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Old 04-20-11, 07:12 PM   #1
bikerjp
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Recommend a Fort Collins - Carter Lake ride

Having never driven to Carter Lake I don't know the roads well but I hear lots of cyclists ride around there. I'd like to find a 60 mile or so ride (out and back or loop) from FC that minimizes busy roads, bad pavement or roads with narrow shoulders. Has anyone done such a ride and have a map of their route?

Thanks.
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Old 04-21-11, 07:58 AM   #2
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If you want to do Horsetooth (hilly and fun!)
http://goo.gl/maps/Ns1n

If you want it shorter & a little flatter
http://goo.gl/maps/5WLQ

Or a lot flatter, skip horsetooth and just add some more south:
http://goo.gl/maps/P8Qv

Or really flat, and going a little farther south.
http://goo.gl/maps/YUHM

There's a marina at the north end of Carter Lake and a store in Masonville (limited hours) for supplies on the route, also a couple of stores and a nice cafe in Berthoud (slightly off route, safe road). Nice grocery store in Hygiene if you get that far south.

It's pretty much all good as long as you stay west of Hwy 287. Do try to go through Masonville, the 2 roads just south of there are all really lovely, especially the west-most one. As you would expect, the roads further west are more rural and empty and hilly, and the ones closer to town (Taft, mainly) are busier and flatter. Taft isn't a bad road, but it's not super awesome, so i'd use the western roads as the main goal of the ride, and use Taft as a transit road to get home if you're too tired to do the hills on the way back.
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Old 04-21-11, 01:39 PM   #3
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Thanks, these look great. I do Horsetooth a lot so I may combine a couple of these to get further south but still have a fair bit of climbing.

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If you want to do Horsetooth (hilly and fun!)
http://goo.gl/maps/Ns1n
I think I like this one the best, but the loop back part after turning north and before getting to Glade Rd (all the numbered CO roads and 34) have me a bit worried. Do these have decent shoulders or just low traffic or both?

That I should be able to do this is a bit over 2 hours has me stoked too. I just love Google.
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Old 04-21-11, 01:52 PM   #4
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They are all low traffic and no shoulder, except 34, which has a big shoulder and moderate traffic.

You can take a left on 12 off of 23 to really minimize the traffic, this adds a little climbing. I think I showed that in this link http://goo.gl/maps/P8Qv

Buckhorn road, the one out of Masonville just west of Glade Road, is very nice as well in terms of traffic, but they put a rough surface on it last year.

I've ridden all of those roads and never felt like there was a traffic issue except on Hwy 34 in summer on the weekend. I'm not just guessing on google maps.
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Old 04-22-11, 11:16 AM   #5
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Thanks again for the info. I took your routes and sort of combined them into this one.

It's a bit longer than what I was thinking of doing but I can cut out the Hygiene section if I think it will be too much. Are the roads I picked pretty much the best options? I'd rather climb than deal with cars. Hope the weather is nice on Sunday to give this a try. I'm getting tired of all the wind this year.
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Old 04-22-11, 01:49 PM   #6
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Sure. Looks good. Only change i would make is instead of Buckhorn take CO Rd 29 just to the west. BOth are safe and low traffic, but 29 is prettier and has nicer pavement. It's a particular favorite road of mine.

Hope the weather is OK.

I might be up in that area too, depending on if my friend has time to ride that long (unlikely).
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Old 04-22-11, 10:09 PM   #7
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I might be up in that area too, depending on if my friend has time to ride that long (unlikely).
Thanks for the tip. I'll work on my route and try to perfect it. However, good chance I'll miss a turn somewhere anyway. Guess I should carry a map. If you see anyone on a bbq caad it could be me so say "hi"
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Old 04-24-11, 04:46 PM   #8
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So did you get out? You weren't the guy in shorts & a long sleeve blue top at the Marina were you? We didnt' have time to loop, so we went up the south dam and over the Marina Store & back from boulder. Nice day, given the dire forecast!
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Old 04-24-11, 09:08 PM   #9
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No. Weather wasn't so great in the morning (actually snowed a bit) and I couldn't get motivated later in the day. Hopefully next weekend will be better or maybe I'll have to just htfu and go anyway.
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Old 04-25-11, 10:24 AM   #10
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Route 287 has a full brake down lane and run from Ft Collins to Denver. I ride from Louisville to Ft Collins all the time and its a great ride.
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Old 04-25-11, 08:50 PM   #11
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Route 287 has a full brake down lane and run from Ft Collins to Denver. I ride from Louisville to Ft Collins all the time and its a great ride.
True, but it also has a lot of high speed traffic which is something I like to avoid - both for safety and overall enjoyment of the ride.
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