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Old 10-10-11, 11:36 PM   #1
jtbooth
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Visiting Loveland, CO -- need recommendations!

Hey Folks,

I'm visiting Loveland for a week + (Wed through 2nd Sunday) and would be interested in renting a decent road bike and exploring some great roads around the area. I have a pretty flexible schedule. I'm looking for tips on:
1. Where to rent a good road bike (I currently have a high-quality steel bike but interested in trying carbon fiber)

2. Rides in the 30-80 mile range with 2000-8000 feet of climbing. I usually ride in the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles and my usual routes are 50-60 miles with 5000+ feet of climbing. I'm not fast, I just plug away... Doing it altitude in CO may be a bit harder...

3. Open to cool group rides, but I'm not a racer, so can usually hang at 23-25 mph for a while, but not much more than that for too many miles.

4. Temps seems to be dropping quite a bit -- what are folks wearing now for heading into the foothills (yes, I'm spoiled by SoCal weather)? Just trying to plan for what to pack on this trip. Everyone in full bibs already? full gloves? or still leg warmers and arm warmers that get ripped off halfway through the ride?

Thanks all, and I'm open to buying espresso or beers for company who want to show me their favorite local loops.
Jeff
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Old 10-11-11, 08:17 AM   #2
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Similar thread earlier this year, with a little info about rides & rentals

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nt-while-there

Cyclogist is out of business though. University Bike and Boulder Cycle Sport in Boulder are both options, I don't know what's in Loveland itself. You probably want to throw out any pride and get a compact double or triple on your rental bike, since you will be sucking wind coming up here from sea level.

In terms of clothing, yeah, both - pack at least full finger windproof gloves, real jacket, vest, arm & leg warmers, toe covers, base layer, beanie or headband, and a way to carry all that stuff b/c you'll be hot climbing and freeze on the descents. This coming weekend is still good for climbing, but you need to check point forecasts for the top elevation of your rides. By the weekend after, anything could be happening - snow to 70's. If you stay low you'll be in shorts, jersey vest & armwarmers.

RMCC is doing a couple of rides out of Loveland this Saturday, I may do the longer one, if you do it, look for me - short gal w/ a fuzzy ponytail on a black Scott.
http://www.rmccrides.com/schedulecurrent.html#oct

If you do that, make sure to get the map at the beginning, as it's not a no-drop ride. If your speeds are actually what you say you'll stay in the group, though. RMCC allows non-club-memebers to try their rides 3 times before joining, so check out their web site & feel free to join them.

Point forecast for the top of Rist Canyon = high point on the long RMCC ride. The short ride is much lower. CLick on the "hourly weather graph" link on that page and navigate to Saturday to see details - looks like warm and windy.
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick...0&unit=0&lg=en

Other good rides around Loveland are Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake - both lower but hilly, and if the weather is *really* good, you can ride up to Estes Park and maybe part way up Trail Ridge Road - but seriously check the weather forecast and dress for the worst-case scenario if you go up there, it has already snowed at higher elevations. Or from Ft Collins you can go up Poudre Canyon for an out-and-back on a mild climb with increasingly nice scenery.
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Old 10-11-11, 10:02 AM   #3
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Ride to Estes Park via US34 to Drake, then Co Rd 43. The traffic on US34 shouldn't be too bad this time of year, especially if you ride during the week, and it has a good shoulder most of the way.
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Old 10-11-11, 10:26 AM   #4
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great tips, both of you. thanks

Especially the detail on the RMCC rides!

I'll see how I'm feeling Thur/Fri about whether to tackle the Saturday ride -- and thanks for the heads up. I think my flat group speed estimates are about right, then again, I don't have my own computer and have just asked others what we're doing when we're flying along. If I can't hang, I'll get spit out. That's fair enough.

thanks,
Jeff
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Old 10-11-11, 08:41 PM   #5
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paul's bicycle in denver rents decent bikes http://www.paulscyclery.com/services/rental.html
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Old 10-12-11, 08:26 AM   #6
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http://www.newworldsportsllc.com/

bike rentals and tours in Ft collins, just north of Loveland.
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Old 10-12-11, 09:46 AM   #7
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The Rist Canyon ride traditionally has a good turnout, and with the weather forecast what it is, I imagine it may be even better. I think I better print out plenty-o-maps. I really need to duck in here more often. Thank you for the RMCC shout-outs, valygrl.
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Old 10-12-11, 10:15 AM   #8
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Yeah LAJ, maybe meet you IRL this weekend, if I haven't already and just don't know it!
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Old 10-12-11, 11:18 AM   #9
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For sure valygrl! I look forward to it.
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Old 10-12-11, 07:39 PM   #10
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Think I may have to give that RMCC ride a serious look with the weekend forecast. Plus it will be nice to change up the scenery a little and meet some new people since I'm new here myself.

LAJ is the map available to be uploaded into a Garmin anywhere?
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Old 10-14-11, 06:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by af2nr View Post
Think I may have to give that RMCC ride a serious look with the weekend forecast. Plus it will be nice to change up the scenery a little and meet some new people since I'm new here myself.

LAJ is the map available to be uploaded into a Garmin anywhere?
PM me, af2nr. I just received the map last night.
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Old 10-14-11, 06:42 PM   #12
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PM sent LAJ. I plan to be there tomorrow, I'll be on a white Cervelo RS with a foreign kit to these areas.
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Old 10-15-11, 07:13 PM   #13
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Nice ride today LAJ, in a sick sort of way! It hurt but I made it. Need to do more hill climbing at altitude obviously. Plus I got to see a couple crazy guys skateboarding down Rist as we were going up, now that is CRAZY! Thanks again!
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Old 10-15-11, 09:33 PM   #14
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It was my pleasure, af2nr. It was great to meet a couple good BF folks, such as you, and jtbooth. Nutjobs aplenty, no matter where one goes, eh? Make a person wonder what kind of wheels and bearings those things run.

Again, thank you for joining us today.
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Old 10-15-11, 11:20 PM   #15
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How was the wind on top of Rist? I chickened out / couldn't bring myself to drive to start the ride. Just rode from home in Boulder. I was across the street from the store at the Marina at Carter Lake when there was a big group there - was that any of you?
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Old 10-16-11, 06:40 AM   #16
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Hiya valygrl,

The wind was acceptable compared to the forecast. I looked at a few services, and most said the wind would be "decent" till later. But, the Horsetooth section did have some of those annoying gusts that filter down from the hills. I believe most went the full route, so it must have been another crowd that you saw. It really was a nice day to ride, and a shame you couldn't make it. But, I do understand, as that's quite a trek up to the ride start.
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