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  1. #1
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    Anyone live in Fort Collins, Colorado?

    My wife and I want to move to Colorado in the next year or so and we really like what we've seen of the Fort Collins area. How is the area in terms of being bike friendly? Are there bike lanes, how is it for commuting via bike, how easy is it to get around the city and surrounding area throughout the year? Anything else you can add regarding cycling in and around Ft. Collins would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I live in FTC

    I live in Fort Collins and commute to work many days. I travel 6.4 miles one way 1.5 miles on streets with bike lanes and another 4.5 miles on dedicated pedestrian/bike path. Great city for cycling.

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    I have many friends who live in that area and I ride there a few times a year. It is wonderful for cycling and has a great cycling community.
    I wish I lived there or in Loveland.

  4. #4
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    Wow! Great news guys, this is what I want to hear!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGlide View Post
    I live in Fort Collins and commute to work many days. I travel 6.4 miles one way 1.5 miles on streets with bike lanes and another 4.5 miles on dedicated pedestrian/bike path. Great city for cycling.
    How is it in the wintertime? I've lived in Chicago for the last 11 years or so and while I haven't bike commuted to work, a co-worker does all year round. He uses a pedestrian/bike path that runs along Lake Shore Drive (by Lake Michigan), and it is usually plowed throughout the winter but can be tricky sometimes. Still, he manages to get to work on even the nastiest of days. I'm considering starting the same commute myself although my ride is about double the distance of his commute. So, in thinking ahead to the move to Colorado and the Fort Collins area, does the city keep the path cleared in the winter? My wife knows people who live in the Denver area and she swears that they say that when it does snow in winter it usually melts off pretty quickly. At any rate, I've been watching weather forecasts from the Denver/Ft. Collins area for about a year and half now and it's obvious that at the very least your winters are far more mild than what we typically get here in Chicago. When we move out, we'd like to be able to do as much shopping, commuting, and otherwise getting around by bike as much as possible, saving our aging Subaru only for those errands that can't be accomplished on a bike. Do you think it's doable? It certainly sounds like it's very bike-friendly and that's really the biggest hurdle. Chicago professes to be bike friendly and does have bike lanes and such, but really it isn't very bike friendly in spite of the hype otherwise.

  6. #6
    cycling for 50 plus yrs colorado dale's Avatar
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    Since a lot of the New Beligium(fat tire ) employees ride to work it would be safe to assume commuter bicycle routes are plowed.
    One day here in Lakewood i woke up to 5 inches in my driveway I grabbed my snowshoes and went down to the local bike path it had already been plowed.
    Another day the day started with 6 inches of snow and by mid afternoon i rode in shorts (ok i probably streached it by 10 degrees)
    a quick search is FT C views itsself as one of the top bicycle friendly cities in the nation

    http://www.ncbr.com/article.asp?id=96206

    http://visit.ftcollins.com/attractio...ions.php?t=105

  7. #7
    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
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    Fort Collins does get some good snowstorms and occasional brutally cold days but I'd guess it's more mild than Chicago area. We don't get much rain or humidity; most of the Front Range is semi-arid (less than 15 inches of precip. a year). So, the effect is a milder climate even if the temperature doesn't seem to indicate (i.e. would you rather bike when it's 30 deg. and calm/sunny or 40 deg. and windy/raining?).
    Just about every road in Fort Collins has a bike lane or adjacent MUP and there is a huge cycling community.
    Downtown area (aka "Old Town") is covered in bikes, in part because of the Colo State Univ. student population. The rest of the city is very bike friendly as well, I don't know one person who doesn't bike regularly.

    If you're 'round these parts, check out the Bike Library on Walnut Street. They'll loan you a bike and map and you can cruise around and check it out for yourself.

  8. #8
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    FWIW, our MUPS here in the Parker, CO, area get plowed as fast or faster than the streets. However, as on the streets, that does not eliminate icy spots, espceially in the shadow of bridges and the like.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Thanks for all the info. This is all very encouraging.

  10. #10
    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
    Thanks for all the info. This is all very encouraging.
    Sure, feel free to PM me, I'd be glad to share more info about the town.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    I live in Boulder but it's very similar to Ft. Collins. This last year I road my bike to work in Longmont (10 miles each way) at least once every week of the year. There were days when it was snowing or windy or whatever and I drove but even then, if you are in town it would be manageable. I was 'car free' for about 18 months back in my school daze and even then there were few days that riding was difficult. You will have no trouble at all with your plans to do shopping, etc by bike all year. You'll need to get some good clothing but the climate here is very dry in the winter and the sun shines a lot so the roads and paths are nearly always clear and dry. It does get cold, windy and sometimes there is a lot of sand on the road but we don't get the ice/slush/crud like you get in the Midwest.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jdswitters's Avatar
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    Fort Collins is one of the best cycling cities in the country and it keeps getting better. It has become so good that I look forward to winter so that when I go grocery shopping midmorning or ride downtown at night I can get a better spot on the end of the bike racks.

    There are a some coffee shops and pubs around here that keep floor pumps and patch kits handy, that is the kind of town this is.

    I was in Boulder for the first time in years recently, they have incorporated bike travel into the center of town, and Fort Collins has banned bikes from the main drag. Boulder is a bit better in that regard imo.
    Torker Graduate, 288 rods a day without pub detours.

  13. #13
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    I moved to fort collins from chicago as well. (i was in, variously, wicker park, lincoln park, and andersonville). ive been here about 7 years now.

    I think you'll find the winter is MUCH more manageable both in general and wrt bike friendliness than chicago.

    roads and bike lanes are aggressively cleared, bike paths are cleared as fast or faster than the roads. and unlike chicago, its rarely cold long enough for snow to stick around on the shoulders for longer than a few days.

    in chicago i was an all season, full time commuter and a messenger, here i am a 5 day a week, all season commuter, from fort collins to loveland (12 miles each way). whats more, all the busses have bike racks so if you ever do need to bike n bus, its pretty easy to do so.

    we also have plenty of group rides that go off all season, regardless of the temperature.
    Your Group Ride:Your guide to getting dropped in Northern Colorado

  14. #14
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    i should also add that i'm chin deep in development and planning for fort collins bike community (sit on several boards and cover the race scene for the local paper) so if you do have any questions feel free to PM me. i admittedly dont hit the local forum up as often as i should, as it tends not to get a ton of traffic. but i'm around the board a lot and check my PMs routinely.

    sufficed to say we have an incredible, world class commuter infrastructure here and the community and local govt are committed to continuing to develop it and improve it. we are just about to open a major MUP connection thats been in the works for ages, that'll join to legs of our trail network.
    Last edited by badhat; 08-11-11 at 07:54 AM.
    Your Group Ride:Your guide to getting dropped in Northern Colorado

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    Badhat - thanks for the extra info! Fort Collins really sounds like our dream come true in terms of cycling as well as other recreational opportunities, but most of all the weather. Now we just need to get moved out there. Know of any jobs for a former journalist/reporter/photographer with a background in life sciences, natural history and animal care?

  16. #16
    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
    Badhat - thanks for the extra info! Fort Collins really sounds like our dream come true in terms of cycling as well as other recreational opportunities, but most of all the weather. Now we just need to get moved out there. Know of any jobs for a former journalist/reporter/photographer with a background in life sciences, natural history and animal care?
    Check out Colorado State Univ., they might have some life sciences gigs. Also, the Fed gov't might have something like that, there's a big presence here with the Dept. of Ag and Forest Service. Good luck!

  17. #17
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    Your Group Ride:Your guide to getting dropped in Northern Colorado

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    Pure awesome! We're really stoked about moving out there!

  19. #19
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    also wanna pass along word about the Fort Collins Cycling Fest next weekend.

    we still need racers, volunteers and cheerleaders.

    its gonna be an awesome awesome awesome weekend of riding and racing and celebrating northern colorado's bike scene.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...and-Gran-Fondo
    Your Group Ride:Your guide to getting dropped in Northern Colorado

  20. #20
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    Just got back from a weekend bicycle and beer vacation up in Fort Collins. It is a bicycle HEAVEN!!! Great trail system, awesome marked on-street routes, a very informative bike map to get you around, and even more informative and friendly people riding around! Oh yeah, and the beer was great too.

  21. #21
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    I came here to make this thread but it was already at the top!

    I moved here from Boulder last summer but just recently started road biking again.

    Today I took overland rd. to canyon and up to Bellvue, co.

    Does anyone know any better places for long distance? I rode CO 23E for a ways but I was way too intimidated by the lack of shoulder and drivers who don't even bother to move over to pass you. Anyone know of any better roads/canyons with good shoulders where drivers are more friendly?
    "Biking is the best excersize because you can do it while sitting down." -Me

  22. #22
    impressive member badhat's Avatar
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    in my experience the cars are pretty friendly here, though theres always a few creeps here and there.

    23 is popular with both cars and bikes, and ive never had any trouble up there.

    not a lot of shoulders on the nice foothills county roads though, just a culture of sharing the road.

    getting used to it, riding in groups, riding off hours all help.

    popular foothills routes are: rist canyon, buckhorn canyon, masonville, eden valley, poudre canyon, big thompson canyon (loveland to estes), glen haven, red feather lakes road.

    theres tons of nice county roads to the north, east and south as well.
    Your Group Ride:Your guide to getting dropped in Northern Colorado

  23. #23
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    Revisiting this thread makes me dream, wistfully, of nice bike paths, lots of courteous fellow riders, and drivers who don't try to run you over.

    Signed:
    Not looking forward to another Spring and Summer in Chicago. Soon Ft. Collins, soon... *sigh*
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  24. #24
    Senior Member AltheCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
    Revisiting this thread makes me dream, wistfully, of nice bike paths, lots of courteous fellow riders, and drivers who don't try to run you over.

    Signed:
    Not looking forward to another Spring and Summer in Chicago. Soon Ft. Collins, soon... *sigh*
    Thought you were here by now!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motman320 View Post
    I came here to make this thread but it was already at the top!

    I moved here from Boulder last summer but just recently started road biking again.

    Today I took overland rd. to canyon and up to Bellvue, co.

    Does anyone know any better places for long distance? I rode CO 23E for a ways but I was way too intimidated by the lack of shoulder and drivers who don't even bother to move over to pass you. Anyone know of any better roads/canyons with good shoulders where drivers are more friendly?

    Just stay off of US Hwy 287, 34, and 66 and most of the other highways south of Loveland and you're fine. I've even had a cop pull someone over in the turn lane so I would be able to pass by via bike lane. Most drivers are courteous but there are always a select few who endeavor to ruin a perfectly good ride.

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