Call it mid-winter madness, but the itch to cycle Denver is strong even after the sun goes down on short January days. Astride a Denver B-Cycle, we braved the chill to cycle Denver’s lights fantastic that are still up, late into January, thanks to the National Western Stock Show!
On Saturday or Sunday, cycling on the Mall is allowed, so we cycled up to Larimer Street and turned right and headed toward Larimer Square. Riding under a canopy of lights and storybook storefronts was magical.
At 14th Street, we turned left and took the bike lane toward Civic Center. Along the way, we enjoyed views of the colorful skyline, Denver Performing Arts Complex/Colorado Convention Center lights and art (hello, Big Blue Bear!)
Fortified, we continue up 14th Street to Civic Center for the audacious holiday display at the City and County Building. Stopping, we enjoy the sound and light show, also taking in the stately, reserved but ever-beautiful Colorado State Capitol, golden dome aglow, across Civic Center Park. Grand!
As the walkways around Civic Center Park are wide and mostly empty after dark, we cycled carefully over to the 16th Street Mall and rode under a canopy of lights down the 16th Street Mall! (On other nights, cycle 15th Street bike lane.)
Cycling down the Mall, through the LoDo/Union Station district, we reached the Millennium Bridge and worked up a sweat pushing the bike up the grooved bike runs (to the right of the stairs). At the top we caught our breath and took in the spectacular views all around.
Cycling through Commons Park, across the Platte River, and over the bridge spanning I-25, we headed toward Avanti Food & Beverage (32nd & Pecos) to enjoy a drink and snack.*
The ride took about an hour and cycling kept us warm despite the wintry chill. All agreed the ride was a blast and not too taxing. Our ride revealed a new dimension of Denver’s colorful character and was much more fun than a typical Sunday evening spent watching TV. We pledged to plan another evening cycle adventure soon!
*Several other LoHi venues with Big City views to enjoy (with nearby B-Cycle):
Central Bistro and Bar (16th & Boulder)
Linger (17th & Tejon)
Ale House at Amato’s (16th & Boulder)
NOTE: This adventure required some on-street cycling and was inherently dangerous. If you wish to give it a try, please cycle responsibly and safely using safe bicycle practices/equipment! Downtown Denver is especially busy on Friday and Saturday nights; we cycled on a much calmer Sunday evening. We encourage you to use extra caution when cycling in traffic after dark, and wear reflective gear. When unsafe conditions exist, walk your bike on the sidewalk.
Mile High Holidays: http://www.denver.org/milehighholidays/