With a shorter ride today I was able to start later and ride slower, which is exactly what I needed. My routes on previous days had taken my northwest, southeast, north, east, and northeast, so it was time to try southwest and head to Golden. Despite cycling in the area since 2013, I'd never ridden to Golden due to traffic concerns, but I felt good about trying it today.
The air quality looked a bit better today than it did earlier in the week. The view of the Flatirons from Standley Lake was less hazy and a mix of clouds and sun made for a pretty nice day of riding.
North Table Mountain on Golden's north side is a great playground for hiking and mountain biking. Today, I'm satisfied to circle it and stay on the roads.
Golden has a great main street, nice views of the mountains, and beautiful parks, paths, and scenery along Clear Creek.
It's not a real RAGBRAI unless I find some town with an over-the-road banner greeting me. Golden is a pretty charming place and their "masks required" signs were both clever and ignored by about half the people I saw while riding through downtown and near the river.
When I started cycling in the area in 2013, I read some pretty negative opinions about riding on Highway 93 between Boulder and Golden, so I've avoided it until today. I found the road to be very busy, but road construction in recent years had included developing a shoulder that's decently wide and smooth. Still, the road is more like cyclist-passable than cyclist-friendly and probably not something I'll ride frequently.
Highway 93 between Boulder and Golden is a very busy road. I had to hang out on the shoulder for several minutes before there was a big enough gap in the traffic to get a clear picture of the Flatirons.
I got my second flat tire of the week, this time near the top of Davidson Mesa. My tube swap skills are improving, although I must say this is a skill I'd rather not have to practice.