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  1. #1
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    Possibly relocating to Fort Collins - how is mtn biking?

    I was hoping some Fort Collins locals could give me some feedback on the quality/quantity of the mountain biking near town (I'm thinking of relocating there from the east coast). Also, how is the cycling scene in general (lots of people riding? commuting? shops? bike culture?)? Most importantly, are there attractive 20-30 something females in town? How would you juxtapose Ft Collins vrs Boulder? Thanks for any and all input!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C Boston
    I was hoping some Fort Collins locals could give me some feedback on the quality/quantity of the mountain biking near town (I'm thinking of relocating there from the east coast). Also, how is the cycling scene in general (lots of people riding? commuting? shops? bike culture?)? Most importantly, are there attractive 20-30 something females in town? How would you juxtapose Ft Collins vrs Boulder? Thanks for any and all input!
    I'll leave the women & comparisons to Boulders for others....

    The mtn biking is abundant, essentially year-round with the exception of a few snowy stretches, and generally excellent. Lots of bikers and a community that is more than gracious.
    As for shops...I wouldn't know aside from Mountain High Cyclery. Who needs anything more?

    I moved from Vermont last year. You'll find the terrain to be quite different from the East Coast, but equally good in different ways.

  3. #3
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    There's about 6 xc trails that you can ride to from town. And easily two dozen more with in an hours drive. There is a large group of xc and road with a growing group of dirt jumpers, downhiller/freeriders and trials riders. There is a good amount of commuters in the non-winter months, but not enough. Major roads have a bike lane, and there is 2 or 3 cross city paved trails. There are more 18-24 females than 25-30 do to the univ. but still a good amount. And there is an active night life for a city that size.

    Boulder has better urban riding, and just as many trails, maybe a bit more, but more of the big city problems than Fort Collins. Mainly too many people in a small area.
    But this might be what you are looking for.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C Boston
    I was hoping some Fort Collins locals could give me some feedback on the quality/quantity of the mountain biking near town (I'm thinking of relocating there from the east coast). Also, how is the cycling scene in general (lots of people riding? commuting? shops? bike culture?)? Most importantly, are there attractive 20-30 something females in town? How would you juxtapose Ft Collins vrs Boulder? Thanks for any and all input!
    FT collins has excellent biking...also, closer to Wyoming for other options and you can go west and explore some goodies. Of course there are women since Colorado State is there, but keep your grubby hands of my niece whos is in Animal sciences. Ft collins is also a little cheaper than Boulder.

    The disadvantages are, the airport is farther, which IMO, is already far enough from Boulder. Access to I-70 for skiing and Fruita/Moab trips is farther too. The extra hour really makes single day ski days a pain.

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    "Boulder has....just as many trails"

    "Boulder has.....just as many trails, maybe a bit more" I've heard people from Boulder complain about access issues, and that nearby singletrack is all but non-existant???



    Quote Originally Posted by bikecruz
    There's about 6 xc trails that you can ride to from town. And easily two dozen more with in an hours drive. There is a large group of xc and road with a growing group of dirt jumpers, downhiller/freeriders and trials riders. There is a good amount of commuters in the non-winter months, but not enough. Major roads have a bike lane, and there is 2 or 3 cross city paved trails. There are more 18-24 females than 25-30 do to the univ. but still a good amount. And there is an active night life for a city that size.

    Boulder has better urban riding, and just as many trails, maybe a bit more, but more of the big city problems than Fort Collins. Mainly too many people in a small area.
    But this might be what you are looking for.

  6. #6
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    I'd say Fort Collins definitely has better biking, since I've heard there is very little biking around Boulder (I'm probably wrong though). Horsetooth is a pretty big area, with nice trails, and trails like Halls Ranch and Devil's Backbone aren't too far away. There are an abundance of bike shops, with each of them seeming to have their own different....... specialties (for lack of a better word). There is a pretty big cycling scene in my opinion also. I think this is a great place to be a biker, IMHO. From what I've seen, there are plenty of beautiful women here, although I tend to look for girls younger then that, so maybe you shouldn't listen to me. Oh yea, FTC also has the highest amount of restaurants per capita in the country. Can't go wrong with that.

  7. #7
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    I think the topography of Boulder creates that sense that there are not trails close to town. Since the Flatirons jut right up from the plains, riding up and over to White Ranch (or is it Walker? Don't remember) is a beeotch. But if you're okay with driving a little, there is plenty of riding close to Boulder both N and S of the city, as well as W. But, it seems to me, that Boulder has a larger roadie community than the Fort. And it's far more expensive. It seems like they get more snow, too, but it's hard to say.

    Also, Fort Collins and Larimer County have some big trails projects in the works that, I think, will make it one of the premier areas in the state to ride. But, like everything, that's open to debate!

    Socially, the closer you get to Denver, the more liberal it becomes, so that is all an element of your personality.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C Boston
    "Boulder has.....just as many trails, maybe a bit more" I've heard people from Boulder complain about access issues, and that nearby singletrack is all but non-existant???
    Non-existant? I wouldn't go that far. I think it is just perspective.

    Does Golden have better/more trails than Boulder? I think so.
    Is the mountain biking in Boulder terrible? I don't think so.

    I work downtown Boulder. I can be at Betasso in about 10-15 minutes, and it suffices nicely for a lunch ride. Heil Ranch is also close enough for a lunch ride. Walker is also here, and Hall Ranch isn't too far either. And in the summer there are lots of other places up by Nederland to ride.

  9. #9
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    I'll have to be brutally honest and say Fort Collins is WAAAAY better for bike riding (road, Mountain and motorcycle) than Boulder area. I moved to Fort Collins from Atlanta area in 1999 and basically moved and slept on my best friend's couch here while I looked for jobs in Boulder. I SO wanted to live in Boulder, or so I though when I initially moved to Colorado. I also had a friend from college that lived in Boulder off of Valmont, so I spent many a weekend with him riding Hall, White, and Walker ranch. Boulder is a cool town if you are into "hanging out in town." For two months I drove down to Boulder every other day to interview, hang out, drink beer, etc (Mind you i'm 24 at the time.) I didn't like driving to CROWDED trails. And that was almost 6 years ago. I haven't been to Hall since then. Boulder has a large cycling community both Road and MTB, but the way the city was designed they are "locked in" and there is a lot of little communities around the city which makes it difficult to get out in the countryside. Not the case with Fort Collins. There is a ton of open roads with little traffic up here...great for road riding if you are into that.

    So I basically took all of 1999 OFF from work and hung out. I ended up really liking the Fort Collins town, feel, riding, and activities. I got a job in August of 1999 in Fort Collins kinda by accident and have been with the same company ever since. I bought a house 3/4 mile away from the foothill trails which take you up to the Horestooth trail network if you have heard of those. I am 1/4 of a mile from the Spring creek trail which I take 7 miles and have to go through one intersection to get to work. You can ride anywhere in Fort Collins to get anywhere. There are 3 big road rides per week - one out of the south Lee's bike shop Saturday at 10:00 (15-40 people...pretty mellow but 40-80 miles) the CSU Oval ride (local pro's and hammerheads 10-30 people 60-100 miles) and the Wednesday Night Worlds which meets at the Budweiser Plant frontage road at wed. 5:00 during daylight savings hours which is basically a free race at cat 1,2,3 pace for 50 miles.

    Like other have said, Fort Collins has a ton of mtb riding from town depending on your ability and willingness to ride a long ways. I can ride from my house, up the local foothill trails to Horsetooth/Lory State Park, ride 40 miles of singletrack, and ride home without putting my bike on my car. We;ve taken the bikes off our vehicles if that gives you any indication of how much we use our cars to transport the bikes. (hey, it saves gas to take that thing off.) If Horsetooth/Lory state park get old, we have the Poudre Canyon just north of us and have Youngs/Hewlett's/Dadd Gulch 1/2 drive and the Never Summer area up near Cameron Pass about 1.5 hours north. Estes Park is 40 minutes west too, and there is a ton of riding there. Loveland has a popular trail called Devils Backbone which is dry 48 weeks out of the year. A short loop, but it is fun for Loveland locals and even Boulderites who get tired of the Hall traffic. There are big plans for a connection of Devils Backbone with Horsetooth in the future which will be AWESOME.

    25,000 students go to CSU. Many tend to stay after they graduate they like this town so much. As a result, the job market is pretty tough unless you specialize in something or are bringing your job with you. I can tell you there is a lot of skin on the bike path during nice winter days and there are a lot of opportunities to meet athletic women.

    Obviously i'm a bit biased, but I did spend a lot of time in and around Boulder in the summer of 1999. I got a good feel for the area and did like it - but I liked FTC better from a quality of living standpoint. I commute to work, bought a 2000 sq/ft house in town for $210K (try that in Boulder county), and rarely drive my car. We've got a Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Sunflower Market, 2 Home Depots, 2 Wal-Marts, a Target, etc. and a HUGE Mall just breaking ground off of I-25 in Loveland...so we have the major shopping covered. The only downside as Lidarman mentioned is we are an hour north of Denver/Boulder...so if you ski plan on 2.5 hours of driving each way on Saturday or Sunday morning. We have a kid now, so my skiing is limited to a 4-pass to Copper during a weekday so it isn't so bad. Snowy Range in Wyoming is 1.5 hours north which is amazing on a powder day, and Zero traffic. And with 470 now open, I can make it to DIA in 50 minutes which isn't bad...considering it took me longer to get to the Atlanta airport and I lived just 16 miles north of town when I lived there.

    Here are some helpful links about the area. Good luck, Colorado is great with 309 sunny days per year.

    http://www.ci.fort-collins.co.us/
    http://www.ci.fort-collins.co.us/bicycling/
    http://resourceanalysis.com/cdroms/fcatrails.html (if you move here)
    http://www.co.larimer.co.us/parks/Htmp.htm
    The Horsetooth link above and the Lory Link below are FTC's best riding from in-town. They actually border together and offer probably over 75 miles of singletrack.
    http://www.stateparks.com/lory.html
    http://www.bikeparts.com/trails/ftcollins.html

    Oh yea, Wyoming is just up the road. A whole new state with countless singletrack just north of FTC...
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    I'll have to be brutally honest and say Fort Collins is WAAAAY better for bike riding (ect)...

    Whoa! Are you trying to get people to move here?

    OP, Fort Collins sucks and there is no riding here. If you must move to CO, go to Boulder.


  11. #11
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    I've got some time to edit it down still...
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  12. #12
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    I'm also moving to Fort Collins next year for college, but I also looked at Boulder, and to my parents dismay, one of my major factors definitely is bike shops, bikers, and bike trails within a great vicinity of the colleges. My sister goes to CSU Fort Collins so I visit a lot and I'd like to say that there's some awesome riding there in the trails, and most of the roads have WIDE shoulders, great for road riding. Boulder biking, on the other hand, has only happened once. It's just not as much fun, the people or the trails. Also, if you're EXTREME liberal, go to Boulder, if you're just Liberal or Conservative or don't care, go for Fort Collins, those people are more fun.

    The bottom line is this: The biking is what you make of it, the people are not your choice, unfortunately. If you get a chance, come get to know CO, cause it's great for biking and the other outdoor sports you might be interested in. You'll love it no matter where you end up. Good luck with your choice.
    "Sorry." John Belushi, Animal House

  13. #13
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    depends...

    I have lived in FC for almost 8 years. I find the riding here to be outstanding - lots of stellar mt biking close by and almost year-round. The road biking is awesome, too. Flats, rollers, hills whatever and easy to quickly get out of town onto lonely roads. I commute 7 miles each way to work on either bike paths or nice bike lanes.

    That said, I really enjoy Boulder. Boulder is especially nice in regards to road biking and hills with multiple huge canyons and climbs right from the edge of town. Mt biking is ample, but (as is it's reputation) you have to drive a little b/c most of the city mountain parks system is closed to bikes. (Excellent for hiking and trail running, tho).

    Boulder has a busier, bigger city feel than FC. It a good bit "cooler" and definitely more expensive. Depends on what floats your boat. Me: I prefer to live in FC and visit Boulder.

    As a teaser, I'll attempt to attach a few pictures from my ride last night on the outskirts of Fort Collins.
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  14. #14
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    Dino,

    East Shoreline up from Pine Ridge?
    Haven't done that one in awhile. Looks plenty dry.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    FT collins has excellent biking...also, closer to Wyoming for other options and you can go west and explore some goodies.
    hey lidarman...

    what rides would you recommend that are close in wyoming?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    Dino,

    East Shoreline up from Pine Ridge?
    Haven't done that one in awhile. Looks plenty dry.

    I started at Michaud Ln, then rode Shoreline south, then dipped down the A-trail to the water tank. Trail conditions were perfect -- dry and tacky. Enjoy it while you can, it's March which usually means rain and snow.

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    Thanks for all the great advice....

    Hey thanks everyone for all of the great advice. I've actually done some riding in Lory's & Horsetooth, and I've done Young's gulch up in Poudre. I just wanted to get some perspective on mtn biking in FTC overall. I live in Boston and the riding and bike scene are great. I presume my Turner XCE will be a good chasis for CO riding. Thx again.

  18. #18
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    Is the Mule deer carcass still up there? A few weeks ago right above the lookout where that first pic was taken (above the old motocross track) there was like a 12 point mule deer that was obviously taken down by a mtn. lion. I came up to it maybe 8 hours after the kill and there was the head, spine, and some fur. The deer put up a HUGE fight. Last week there was some random bones and it looked like the coyotes and fox cleaned it up pretty good though. The deer was so big I don't think the lion could move it. Pretty weird riding up on that...
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  19. #19
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    Not even close. You need to come up here so I can show you some of the good trails close to FTC. You can park at my house and we can ride from here.

    We should do a ride this weekend if anyone is free...Saturday morning looks pretty nice....
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    Not even close. You need to come up here so I can show you some of the good trails close to FTC. You can park at my house and we can ride from here.

    We should do a ride this weekend if anyone is free...Saturday morning looks pretty nice....
    You talkin' to me?
    I don't see no one else here so you must be talkin' to me.

    Not even close? I nailed it exactly. That's east shoreline.

    Thanks for the offer, but heading up to Vail this weekend. The snow beckons. Maybe next week, but no complaining since you're on a SS .

    Maybe next week.

  21. #21
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    Cool. No SS for me...I gots the 100mm Reba, gears, 26 psi, and 29" wheels right now.

    The first pic was actually taken at the top of Michaud Lane...which is on the north end and opposite side of the road from shoreline and the opposite end of the reservoir from East Shoreline up from Pine Ridge...but the last pic was taken on shoreline close to the Maxwell/water tank/fence descent so you were partially right.

    Pineridge....the west side by the trees has been closed a lot lately since it doesn't get much afternoon sun and is getting pretty torn up since people seem to be poaching it even though it is closed/muddy. It sure is fun when it's open and/or snowpacked though!

    Anyone notice how much water they've been pumping into the res lately? One of my co-workers will finally actually get to use his boat that he's been paying for 4 years on now this year it looks like....
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  22. #22
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    I've ridden Michaud too. Great night ride.
    I tend to just lump that entire ride together & call it Shoreline.
    what I've done is start from Pine, then up the A behind the stadium, north on shoreline then down to Michaud & loop it all the way back in reverse.

    I live on Boyd Lake and they filled it this past October. The water is a good 100 yards closer to my house now than it was over the summer. Hopefully the folks out in Greeley won't drain it all come this summer.

  23. #23
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    ya man fort collins is pretty badass. im 16 and ride dh and ive lived here about 5 years. you got some real chill guys running bike shops like road 34 first off (www.road34.com). then you got tons of partys and i wont deny all the hot college chicks around. then as far as riding, you got lots of sweet trails including maxwell, shoreline, michaud, pineridge, lory, horsetooth, coyote ridge, devils backbone, and if you ride dh/fr ill show you a couple extras .

    feel free to shoot me a pm anytime

    -ben

  24. #24
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    moutain lion takes down mule deer...

    you guys ever run into a mountain lion while riding? riding solo a bad idea?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C Boston
    you guys ever run into a mountain lion while riding? riding solo a bad idea?
    maybe deeper in on anywhere east of horsetooth i wouldnt

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim C Boston
    you guys ever run into a mountain lion while riding? riding solo a bad idea?
    Yea, you'll definately encounter mountain lions around here, especially up the Poudre, but don't worry, that's what the good-ole colt 45 is for.
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  27. #27
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    I haven't seen a mtn lion yet in 5 years of riding in CO. Unless your a 50lb kid or look like a deer I'd say your pretty save.

  28. #28
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    there's definitely some up there

    Quote Originally Posted by bikecruz
    I haven't seen a mtn lion yet in 5 years of riding in CO. Unless your a 50lb kid or look like a deer I'd say your pretty save.


    the one I saw was quite large,scary, and beautiful at the same time. I still enjoy riding alone at night, but I try to be more aware of my surroundings than I used to be. I might be riding up there this eve. after my daughters parent teacher conf(about 8) if anyone wants to meet up around Michaud for a couple hr spin.



    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...highlight=migz

  29. #29
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    heres some pics of riding around here...

    the lake you see in them is badass, 7 miles long, its the place to be during the summer, wakeboarding, partying, fishin, camping
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    Last edited by bentimby; 03-03-2005 at 09:03 PM.

  30. #30
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    You launched that!

    Quote Originally Posted by bentimby
    heres some pics of riding around here...

    the lake you see in them is badass, 7 miles long, its the place to be during the summer, wakeboarding, partying, fishin, camping
    Wow, must say I'm impressed that you launched the top of shoreline. I've wanted to do that but the consequences of a mistake seem a little too severe. I figure I'd end up eating the rock face just below, that and my bike's rigid front and back. Peeps are usually surprised that I ride the staircase but launching the drop is a whole nother matter.

    Is the first pic the old A trail? I used to ride that often before thay put up the barracades - bastards. Why do they have to reclaim every damn centimeter of spur trails? So have you done it recently? Is vegetation reclaiming it?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentimby
    heres some pics of riding around here...

    the lake you see in them is badass, 7 miles long, its the place to be during the summer, wakeboarding, partying, fishin, camping

    I love that drop in your last photo but it scares me. I've never been brave enough to take the line you are taking...always take the stepped one to the rider's right which is actually probably more dangerous. You are cool.

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    Nice...I use to roll the drop he's launching when I first moved here 6 years ago...but had one face plant 3-4 years ago and chicken out and ride the steps down now.

    His first picture posted really gives the perspective of how close our trails are to town. That rock garden there use to be pretty buff w/ 5 or 6 rocks poking through...now it is pretty tought to climb.

    I can't wait until summer!
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  33. #33
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    First one Maxwell?

    I've lost more skin on that trail than any other. Only because it's about 10 min. from my house via Pine Ridge though. Seriously, I'm pretty lame on technical stuff so Maxwell is about as tough as it gets for me. There is still one section (the 'nasty' as my buddy calls it) that I can't seem to clean.

    I agree to everything everyone has said. My impression is that Boulder has more of a 'scene' for road bikers; i.e. more shops, more pros, etc. But the MTB in FC/Loveland would be tough to beat. My personal favorite these days is becoming Coyote Ridge. If they connect Devil's BB/Coyote/HT/Lory.... that would be epic. All of it w/o over getting in my car.

    j

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by j-dawg
    I've lost more skin on that trail than any other. Only because it's about 10 min. from my house via Pine Ridge though. Seriously, I'm pretty lame on technical stuff so Maxwell is about as tough as it gets for me. There is still one section (the 'nasty' as my buddy calls it) that I can't seem to clean.

    I agree to everything everyone has said. My impression is that Boulder has more of a 'scene' for road bikers; i.e. more shops, more pros, etc. But the MTB in FC/Loveland would be tough to beat. My personal favorite these days is becoming Coyote Ridge. If they connect Devil's BB/Coyote/HT/Lory.... that would be epic. All of it w/o over getting in my car.

    j
    Anybody been on Coyote Ridge lately? Seems like it's one of the last to dry out.

  35. #35
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    We are going to connect it and all the way up to Horsetooth. You, me and every biker willing to volunteer this spring...

    Tell 'em Squeak...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad1433
    We are going to connect it and all the way up to Horsetooth. You, me and every biker willing to volunteer this spring...

    Tell 'em Squeak...
    I volunteer.

  37. #37
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    Chad's right.

    Devil's Backbone is being connected to both Coyote to the northeast and up to Horesetooth to the North. Estimates show completion perhaps by the end of this year, although I'm guessing it'll be more like next summer.
    The Mountain High Trail Association (MHTA) was formed this past fall partly in response to the modifications going on at Devil's Backbone and we plan on being an active particpant during the extension process.

    Drop me a private message if you'd like more info or would like to join MHTA. There's lots of good benefits like riding with good dudes, sharing trail tales and downing the occsasional malty beverage.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentimby
    heres some pics of riding around here...

    the lake you see in them is badass, 7 miles long, its the place to be during the summer, wakeboarding, partying, fishin, camping
    Those pictures you took look terrible!!
    Here's a better one:

    Does anyone know how many miles it would be from Devils Backbone over to Lory State Park on this proposed trail? That's an epic ride right there.
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    • File Type: jpg 95.jpg (187.5 KB, 329 views)
    <><

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dino
    Anybody been on Coyote Ridge lately? Seems like it's one of the last to dry out.
    i rode coyote ridge just last week, it was all dry, so id assume its the same with the weather we've had

  40. #40
    go big or go home
    Reputation: bentimby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pseudo intellectual
    Wow, must say I'm impressed that you launched the top of shoreline. I've wanted to do that but the consequences of a mistake seem a little too severe. I figure I'd end up eating the rock face just below, that and my bike's rigid front and back. Peeps are usually surprised that I ride the staircase but launching the drop is a whole nother matter.

    Is the first pic the old A trail? I used to ride that often before thay put up the barracades - bastards. Why do they have to reclaim every damn centimeter of spur trails? So have you done it recently? Is vegetation reclaiming it?
    last time i rode the A was about 2 months ago, was gonna the other day but spencers a law abiding citizen . But ya when i was there 2 months ago, it was starting to get grown over, im sure its only gotten worse, but whatever you can still see the trail enough to bomb it

  41. #41
    Buckle Up
    Reputation: WheelieMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentimby
    last time i rode the A was about 2 months ago, was gonna the other day but spencers a law abiding citizen . But ya when i was there 2 months ago, it was starting to get grown over, im sure its only gotten worse, but whatever you can still see the trail enough to bomb it
    This is the reason why the land management people don't like us. The best way to get more trails, is to comply with the law on the existing ones. The sooner everyone figures that out, the better. Please don't ride on trails that are shut-down, all it takes is for one angry hiker to see it and they will report it. And that certainly won't help the situation...
    <><

  42. #42
    go big or go home
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    Quote Originally Posted by WheelieMan
    This is the reason why the land management people don't like us. The best way to get more trails, is to comply with the law on the existing ones. The sooner everyone figures that out, the better. Please don't ride on trails that are shut-down, all it takes is for one angry hiker to see it and they will report it. And that certainly won't help the situation...
    what are they gonna shut down? they've already shut most down already. ill im doin is having fun, besides i see mostly hikers on that trail even now

  43. #43
    Time is not a road.
    Reputation: chad1433's Avatar
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    I'd be guessing, but Lory is 10 miles, front to back. Devils Backbone is probably 3.5 one-way and the sign on 287 from the fringe of Ft C. to Loveland says 7 miles. Throw in 3-5 miles for good measure and I'd say 23-25 miles, one way?

    And then we'll work on extending to Carter Lake, Rabbit Mtn, Hall, Heil, Walker and so on and so on and so on....

  44. #44
    I do small drops.
    Reputation: bikescars101's Avatar
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    Man, compared to down here in Monument, it sounds like you guys have some sick biking up there. I can't wait!
    "Sorry." John Belushi, Animal House

  45. #45
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    its not as good as you think it is...

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