Denver’s Dan Recht: Passionate Lawyer and Endurance Athlete, 0120 COBJ, Vol. 49, No. 1 Pg. 70

PositionVol. 49, 1 [Page 70]

49 Colo.Law. 70

Denver’s Dan Recht: Passionate Lawyer and Endurance Athlete

Vol. 49, No. 1 [Page 70]

Colorado Lawyer

January, 2020



Civil rights and criminal defense attorney Dan Recht is well-known in the Denver legal community as one of Colorado's top lawyers with his own firm, Recht Kornfeld PC. In fact, Law Week Colorado designated Recht the "Best Criminal Defense Attorney" in Colorado for four consecutive years (2014-17). He is also a former president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, a former chair of the ACLU of Colorado, and a frequent television and NPR radio commentator.

But few people know that the 66-year old Recht, having reached the summit of Colorado's legal profession, spends much of his spare time reaching for other summits—on his bicycle. This past July, Recht completed two of Colorado's most grueling one-day organized bicycle rides: the Triple Bypass ride, from Evergreen to Avon, and the Mt Evans Hill Climb, from Idaho Springs to the summit of Mount Evans. Both of these rides feature spectacular mountain scenery and high altitude, and both are among the most difficult organized rides in the world.

The Mt. Evans Hill Climb travels 28 miles up the highest paved road in North America, through forests of aspen and lodgepole pine, passing the Mount Goliath Natural Area, which contains a stand of Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines that are thousands of years old. Beyond tree line is Summit Lake, which at 12,800 feet is reported to be the highest lake in Colorado and one of the highest in the United States. Past Summit Lake riders face five more miles of seemingly endless switchbacks to the summit of Mount Evans (14,130 feet), where exhausted cyclists are usually met by the local herd of wild mountain goats, and sometimes bighorn sheep.

The Triple Bypass requires even more stamina. This 120-mile ride ascends 10,600 feet (more than two vertical miles) over three high mountain passes—Squaw/Juniper Pass (11,020 feet), Loveland Pass (11,990 feet), and Vail Pass (10,666 feet). Riders usually depart Evergreen before dawn and do not make it around Lake Dillon, past Frisco, over Vail Pass, past the Vail Ski Resort, and into Avon until 5 or 6 p.m., spending between eight and 12 hours in the saddle.

Closer to sealevel, Recht—a father of three and grandfather of two—recently taught his 4-year-old grandson to ride his bike. "It was...

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