Not Quite Right
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Bikes: Gary Fisher Paragon, Lemond Zurich, Serotta Legend Ti, Seven Mudhoney , Peugeot Canyon Express
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Heading to Masonville isn't really that bad. The first climb up the dam on 38e is steep, but not too long. After that, you can spin easy downhill and rest a little for the next climb, which is on the west side of the lake. It's longer, but doable if you can spin your way up it. This is probably the toughest part on the way to Masonville. There's a scenic overlook right at the top, so you can rest there before continuing on if need be. After that, you have a quick, steep descent, and start climbing again. This is the one that always gets me if I'm having a bad day. It's not terribly steep, but it seems to be long. Once you get to the top of that one, it's all downhill to Masonville. Breaking 40 mph is not out of the question. Heading south to Loveland is also mostly downhill.
Keep in mind though, that if you're coming back the same way, you're going to have to climb everything you just descended. Personally, I think coming back is tougher. Everything from Loveland back to Masonville is uphill. It's not steep by any means, just long. The fast descent from Horsetooth Mtn. Park can turn into a long grind coming from the other direction. And the short quick descent I mentioned earlier? An out of the saddle workout going up from the other direction. I managed to actually pass a guy on a scooter going up that little funfest last summer. The final climb back up, on the east side of the lake, isn't nearly as bad as it looks. An easy spin will get you up it in pretty short order. After that, a steep descent back into Fort Collins.
4 hours would be plenty of time at a moderate pace I would think. You can always stop in Masonville and revise your plan if need be.
Hope this helps. Also, if you go in the morning, watch out for rattlesnakes sunning themselves along the edges of the road. Seriously. I've seen some big ones between Horsetooth Mtn. Park and Masonville on several occasions.
What I learned from Asian films is that the human body holds as much as 50 gallons of blood, with an internal pressure of at least 80 psi.
...this all reinforces my belief that if your problem can't be solved with thermite, the real problem is insufficient thermite.