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Old 07-02-13, 06:07 PM   #1
Less Stupid
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Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs?

I'm thinking about biking from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs in August, taking Highway 14 to 40. A couple questions:

1.) I'm a little bit nervous about the tiny shoulder on 14 through the Poudre Canyon. Has anyone ridden on this? Does traffic taper off as you get further from Fort Collins?

2.) Any suggestions for a halfway(ish) spot to stop & camp? My wife would be driving along the same route, so I wouldn't need to worry about hauling a bunch of gear over the continental divide, but we'd need to be able to park the car at night.

This will be my first major trek through the mountains, so any other info you could add would be much appreciated!
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Old 07-02-13, 11:41 PM   #2
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I'm thinking about biking from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs in August, taking Highway 14 to 40. A couple questions:

1.) I'm a little bit nervous about the tiny shoulder on 14 through the Poudre Canyon. Has anyone ridden on this? Does traffic taper off as you get further from Fort Collins?

2.) Any suggestions for a halfway(ish) spot to stop & camp? My wife would be driving along the same route, so I wouldn't need to worry about hauling a bunch of gear over the continental divide, but we'd need to be able to park the car at night.

This will be my first major trek through the mountains, so any other info you could add would be much appreciated!
1) theres basically no shoulder on 14,m but the good news is that cars are pretty used to cyclists up there and i cant say i;ve ever had any trouble, despite spending a considerable amount of time out that way. visibility is pretty good and in the few blind spots you can just take a line closer to the center and be seen a lot more readily. it opens up west of the Stove Prairie turnoff.

2) actually theres a KOA right near the western edge of the national forest thats about half way, pretty good stopping point. theres plenty of roadside camping/trailheads in the vinicity as well.

3) cameron pass is a really good idea for a first multi day pass ride. the grade in poudre is pretty mellow, and once youre over the top, the second half is mince high plains rollers with one little climb before a sweet descent into steamboat.

I know a lot of folks who make steamboat to FC an annual tradition. good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 07-03-13, 10:54 AM   #3
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1) theres basically no shoulder on 14,m but the good news is that cars are pretty used to cyclists up there and i cant say i;ve ever had any trouble, despite spending a considerable amount of time out that way. visibility is pretty good and in the few blind spots you can just take a line closer to the center and be seen a lot more readily. it opens up west of the Stove Prairie turnoff.

2) actually theres a KOA right near the western edge of the national forest thats about half way, pretty good stopping point. theres plenty of roadside camping/trailheads in the vinicity as well.

3) cameron pass is a really good idea for a first multi day pass ride. the grade in poudre is pretty mellow, and once youre over the top, the second half is mince high plains rollers with one little climb before a sweet descent into steamboat.

I know a lot of folks who make steamboat to FC an annual tradition. good luck, and keep us posted.
Awesome, thanks for the info Badhat!

I'm also noticing that there are some roads that might take me more directly west when 14 heads north to Walden...do you have any experience there? Also, what about Buffalo Pass vs. Rabbit Ears Pass? Looks like Buffalo might be steeper, but maybe less traffic?

It looks like I'm actually going to be leaving from Loveland, so now I have to decide between getting to 14 via Fort Collins (longer distance, more traffic, but less climbing) or via Stove Prairie (less traffic, shorter distance, more scenery, but more climbing). I think Stove Prarie has more going for it...
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Old 07-03-13, 11:55 AM   #4
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Awesome, thanks for the info Badhat!

I'm also noticing that there are some roads that might take me more directly west when 14 heads north to Walden...do you have any experience there? Also, what about Buffalo Pass vs. Rabbit Ears Pass? Looks like Buffalo might be steeper, but maybe less traffic?

It looks like I'm actually going to be leaving from Loveland, so now I have to decide between getting to 14 via Fort Collins (longer distance, more traffic, but less climbing) or via Stove Prairie (less traffic, shorter distance, more scenery, but more climbing). I think Stove Prarie has more going for it...
i love stove prairie.

my favorite local ride. its your call. i dont think cameron is very hard personally and split into two days youre still under 100 miles for the first day. i unfortunately cannot help you with buffalo pass.
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Old 07-03-13, 12:22 PM   #5
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Yeah, Stove Prairie is beautiful. I did it for the first time a few weeks ago. I was planning to loop around Horsetooth on the way back. After a good amount of climbing, I stopped for a snack break, thinking the worst was behind me. Then I got to Rist Canyon Rd. - HA! It's a good thing I missed the turn for Horsetooth after all that, because that climb wiped me out! I still had to deal with the wind in my face for 17 miles back to Loveland though...

Now that I know the turn, I'll probably do that loop a couple times to get ready for Steamboat.
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