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  1. #1
    Playing catch up Mayday.JP's Avatar
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    Visiting Fort Collins. Questions

    So I'll be visiting something friend in Fort Collins (loveland actually) and noticed that Cheyenne, WY is pretty nearby. I want to do a ride from Fort Collins to Cheyenne and Maybe back depending on the distance. The questions i have are:

    1. Is this possible and if so, what routes?
    2. How much climbing is there between these cities and what are the grades and difficulties?
    3. What is the general acceptance of cyclists in that area and how are the roads?

    I'm thinking we will be there maybe around mid to late april or early may. What would the weather be like then?

    Thanks!!
    -Jerry

  2. #2
    mje
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    Google bike directions gives a route just off the interstate. I think I'd rather ride county road 9 instead of the frontage road. There are no paved roads north of Buckeye road other than I-25, so you need to be comfortable riding on dirt or the shoulder of the interstate. Riding the interstate is allowed from there (mm 288) north. You'll be entirely in the prairie, so grades are minimal. Fort Collins and vicinity is very bicycle friendly. I can't speak to Cheyenne.

    That time of year can be gorgeous, or it can be snowing, most likely somewhere in between with highs probably in the 60s. It will likely be windy, more so as you get toward Wyoming.

  3. #3
    Playing catch up Mayday.JP's Avatar
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    What is the traffic like on that interstate? And how are the grades going back to fort collins?
    -Jerry

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    mje
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    Traffic is fast, but not as heavy as farther south. With fast truck traffic and high winds, I wouldn't ride that way unless I had to. Cheyenne is a thousand feet higher than Ft Collins, so you'd have a slight downhill on average on the return.

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    I-25 is prohibited for much of that.

    Check out the state bike maps, you can order a paper version.
    http://www.coloradodot.info/programs...bicycling-maps
    http://www.dot.state.wy.us/wydot/dot...strian_bicycle

    It will be windy. Probably West or Northwest. Probably gusty and strong. Terrain is gentle but Cheyenne is about 1500 feet higher than Loveland, and scenery is desolate/boring.

    I would not ride that. There are so many awesome places to ride around Loveland/Ft. Collins. Ride around there, and do whatever your business is in Cheyenne by car.
    ...

  6. #6
    Playing catch up Mayday.JP's Avatar
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    I was hoping to ride from Ft Collins to Cheyenne just for the adventure of saying I rode across state lines on my bike. Seems like It's not being advised as such a good idea. So, if the ride to cheyenne is not advised, what are some other good, not too brutal rides in the area? I'm thinking maybe between 40-60 miles, some climbing and definitely some awesome scenery
    -Jerry

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    Ah, that makes sense!

    Generally (and this will be obvious once you get there) - the further west you go the less populated, more hilly and better riding. I would stay west of Taft Rd. in order to stay out of busier traffic.

    Here are a couple suggestions. The first one fits your needs best, but the others are really good so I thought I would just tell you about them, in case you feel like a harder adventure.

    http://goo.gl/maps/qkm43 - the part south of points A to E I would call "carter lake" loop - the eastern part of the loop is quite flat, the western part has one actual climb that takes me about 15-20 minutes, the steep part (switchbacks left of point C) takes less than 10 minutes, so not epic. You can avoid the climb by cutting east on CR12 just north of Point B. There is a little store at Point E with limited hours, and a portapotty across the street behind the wierd Harley store. Points E-F is beautiful and rolling. If it's under construction (there was a bridge out last time I was there), just use Glade Road a little to the East, that is not bad, just not quite as beautiful. The north part of this ride I would call "horsetooth loop." From point G to H there are 3 big, steep rollers on the shore of Horsetooth Reservoir. They are not long, but they are hard. The descents are fast and smooth, but watch for a couple of cattle guards. If you don't want to do them, just head down east from Point G. So basically, you can do this whole ride, or just do the north or south loops seperately. If you want more riding on Carter Lake loop but not more climbing, from point G just head south to Hygiene, with a jog right at Woodland Road. There is a cute grocery in Hygiene with home made baked goods and you will see a billion cyclists. And you can just out-and-back to there if you really want it to be flat.

    http://goo.gl/maps/zXfv4 - if the weather is good and you feel up to a climb, consider going to Estes Park. The north fork of this lollypop route is Devil's Gulch Road, it is beautiful and has no traffic, but you pay the price with a short but steep climb after Glen Haven (home of cinnamon rolls the size of your head, don't eat the whole thing or you might see it again on the switchbacks that start in 5 minutes). Estes Park is a tourist town, gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and has every kind of service you might need. If you have extra time and energy, you can ride into the park, but thePersonally I do this as an out-and-back on Devil's Gulch Road, but you can use Hwy 34 to return with a lot less climbing (both ways) and a hundred times more traffic.

    http://goo.gl/maps/kwWBR - If you have a lot of time and ambition, the weather is perfect, you can do this loop through Lyons (all services) with a lot of climbing, up to 9100 feet at Allenspark, and spectacular views of Longs Peak. Bring warm clothes and gloves for the descents.

    http://goo.gl/maps/F4yAS finally, this one is definitely "too brutal" but the scenery is great (or at least, it used to be great, it burned down last year so it might be great and very sad at the same time) - the north road is Rist Canyon, it goes up gradually forever then goes to a few very very steep sections near the top, then descends exceedingly steeply to meet Buckhorn. Buckhorn (=Stove Prarie) descends in steep stairsteps back to Masonville (that little store) and then you can get back to town or turn off for the brutal rollers next to Horsetooth. an out-and-back on either Rist or Buckhorn would be a nice ride, if the loop is too much. This one tops out at about 8000 feet. If you do it clockwise, and do the whole loop, the exceedingly steep descent on Rist becomes an exceedingly steep climb in this direction - bring your granny.

    For all these rides, watch the weather, bring descending clothes including at LEAST a light rain/wind jacket and long finger gloves, and be prepared to turn around if the weather goes bad, descending in the cold rain is terrible and you can be hypothermic in no time.
    ...

  8. #8
    mje
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Here are a couple suggestions.
    Seconded. All excellent routes. Way better than riding to Wyoming.

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayday.JP View Post
    I was hoping to ride from Ft Collins to Cheyenne just for the adventure of saying I rode across state lines on my bike. Seems like It's not being advised as such a good idea. So, if the ride to cheyenne is not advised, what are some other good, not too brutal rides in the area? I'm thinking maybe between 40-60 miles, some climbing and definitely some awesome scenery
    I don't think that riding from Ft Collins to Cheyenne is ill advised. Riding on the shoulder of an Interstate is safe as long as you stay on the shoulder. The shoulder is about 11 feet wide...another car lane...but it can be loud. If you want to skip the Interstate traffic, go east to Nun and follow US 85 to Cheyenne. It's not that much of a detour.

    Alternatively, you could take US 287 from Ft Collins to Laramie. It's more mountainous and longer...65 miles instead of 50 miles. Going out to US85 and going north adds 10 miles to Cheyenne
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    I 25 is not legal for bikes. If you were to choose to ride it (with the 75mph-95mph traffic), it would be advisable to exit at every exit and then get back on, because it wouldn't be safe to cross the exits.

    I agree 287 to Laramie is a better idea than Cheyenne, but it's still not a good ride, it's just ok. I have some friends that do that ride every year, some of them regularly say they will never do it again. I have never joined them. I've driven it, it's not appealing to me.

    With all the fantastic riding around here, there's just no reason to do either of those rides, unless it's more important to "say you crossed a state line" than to "have a fun and enjoyable bike ride."
    ...

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I 25 is not legal for bikes. If you were to choose to ride it (with the 75mph-95mph traffic), it would be advisable to exit at every exit and then get back on, because it wouldn't be safe to cross the exits.

    I agree 287 to Laramie is a better idea than Cheyenne, but it's still not a good ride, it's just ok. I have some friends that do that ride every year, some of them regularly say they will never do it again. I have never joined them. I've driven it, it's not appealing to me.

    With all the fantastic riding around here, there's just no reason to do either of those rides, unless it's more important to "say you crossed a state line" than to "have a fun and enjoyable bike ride."
    Sorry but only sections of I-25 are closed to bikes. North of Exit 288, I-25 is open to bicycles. The Interstates are open to bicycles when an alternative route does not exist within a specified distance. And US85 east of the I-25 corridor is a viable alternative.

    As for a 'fun and enjoyable bike ride' that's in the eye of the beholder. All too often we concentrate on the mountainous part of Colorado and forget the plains part. In April or May, the plains part has it's own beauty.

    And don't discount crossing a state line. Without that drive, I'd not have thought to ride in Arkansas or Tennessee or Georgia or Ohio or many of the other 42 states that I've ridden in. Some are duds, although I can't think of one right now, but others are surprising. Even Kansas and Nebraska, our much maligned neighbors to the east, have breathtakingly beautiful places to ride in.
    Stuart Black
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    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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    OK. I don't really want to argue with you. Your posts are often full of useful information. In this case, I disagree.
    ...

  13. #13
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    Cyccommute is correct about I-25 north of exit 288. I've seen the signs.
    2013 Ritchey Road Logic
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  14. #14
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    I just saw that http://yourgroupride.com has a lot of routes on the Road Rides tab.
    ...

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