MLK, Jr Loop
This 20-miler loops through some of the best and most interesting parts of Denver, including Washington Park, downtown Denver, Curtis Park, Stapleton, Park Hill, and City Park. You can ride it in either direction and long stretches of the streets featured have striped bike lanes. Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd was just re-striped for cycling in 2010, so get out there and show the city that you’re grateful for their work! This is a good ride anytime of day. The traffic intensity is highest during commuting hours, and lowest on the weekends. The mix of trails, streets, and protected riding is a good one for he would-be urban cyclist.
The route is largely self-explanatory, but a few places need some detail. The stretch between Central Parkway on Stapleton and 32nd Ave/Quebec St is not striped for bicycles and cars there tend to be more focused on their cornering technique than on obstacles like bicycles, so use a little extra caution. With three lanes, there is plenty of room to maneuver. Between York St and 32nd St, the bike lane is intermittent. The stretch between 32nd St and the Cherry Creek Trail is slow (Stop Signs abound) but the character of the neighborhoods and people (especially through downtown) more than makes up for the lack of speed. Transitioning from the streets to the Cherry Creek Trail and vice-versa is easy once you figure out where to turn. From the Trail to Lawrence, turn left from the Trail just past Lawrence. Head upstream (SE) on the sidewalk briefly to join Lawrence at Speer. From Champa St, cross over Cherry Creek then turn right (NW) on the sidewalk along Speer Blvd SE (against traffic) a short ways to rejoin the Trail. The down ramp here that joins the Trail is a blind and sometimes dangerous intersection. Use care.
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