Culture

Haute Route Rockies Journal: Sharing

Spencer Powlison embarks on the first day of the Mavic Haute Route Rockies test event on home roads in Boulder, Colorado — and that's a good thing.

One of the best things you can do as a cyclist is show an out-of-towner your favorite home roads. And you don’t have to live in an idyllic cycling hub like Boulder, Colorado. No, even if it’s something as humble as Chicago’s Lakeshore path, or a mellow loop in D.C.’s Maryland suburbs, there’s still something special about sharing.

The Mavic Haute Route Rockies organizers are keeping the routes under wraps until July (sorry Strava followers), but I can tell you that we rode one of Boulder’s nicest mountain loops Saturday.

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Riding home roads is a novelty for us itinerant journalists, who are usually flying blind. We Boulder people certainly weren’t in charge of things — it was in the capable hands of OC Sport — but we did a bit of ad-hoc tour guiding along the way. It’s fun to point out notable landmarks, give tips on when the climbs get tough, or tell a good story from a bygone ride.

But the gratifying thing about showing a visitor your town’s roads is that it’s a two-way conversation. You see landmarks, roads, wildlife, and roadside curiosities through fresh eyes. Never was that more apparent than after the 72 miles of riding, sitting outside the farmer’s market, watching bare-chested Frisbee bros, and acro-yoga practitioners in the hot Colorado sun. Yep, Boulder can be a weird place, but we love it.

On Sunday, it’s time to move on, away from home, and seeing some new roads should prove just as fun.