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Expanding Colorado bike trails
Photo courtesy: Dante Abeyta

By Joseph Rios

Colorado was ranked the most physically active state in the country. Colorado’s natural beauty offers people a lot of opportunities to participate in outdoor activities. Known for its mountains, streams, hiking trails and sunshine-filled days, Colorado is expanding its bike trails.

Ironically, Colorado has an obesity rate of more than 21 percent. The state wants to combat obesity and get people outdoors. The state will dedicate over $100 million to enhance Colorado’s bicycling community and improve and create bicycle infrastructure.

“If you go into a lot of bike lanes in Colorado you are going to be riding through gravel and glass. That right there is already a hazard,” said Paul Rodriguez. Rodriguez is an avid cyclist and a service manager for The Bicycle Shack, located in Arvada.

One new trail that has recently come into fruition is the U.S. 36 Bikeway trail. The trail is 12 feet wide and it runs from Boulder to Westminster. “It is one of those rides that is beneficial for commuters. I think it benefits a lot of people,” Rodriguez said.

Besides road biking, Colorado’s wilderness can also be explored through biking. Mountain biking offers a different experience for Colorado cyclists. Dante Abeyta, a regular cyclist and bicycle mechanic at The Bicycle Shack said his favorite mountain bike trail is the White Ranch trail at 25303 Belcher Hill Road in Golden. “You’re going to see some wildlife out there. You can spend a whole day there, or you can just spend a couple of hours,” Abeyta said. “They have every difficulty of trail. It can be fun for any type of rider if you’re just getting into it, or if you’re already advanced.”

Colorado offers some of the most unique bicycle trails in the country. It also offers a strong bicycling community. “If we were to get a flat (tire) and we didn’t have an extra tube people will stop by and offer help. With cyclists there is like an unspoken bond with each other,” Abeyta said.

“Just being a part of that unspoken brotherhood type deal, there are very few hobbies like that,” Rodriguez said.

Exercising can help with other things besides improving your physical health. Studies conducted in universities around the United States have shown that exercising can decrease stress and anxiety. “It’s somewhat therapeutic to just go out and ride because you don’t really have to think about anything besides what you’re doing,” Rodriguez said.

Studies at Vanderbilt University found that cycling can also help adults with focus and concentration. This is because cycling requires you to balance and make quick reactions.

Bicycling is also about sheer enjoyment in the great Colorado outdoors. “It is all about good times really. Just getting out and seeing your state and seeing something you don’t see everyday,” Abeyta said.





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