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Time to Go Pedaling in Pueblo

This Southern Colorado city has become a prime destination for biking.

By Kevin Litwin on April 11, 2023

Pueblo Mountain Park in Colorado
Wayne Armstrong

Pueblo is on its way to becoming a major cycling destination, thanks to racing groups such as Gravel Locos, which is returning to the city in 2023 after a successful inaugural race in 2022.

For the last few years, bicycling in Pueblo has steadily boosted tourism in the Pueblo region, which offers a bevy of great places to go for a ride.

Ride the Riverwalk

A great place to start your cycling adventure is to enjoy a relaxing pedal along the downtown Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo.

The Riverwalk includes a lake, a navigable Arkansas River channel for boat rides and a natural area with a stream, plus there are several stores and restaurants along a boardwalk. The 32-acre waterfront attraction is free of charge and accessible 24 hours each day.

Lake Pueblo is seen in the distance from Liberty Point Memorial.
Jeff Adkins

Must Visit: Liberty Point

Liberty Point, one of the most beautiful spots in all of Pueblo, is a public park where trails offer great views of the Pueblo Reservoir, Greenhorn Mountain and the Wet Mountains range. Liberty Point features an overlook that is the highest elevation in the city and showcases incredible sunsets.

Road biking is one way that bikers can enjoy what the Pueblo outdoors has to offer, and the Steel City is part of an unusual race that occurs for about three months each spring and summer.

Every year, cyclists from across America bike the TransAmerica Trail, a 4,215-mile ride from Oregon to Virginia, and Pueblo is the largest city along the coast-to-coast route. Many riders stop and stay in Pueblo for a day or two because it is considered an interesting hub located almost halfway along the trail.

Also in the spring, the Pueblo Classic Chilly Criterium and Steel City Road Race attracts some of the top road-racing cyclists in America, who descend upon Pueblo to race at high speeds on a course set up downtown.

Mounting and Gravel Biking

Mountain biking is also a major recreational activity, with Lake Pueblo State Park graced with several of the highest-rated mountain bike trails in Colorado.

One of the most popular is Voodoo Trail, which stretches 8.7 miles. Another is The Duke and South Shore Loop, which measures 6.3 miles and takes about two hours to complete.

Besides road biking and mountain biking, also popular in Pueblo is gravel biking, and Pueblo has great gravel roads to accommodate riders.

Gravel bikes look similar to 10-speed road bikes except that gravel bikes have fatter tires to take on everything that gravel roads throw at them, including dirt, mud, grass, hills, sandy gravel, rocky gravel, bumps, rough country trails and more.

Gravel Locos Pueblo

Fabian Serralta is founder of Gravel Locos, a Texas-based gravel biking group that looks to stage races in communities with good gravel systems.

“When I heard about Pueblo having some top gravel trails, I started researching the possibility of holding gravel races in Pueblo and found that the city has many hotels, restaurants, stores and things to do,” Serralta says.

“Race participants often make trips to cities with their families and friends, so everyone needs things to do during the race downtime because not everyone is riding.”

Serralta says 480 riders participated in the 2022 Gravel Locos Pueblo event, and the 2023 competition is set for Sept. 30. There is plenty of pre-race and post-race fun, so the festivities actually take place from Thursday through Saturday.

“We have four routes that riders can choose from,” he says. “There are rides of 30, 60, 100 or 150 miles, and the start and finish for all races is in downtown Pueblo.”

Gravel Locos bike race in Pueblo, CO
Charles Gage

From Tour de France to Cycling in Pueblo

Serralta adds that a former competitor from the Tour de France participated in the 2022 Gravel Locos event and raved about Pueblo.

“Ian Boswell is a retired Tour de France rider who competed at the 2022 Pueblo race and said it was one of the most beautiful and diverse rides he had ever experienced,” Serralta says. “And Boswell is used to competing in France, Italy, Spain, the Pyrenees Mountains and the Alps.”

The Pueblo race also benefits a charitable cause each year, with $10,000 raised at the 2022 race to buy equipment for the area’s Red Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

“Gravel racing is a nice change of pace from other kinds of bike races,” Serralta says. “Pueblo is an ideal city to host such a race, and we hope to return for many years.”

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