Moving to Denver!

Well, I’m not moving to Denver, but I bet I got your attention. :)

My dear friends Melissa and Chanh, who married last weekend, are moving to Denver next month. Which means I will be visiting there soon.

Chanh and Melissa: soon to be Denverites (Denverians?)

They want a different lifestyle than they currently have in suburby Aurora, Illinois – a lifestyle where they can ride their bikes everywhere, be more outdoorsy and live closer to Melissa’s family.

I’m reaching out to all of you for advice I can pass on to them about living and bicycling in Denver. Know of cool Denver blogs? Tips on good bicycling routes? Favorite restaurants? Please share!

The Newlyweds!

And to Melissa and Chanh – congratulations!!!

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25 thoughts on “Moving to Denver!

  1. Check out the Denver Local blog. Good info on walking, biking and local living in Denver. If I was moving there the guy who runs this blog is the first guy I’d want to have coffee with.

    http://denverlocal303.blogspot.com/

  2. Miss Sarah says:

    I hear Denver is fantastic! ICLEI USA is headquartered there:)

    I’ve never been. But it’s on my list! Happy moving to your friends, and please do post about your trip when it happens.

    S*

  3. Sarah says:

    I live in Boulder and recently had a Soma Buena Vista frame built up for me by a great little bike shop in Denver called Urbanistic Tea and Bike. I highly recommend them! There is also a fantastic cupcake bake shop near the bike store called Happy Cakes. Both are in the Highlands neighborhood, which is northwest of downtown.

    I’ve biked in Denver a few times and in general it is pretty bikeable, even for a non-big-city person like me. Even right downtown there are streets with bike lanes, and outside of downtown you can often get where you are going by mostly staying on smaller neighborhood streets and bike paths.

    You can take your bike on the buses; all buses have racks on the front that hold two bikes, and regional buses can put additional bikes underneath in the luggage compartments. I have done this several times on the bus from Boulder to Denver. I’m pretty sure you can also take bikes on the light rail, but I’m not sure if there are restrictions on when or which car you get in (I only did it once at a non-busy time).

    (And Boulder is just fantastic bike-wise, but you and they probably know that :) ).

    • Melissa S. says:

      Oh I’ve heard of Urbanistic! they look cool. I do plan on visiting them.
      You can actually take the bike on the lightrail anytime. No restrictions. I found that suprising. I think it’s just that you may not want to take it during rush hour anyway.

  4. James says:

    We’ve lived in Denver and the Denver suburbs for 9 years now and I’ve been without a car for 3. We lived in the University neighborhood and now live in the south burbs. The Highlands is a great neighborhood for ridig and Capital Hill is too. I’d be happy to talk to them. Also, +1 to the Denver local blog, great resource.

  5. Lori says:

    I live in Denver (Capitol Hill)and just bought a Public M8. So far riding around has been great! Yesterday I rode downtown to the Wynkoop Brewery and RiNo area along the Cherry Creek trail, which is a great way to get places in Denver.

    As for restaurants, there are a ton- Mizuna, Fruition, Potager, Z Cuisine, Luca d’Italia. For vegetarian goodness, Watercourse and Mercury Cafe are great. For good local beer I like Vine St. Pub, an outpost of Southern Sun & Mountain Sun in Boulder. For ice cream I like Sweet Action on Broadway, which always has two vegan options. Green Russell is a neat speakeasy-style cocktail bar in Lodo. All of these are easily accessible by bike!

    • Melissa S. says:

      Thanks Lori! We wanted to live in Capitol Hill but couldn’t find anything in our one weekend. It’s an awesome neighborhood!
      Thanks for all the tips.

  6. anthony says:

    Congratulations from the other side of the atlantic to the newly wed ! I wish you a happy, lovely, and always entertaining married life !
    And congrats to the photographer also who did a great job !

  7. G.E. says:

    I don’t live in Denver, but spend a good portion of the week there. I find bicycling, even in Lodo and busier areas to be doable even (as Sarah said above) for someone who doesn’t live in the “big city.” There is a no bicycles on the sidewalk rule downtown (with exceptions for bike deliveries, paper deliveries, and such), but I have seen others on the side walk, so I don’t think it’s too strictly enforced. I wouldn’t normally ride on the sidewalk at all, but there are a few areas that are a bit intimidating to use the main roads as there aren’t necessarily always bike lanes. However, generally if you just move over a street or two, there is a bike lane to be found. You can find bike maps for Denver through this link (http://www.bikedenver.org/maps/) which provides info for all over the area, while this link (http://www.denvergov.org/bicyclingindenver/denverbikemaps/tabid/438249/Default.aspx) shows a more localized map, depending on what they are looking for (or where they are looking).

    There’s also the Denver Cruiser ride (http://www.denvercruisers.com/) which from what I hear has become a quite large group, but it’s a ton of fun to participate in (and a great way to meet people for newbies to the area). And, while it is always debatable what the “best” bike shop is, my favorite in Denver is Cycle Analyst (http://cycleanalystinc.com/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx). They’ve always been very friendly to me and extremely helpful. We’ve bought bikes, parts, and had service done there, so I think it’s worth checking out if they need any kind of assistance.

    Bicycle Colorado (http://bicyclecolo.org/page.cfm?PageID=619) is a great general resource for information, but it’s really just a starting point.

    I’m sure they’ll find their favorites of many things, as there are a lot of great places to eat and drink. Good luck to them in their move and finding a good neighborhood that feels like home. Depending on where they want to live and their price range, I agree that Highlands is a lovely area to look into, the Berkely/Tennyson neighborhood is nice as well (but is not in the heart of the city, but still is very close by), Capital Hill is a nice, convenient location as well.

    In general, throughout the area, I have found that if you’re friendly, people are friendly in return. Hopefully, it is a great experience for them.

  8. Lisa says:

    Congrats! They will love Denver. I agree with the Cherry Creek Trail. Hopefully, we’ll add a city to the blog? :)

  9. cb says:

    Denverite checking in. Welcome Melissa and Chanh!

    Bikedenver.org is your new cycling advocacy group. They’re good stuff. Salvagetti is a great bike shop that does a lot of programming, and they have a bike-thru coffee shop!

    thebikedepot.org and the Derailer Collective are your new free bike co-ops. The former is higher end, the latter is low down and gritty.

    denver.livejournal.com is very active.

    Yelp is very active here, hosting events and parties every month or so.

    There are breweries and good beer positively everywhere.

    Downtown is awesome. It’s very easy to bike. The bike share program is growing and growing.

    I’m on twitter at @chrismanbrown. Hit me up if you have any questions, or want a tour!

  10. cb says:

    Additional reading!

    http://is.gd/LqfKAh is my local cyclists feed. and http://is.gd/7Adcwc is my denver-in-general feed.

  11. Zane Selvans says:

    The Wednesday night Denver Cruiser ride (all summer long) is awesome and huge. There’s a new city bike shop opening up in June called The Mindful Bike. We have a Boulder Cycle Chic blog. Downtown and LoDo are awesome bikeable walkable neighborhoods. The Platte River and Cherry Creek trails are also wonderful. New Belgium’s Tour de Fat is totally worth going to.

  12. tom says:

    I’m the guy who runs the Denver Local website. Thanks for the mention, Kent. I’m sure that Chanh and Mellissa will find what they’re looking for in Denver.

    My tips include picking up a Denver Bike Map and some tire sealant. Goat head thorns are a problem here, especially for trail users. Sealant is my preferred method for dealing with these thorns.

  13. mike r says:

    The Denver area has a lot of sprawl and varies a lot for quality of cycling. Downtown is nicely ridable, so a lot depends on where they plan to live.

    I live in Boulder for what that’s worth. I like Vecchio as my prefered bike shop here. It looks like a race-oriented place, which I am not, but it works for me.

    I’m becomming fond of a shop called Cycle Analyst that’s on South Pearl, North of I-25. It’s also not far from Denver Pro Photo which is the best place in the area I know for film and darkroom materials.

  14. Maria says:

    Very exciting! As the other commenters have mentioned, central Denver is quite bike friendly on the streets and the suburbs are hit and miss. We do have a great trail system however, which spans far and wide. There are lots of events established and more all the time.

    They should definitely take a moment to stop by the Bike Depot at 28th and Fairfax in Park Hill. A non-profit bike shop with professional maintenance services and full retail where all the profits go to support the programs like earn-a-bike, fix-your-bike and other safetly and healthy living initiatives.

    Ditto on tire sealant. That and flat preventive strips. Goat heads are everywhere! Oh and maybe taking a free fix-a-flat class at the Depot just to sharpen their skills if need be.

    The Westword (our local Village Voice pub) has great restaurant info as does 5280, another local lifestyle magazine.

    I’d recommend stopping by Perk Hill Coffee Shop in Park Hill and having a slice of the famous Gabe’s Pie (shameless plug) as they explore town and need some afternoon ‘jo. And when the decide they need more pie, they can bike over to Spinelli’s Market, also in Park Hill, for a whole Gabe’s Pie….and go back to Spinelli’s for an italian sausage sub!

    They should get NY style slices at Fat Sully’s on Colfax in the Bluebird District and get their hair cut by one of the mega cool gals at Big Hairy Monster in the same neighborhood.

    They should go to Bastiens (also same neighborhood) for real-deal vintage steakhouse atmosphere and the famous sugar steak.

    They should go to Patsy’s Italian 38th and Navajo for simple, classic Italian with Frank Sinatra in the background.

    They should hit the food trucks in Civic Center Park for lunch. The choices change weekely.

    They should check out City Park Jazz every Sunday night in City Park.

    Melissa should join us on the Lovely Sunday Ride (once I get it up and going again.)

    They should definitely not miss Science Lounge at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science as well as the Pirates exhibit here now!

    I’d love to introduce you to something wonderfully Denver. You can find me at bikingandbaking.blogspot.com Although I’ve been a bit slow in my posting – I always read comments and we could easily get in touch that way.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for posting a link to BikingandBaking. I love your blog. Good write-up above. Keep the recommendations coming. : )

  15. Lisa says:

    My husband and I have recently been loving riding the Cherry Creek path to Washington Park. There is a bike path the whole way!

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  17. Alhood Van Lines says:

    Did your friends ever make it to Denver? I bet if they have they are loving this amazing city. I ride my bike back and forth to work. I save so much commuting on my bike here. It takes about the same time with traffic and lights. Excellent way to get that exercise routine done too.

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