There’s more to Colorado than just the Rockies.
We all know (or at least have heard about) how good the riding is in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Places like Aspen, Crested Butte, and Steamboat are revered for both their roads and trails. But how many people do you know who have gone east of the Front Range?
The roads of Eastern Colorado are decidedly less traveled and less mountainous, but different certainly does not mean worse. Broad farmlands and pastures fill the space between the cozy hamlets that dot Colorado’s plains. Places like La Junta, Fowler, Limon, and Ordway give Colorado a distinctly Western feel compared to the famed mountain towns. These rural, agrarian outposts lend strong credence to the argument that Colorado is, in fact, a midwestern state. Rodeos, fairs, and eating challenges give Colorado’s east an entirely distinct character from the mountains to the west. For cyclists, Eastern Colorado terrains means golden native grasslands, rolling hills, and spectacular bluffs.
Enter Pedal the Plains, the premier tour of Colorado’s eastern half. Organized by the group that brings the illustrious Ride the Rockies tour every year, Pedal the Plains is an homage to the parts of Colorado that too often go overlooked.
This year’s 3-day tour begins in Ordway and travels west to Fowler, before turning back, south and east to La Junta, and eventually completing the 3-day loop from La Junta back to Ordway. It will travel along the Santa Fe Trail Scenic Byway, and features point of interest signs that will allow riders to stop, read, and learn about the areas they are traveling through, as well as ensure that none of the highlights go passed by.
But the days spent in the saddle are not the only thing that Pedal the Plains has to look forward to. Each of the host cities will feature beer gardens accompanied by live local music, as well as art festivals, vendors, and food.
The riding will be lovely, and the evenings will be rollicking. Besides, you’ll get to experience a part of Colorado in a way that most cyclists never have, and we all know how much we love that.