Monday, March 31, 2014

Just Enjoying!

When I get to this time of the year any old ride is welcome. As always, winter drags on so when a nice day pops up on a weekend we go!

A rare sight this year.....calm on Lake Estes as I pedal around the lake heading for US 34, Big Thompson Canyon, and eastward out of town. About 37 degrees but NO Wind!!
I was heading for Ft Collins to meet up with Kyle at his apartment. He had some things to do up here in Estes so I planned a shuttle ride back up in his truck.
If you want to see how the flood changed the canyon it is best to travel by bike so you have a chance to look around. There are places with little change and places with dramatic change. For instance here the water took away a large chunk of the mountain. That created a lot of material crashing downstream which caused so much havoc for the homes that were below this. Damaging most and completely wiping away some.
The Kiewit company has done a fantastic job of getting our road open and useable. They are a great company and now I am so happy for Matthew that he has accepted a position with them when he graduates this May.
I'm pretty sure this guy would have room for one more bike somewhere in the back!!
 I toodled on down the road. I was out pretty early so there was not much traffic going down, I was able to really enjoy the ride and looking about instead of just focusing on my rear view mirror to see what was overtaking me. I was also peeling layers and beanie. Big temp change between my house and the front range.
Got to the Narrows. It is hard to believe that the flood water was up to the road level and flowing over the top. It also dug the bottom of the river channel a little deeper. Considering that this has happened twice in the last 38 years it is now easy for me to see how geologic time works to create canyons.
I pop out of the bottom of the canyon into springtime world!!
They put up these signs after the flood and I am super irritated by them.
First off....No Shit!!! When do we not "Ride At Your Own Risk"
Why doesn't CDOT  put up a sign that says something like: "Bicycles may be present, Motorists Proceed With Caution"
Everybody shares the road and is looking out for each other, would be an ideal world.
I have had motorists mention that they interpret this to mean bicycles are not allowed. The reality is that since Kiewit  has worked on the road, it is actually better for bicycles than it was before flood. I can just see the ass hat after hitting a cyclist explaining that it really is not his fault because bicycles are not supposed to be on the road and the cyclist is riding "At His Own Risk"
Just pisses me off....
Alright, I'll get off my soapbox.

I turn off US 34 and head north to Masonville and climb up into Horsetooth for a little repeat of last weekends ride. It felt good to be hot and sweaty on a ride again. If I would of had some more bike storage on this bike I would have brought shorts and t-shirt.
I love the geology of this area. This band of red rock pops out of the mountain all up and down the front range. I know from way back when I took geology class that it has something to do with The Dakota Hogback formation. Another college class that I should have paid more attention in!!! I just thik it is cool the way the red rock drives out of the mountain and is a feature.

I was out of water because somewhere a water bottle bounced off my bike that I did not notice, but this was the top of the last climb before winding around the south end of Horsetooth reservoir on the road you see on the other side, and down to Ft. Collins.
I see now in the picture with the big earth mover I am missing a bottle, so I must have lost it early coming down the canyon. You can see up above the road over there the MTN bike single track. They have a system of MTN bike trail in and around Horsetooth that I will try sometime with Kyle.

That's it!! A good ride, about 3 hours of saddle time. Slowly building that saddle time for the long day ahead in Santa Fe!!
Everybody have a great week!


  1. Such beautiful scenery there. Interesting sign to say the least.

    1. Thanks for reading Randy!. I am on a new quest for the geocouching thanks to you!
      There have been some in the canyons below town for flood cleanup, but they are pretty sketchy after bouncing down through the flood water.

  2. Jim, oddly enough I also lost a water bottle on yesterday's ride (not that there was much water drinking going on) and I ALSO saw a "no bikes" sign on one of my favorite roads. The restriction is for commuting hours only but WTF? Not a trend I want to see growing...we are so hungry in these parts that the local politicos will kiss the ass of any corporation thinking of doing business around here. In this case it is Space X and we really need the jobs down at the Cape, but still...put in a bike trail or at least some wider shoulders.

    Water is amazing. The Pines flooded once many years ago and it was humbling to see how a little too much rain and too little drainage can get out of hand fast. Nothing like the heavy dramatics of the mountains, of course, but a flood's a flood.

    Looks like we're both getting some saddle time in lately. That's good. That's real good.


    1. Thanks TJ, Saddle time is a good thing.....allows my mental health to stay on the civilized side of the teeter-totter.

  3. Thanks for the photos of Fort Collins area and Estes. Brings back memories. I was last there about 12 years ago. Still have friends in Fort Collins. Hiked Horsetooth Mountain, camped in Estes hiked some more. Love your part of the world.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Annie. Yeah, I really like Ft. Collins. I went to school there and would live there if Estes Had not grabbed me those years ago!!

  4. Hey Jim nice shots, alot of your area looks like the Okanagan valley in the east part of washington state (it runs up into British Columbia). Those earth mover tires would make a helluva fat bike! When I looked at your picture of the road sign warning cyclist my first thoughts were actually on the lower part of the sign -Weight limit 40 tons" I was thinking "wait, are you calling me fat?"

    Glad you got out to enjoy the day. I signed up for to make sure I get back in the saddle this month.

    1. Thanks Ryan. I didn't know anything about that I checked out their site and I'll sign up next year. I have ridden to work these first two days of April but it is supposed to snow tonight and all through Thursday. April will be a tough month to get in all 30 days, traditionally our wettest (read snow!). Thanks for reading.

  5. ''Bicycles not recommended'': that sign wouldn't hold it overhere. What a scenery; when I want to see mountains and hills I have to ride away south or north at least 5 days, and that's what I'm gonna do 2 weeks from now.

    1. Henk, thanks for reading. Enjoy your trip! Another adventure for you.