Team Garmin-Slipstream’s CEO Jonathan Vaughters earned his reputation riding the most stunning road routes across the U.S. Here’s one his favorites.
Team Garmin-Slipstream’s CEO Jonathan Vaughters earned his reputation riding the most stunning road routes across the U.S. Here’s one of his favorites.
3. The Peak to Peak Highway
Boulder, Colorado (93 miles)
Almost half of the nation’s pro cyclists live in Boulder, and after you’ve ridden in Colorado and experienced its combination of well-built roads, demanding climbs, and surprisingly good weather, you’ll know why. The state’s best ride starts in the foothills of the Rockies and shoots up dramatically along the front range, up past the Stanley Hotel (of The Shining fame), and then across the high-altitude Peak to Peak Highway (in spots, it’s higher than 9,000 feet in elevation). If you’re feeling the burn early on, don’t get down: This ride has honed the skills of many Tour de France riders. Although the only true long climb is from Lyons to Estes Park, followed by a 1,400-vertical-foot haul in just five miles, the route is never flat and will test you more consistently than any other ride here. It’s also one of the most beautiful (14,255-foot Longs Peak, which is depicted on the Colorado quarter, is off to the right for nearly 20 miles of the ride). Once you’ve reached the turn to Ward you’re near the top, but after that it’s not all downhill. There are more climbs, and the descents are never too long. Stop in Nederland for a quick muffin at New Moon bakery before dropping back into Boulder.
We’ve posted all five of Jonathan’s favorite rides. Click here to see the final one — Tour of the Valleys, starting from Putnam, VT. Or click here to see route number four — Mount Haleakala, in Maui, HI. You can click here to see route number two — The Gila Monster, starting from Silver City, NM. And you can also click here to see route one — From Orange Groves to the General Sherman, starting from Visalia, CA.