COLORADO SPRINGS — Week 5 of Pedal our Past brings us to Old Colorado City where you will find perhaps some of the most colorful history in all of bike month.
This 8.2 mile loop begins at Bancroft Park, on Colorado Ave and S. 24th Street. Leah Davis Witherow is the Curator of History and Acting Director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. Leah says, “Old Colorado city was actually founded in 1859, quite a few years before Colorado Springs was founded in 1871. It starts out as a gold rush supply town, it is a boom or bust town that grows and shrinks according to gold and silver mining. It has a history filled with saloons, manufacturing, and industrial applications. The west side route is filled with history and colorful stories.”
From a cycling standpoint, it’s a very enjoyable ride that has a variety of terrain from shady tree lined streets to quiet roads with bike lanes and plenty of bike trail.
Leah says the stop that may best tell the story of Old Colorado City, is stop 13 at Vermijo Park. “Vermijo park this is once the site of two breweries. The Adolphus Busch brewery and the Wagner Stockbridge brewery that brewed Coors beer and Pabst beer. The Adolphus Busch brewery is part of the Busch brewery empire out of St. Louis that manufactures Budweiser beer. The story of this stop is that Colorado Springs was a dry town, and Colorado City was a wet town. Folks from Colorado Springs could come here and partake, get a drink in a saloon, and they could also buy alcohol spirits and wines to take back to their homes in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs was founded as a dry town, not for moral reasons but for practical purposes. General Palmer wanted to keep Colorado Springs a stable community of homes churches and schools, and he didn’t want the sale of liquor to interfere with that. But the secret that all Colorado Springs residents knew was you just had to come two miles to the west, to Colorado City for alcohol where saloons were abundant.
Come Pedal Our Past and celebrate Colorado Springs’ 150th anniversary cruising along on wheels! Choose the historic loop (or all of them) that fits you and your family and friends, your fitness level, and your curiosity about our community.
There are lots of ways to participate! Individuals, families, educational groups, businesses, groups of friends, date nights can ALL have fun with Pedal Our Past. And in the process, explore the unique, fun and fascinating story of the people, places and events of the past 150 years that got us to where we are today!
Guide yourself on a historic tour through a neighborhood or join a group ride. Tackle part of a tour or challenge yourself with more than one. Follow our Facebook and Instagram for fun challenges and share your photos and experiences with the hashtag #PedalOurPast to enter a drawing for fabulous prizes!
Bicycles are the perfect tool to explore a city: They are fast enough that you can cover some ground, slow enough that you can really see things, nimble enough that you can stop at a moment’s notice, and open not just to sights, but to scents, sounds, tastes, and tactile and kinetic elements too. So there’s no better way to experience the history of the city in its landscape than a tour by bike!
These routes are intended to serve as a taste of both bicycling in Colorado Springs and our rich and varied history. They are far from comprehensive. If you want more, you can visit City Bike Maps | Colorado Springs for ALL our great bike trails and routes and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum - CSPM (link is external) can help you plot your OWN bicycle tour through history!