Hampsten’s Dirt and Oil

Andy Hampsten will always be known as the first (and possibly only) American to win the Giro d’Italia, a multi-day stage race in line with the Tour de France. Hampsten’s a hero in Italy, where he spends a good chunk of each year running his Cinghiale cycling tours (cinghiale.com). He’s also been importing and selling exquisite Tuscan olive oil to the U.S. through his small company, Extra Virgin Oil Co.  (extravirginoilco.com). But, when it comes down to it, Hampsten loves living here in Colorado, where he can simply enjoy riding with hard-charging friends or going snowboarding (he even claims to have bought backcountry ski equipment this season). With that localism in mind, we asked him to let us in on his favorite rides out the back door:

Pavement and Dirt
“I put fat, 33-mm tires on my road bike, a Hampsten Cycles Strada Bianca (hampstencylces.com) and head up the Boulder Creek bike path to Four Mile Canyon. Then the dirt starts. I take a left to Sunset, a right on the uphill section of Switzerland trail to the intersection of the dirt road, and then right to Gold Hill. Stop for tea and pie at the Gold Hill general store. Then it’s up over the hill to Sunshine Canyon and back to pavement and a screaming descent into Boulder.”

Quick Pavement and Hills

“From Boulder, I head north for a warm-up on Highway 36 to Lefthand Canyon. Then follow the road to Jamestown. I turn around and then head back down Lefthand and I climb the backside of Lee Hill back to Boulder. The ride is hilly but gentle until the Lee Hill part, and full of fun descents.”

Peak to Peak

“The best way to access the Peak to Peak Highway is to climb up over Jamestown and ride some dirt after the steep paved part. You can come down anywhere. If you like fast descents, and don’t mind some traffic, then Boulder Canyon is the way down. Ward rocks for a downhill. Wonderview with a trip over to Gross Reservoir is what I call the Go-with-Beauty dirt option. The climb up from Lyons via Peaceful Valley is also a great option. Stop at the store in Peaceful valley for water and a chat.”

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