along the Potomac. But the rougher part of my ride on the 184-mile Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail didn’t become meditative until the surrounding world became all I experienced.

(Read the rest at BestOfBoneshaker.com)

Art by Kyonggeun Johnson

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painting by Kyonggeun Johnson

We typically publish cycling-related journalism, essays and poetry at IronVelo.co, but today we’re honored to share “Woman with Bicycle,” a gorgeous painting by Boulder’s Kyonggeun Johnson.

According to the artist, “This is the painting that really started my artistic life.  My daughter was on a bike ride, and took a photograph of her shadow while she was standing by her bicycle.  I started from her image, and this was the result.”

Check out more of Kyonggeun’s work here.

Poetry By Diane Klammer

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Vail Pass photo by Adam Perry

“Bicycles”
by Diane Klammer

Any race
can be re-ridden
circles of loss
circles of gain

Rotating tires vibrate volumes
over curves in the road
pupils blinking
an eyelash-brush away
from a crash of wheels

Green automobiles spew exhaust
like ferocious dragons
horns roaring fire

Hush the rotation of the earth
quiet the orbit
Sensations of spinning
dizzies the brain

The rider gasps for breaths
igniting fire in the legs,
entertains fantasies of flying

The course was set
before the pedal was invented
It’s a long way underneath
Moon cycles

Tip the gears
in a favorable direction
Conclude before eve
Avoid the fall

SEEKING SUBMISSIONS (The Return of Iron Velo)

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“Spring Training”

It’s been a few years – during which I’ve been incredibly busy playing drums in a touring alt-country band, working as a paralegal, writing about music and being a Family Guy – but it is time for Iron Velo’s return. Last year was an atypically slow year for me with cycling, as I did no extensive bike tours and rode just over 1,000 recreational miles. But in just over three months so far in 2018 I’ve been on the road, and some dirt trails, in Colorado and California quite a bit (over 550 miles) and feeling very inspired to write about the amazing, imperfect, inspiring challenge of life on two wheels again.

Soon, IronVelo.co will again be a space for myself and many others to wax poetic about bicycling, review products, recap bike tours and also share cycling-related photography and art. We are currently accepting submissions of the aforementioned kind, so we hope to hear from you at mppedro@gmail.com

Hey ho, let’s go!

— Adam

Riding the Rockies On Steel Bikes

In June, Iron Velo contributors Adam Perry and Irene Joyce completed their first Ride The Rockies, a 460-mile trek across Colorado. Climbing legendary mountain passes, the couple were among the very few cyclists on the 30th-annual Ride The Rockies using steel bikes (a Surly and a Bianchi), and perhaps the only two making their way on flat pedals.

This month’s issue of Bicycle Times – available next week on newsstands at Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, etc. – features Adam’s recap of the experience. Here is a little preview.

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“Biking Through Anything” (by IronVelo’s Adam Perry for Bicycle Times)

"Riding Through Anything" illustration by Juliana Wang (julianawang.com)

“Riding Through Anything” illustration by Juliana Wang (julianawang.com)

This month’s Bicycle Times (issue #35) includes Adam Perry’s featurette “Riding Through Anything,” which is kind of a bike-commuter mantra for those of us who jump on a bicycle every morning no matter the weather. That might sound nice in San Diego, but in Colorado it’s a learning process day to day. Pick up a copy of the new Bicycle Times, on newsstands everywhere from Barnes and Noble to your local independent bookstore, to check out “Riding Through Anything.”