City View Loop
I’m not sure that there’s a better short climbing loop in metro region than the City View Loop, especially if you ride it counterclockwise. The standard High Grade route is to start at Platte Canyon and Deer Creek Canyon Rd, then climb up to the Pleasant Park Grange and return. There’s nothing wrong with that route: slightly more than 13 miles each way, 2,900 vertical feet, with a sustained climb (no rollers) of more than 11 miles. Plus, the Grange stocks an honor bar of Gatorade and similar drinks. You leave a buck or two in the box; clean up after yourself, and the funds go to the preservation of the historic (1907) grange. There’s also a handy porta-potty: and there’s not many of those around these parts.
When you’re ready for something more, make the full loop. Clockwise is harder on the initial climb (to the Grange), but easier through the City View section. Counterclockwise is easier on the initial climb (shorter, less steep) but extravagantly steep through the City View section. None of the steep sections last all that long (easy to say from here) and the views are fabulous and the residents friendly. Route finding is easier than it looks from the map through City View. Stay on the main road and you’ll be fine. Most of the other possibilities are obvious spurs, and you’ll be able to tell from the color, condition, or surface composition. If you need it, I’ve shown the road sequence (counterclockwise) on the map.
There can be heavy traffic on some stretches and in the past there’s been tensions between cyclists and motorists. Nonetheless, with the blessing of the Jefferson County Commissioners, the area hosted the first Deer Creek Challenge in 2010, a century with more than 12,000 vertical feet of climbing, the last of which was through City View. It’ll be back again, this year on August 21, 2011. Do your part to keep things calm. Ride single file when cars are approaching from behind. Stop at the Stop signs. Carry out any trash that does not make it into a trash can. Oh, and a word to the wise: there’s often a Deputy Sheriff parked near the side of the road near the abandoned hamlet of Phillipsburg, waiting for errant cyclists to ignore the stop sign at the junction.
Other useful details. Exit southbound from C-470 at Wadsworth Blvd to reach the starting point. Park at Chatfield Reservoir (if you have a pass) or on either side of Deer Creek Canyon Rd near the intersection with Platte Canyon. There’s lots of room here and a carnival-like scene prevails on nice days. Use caution as you exit your car (so you don’t door an on-coming cyclist) and watch out on your descent for cars making ill-timed U-turns without necessarily thinking through all of the consequences. Aside from the Grange, there are few opportunities for food and water along the way. In a pinch, you can continue past Oehlmann Rd (on Pleasant Park Rd) or past S Turkey Creek Rd (on S Deer Creek Canyon Rd) and you’ll reach US 285, a convenience store, or The Ranch Grill.
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