Touring - Poudre River Trail
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08-16-11, 11:45 AM
This is more of a long ride than a tour,
The route: LaPorte Colorado to Greeley Colorado, and then back to Windsor on the Poudre River Trail and a few county roads. A little less than 60 miles. Spend the night in Windsor at a friends house.
The bike: mid 80s Nishiki Riviera GT, Kenda knobbys on the 27" rims original drive train, mongrel handlebars. $250 or so on craigslist a month ago.
The Rider: A woefully out of shape 44 year old commuter looking for some adventure without sleeping on the ground. No bike shorts, no jersy, no shoes. I did bring a hat and some sun screen. Clothes and shave kit for two days, and a cooler for lunch and water. I wanted to see what I could do.
So on a nice overcast august Saturday morning I set out. The trail from LaPorte to Prospect road is very familiar to me and the reason why I wanted to see more of the river trail. Cruising the concrete path next to the river, in the trees, over bridges and through tunnels. Just a great time. And so the first 9 miles or so passed by in bliss.
08-16-11, 11:48 AM
Sounds fun .... how much of the Trail is MUP v. time on road?
I rafted down that river, its a very beautiful area. Sounds like a great ride.
08-18-11, 05:00 PM
I was in love with my bike had named it ol' blue at this point. The bike would acquire a slightly differnt name later.
at the Colorado visitors center on Prospect. About 10 miles from Laport and the end of the river trail in Fort Collins. Black top from here to Windsor. Be careful going over I-25, there is no shoulder, but not much traffic. Instead of trying to take the lane with 50 mph traffic I waited an extra 30 seconds and took the bridge when it was clear.
The flattest route and best to catch the trail in Windsor would have been down County road 5.
So off on country road 40 for two miles and then down 13. Much of it was corn fields and it was like riding in a wide hallway with no traffic until Windsor. The road section was about 9 miles.
The natural area behind Kodak, back on the trail and time for a snack and something more to drink. Taking the trail through the south side of Windsor is a bit strange as some of it goes through water valley subdivision and there are signs pointing out the trail and then signs next to those warning about trespassing. And some of it is on residential streets and is not well marked. I should note that due to the detour around Timnath I did not pick up the trail in Windsor until 7th street.
08-18-11, 05:08 PM
From here on out it was trail to the Island Grove park.
around here I started loosing the pannier. Fortunately I had brought extra bungies, since this was the first trip with the bags I brought duct tape also but didn't have to bust that out. Very little traffic on the trail once you get 5 miles outside of Greeley, and fewer trees, but there are still some good shady spots and benches facing the river which is good for just going slow and taking in the sights. The river at this point has already changed from noisy clearwater, to sluggish brown.
Lunch at the Island Grove park. After the solitude and quiet of the last hour or so I was greeted with a motocross competition going on and had lunch with the constant buuzzing of motorcycle engines. Lunch was from Jerry's market two blocks south of the park, it is a nice little old time grocery store.
Still feeling like had some legs left I did not call in the sag wagon, and didn't want to wait for two hours for it to show up so I started back to Windsor.
08-18-11, 05:21 PM
The sun was out and I started resting more often.
notice the bike is no longer in the fore front. 10 miles out of Greeley my knees started knocking, calves cramping, shoulders sagging, taint was toast.
And so the bike is now know as the blue b##ch.
About three miles outside of Windsor I was behind young woman on a comfort bike pulling a trailer with kids in it. I got on her wheel but she dropped me. All I could think of then was just finishing the last few miles and drinking beer at friend's house in Windsor.
I am slow (and not chic), so the total time was 6 and a half hours with an hour lunch stop in Greeley. Without a trip computer but using the maps the distance was 60 miles, maybe one or two miles more or less. This was a great ride for a day and the ambitious could do from old town Fort Collins to Greeley and back in a day, 70 miles. Trail maps are available on line. And I would be happy to answer any questions for anyone else who is thinking of this. I plan on doing it again in a month.
04-25-12, 05:15 PM
Sounds fun .... how much of the Trail is MUP v. time on road?
Missed this earlier, I just rode again from Greeley to the bluffs trailhead west of Windsor and back on Sunday. So I came back to see if I should add anything to this.
From LaPorte to Greeley the road time was about an hour because I bypassed the trailhead due to construction. It should be about 10 minutes less now, and the bluffs trailhead is a great place to stop off. water, restrooms, shade by the river and a public air compressor with gauge. After travelling to some other areas recently the complete lack of graffiti was amazing and refreshing.
About a mile away south from Island Grove there is now a bike shop, next to a coffee shop and book store, I hit them up when I found out my riding partner would be late. The Roubiax is the bike shop, opens at 10.
It was windy out Saturday, but the trail is mostly protected and as it was a cross wind most of the time we appreciated the cooling properties.
So it was two recreational riders on flat terrain, 42 miles, 5.25 hours, a few short water stops, an hour for lunch, and 20 minutes at the trailhead. Pretty relaxed. I have to give credit to my riding partner, ex-wife number 1. While she is a very fit at 50 woman who swims, runs and works out I was unsure of her going the distance. I dont think she has done a ride over 10 miles until then. I suspect I had more soreness the next day than she did.
04-26-12, 09:55 AM
Cool, I didn't realize they have a pretty nice map on the web site
04-26-12, 10:15 AM
Not sure how fast you ride, but if you ever want to get together a small group to go end to end and coordinate a shuttle ride back let me know. I'm always up for that ride at a tourist pace.
04-26-12, 01:52 PM
Sure, sounds fun, let me know when.
I lived in Ft. Collins a long time ago, it's cool to see a bike path along the Poudre. We used to drive up to the pass to hike and Cross country ski.
May have to return to CO to see family and ride a new trail.
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