Ride the Rockies Day 6 Estes Park to Fort Collins
What a way to finish a week-long bicycle ride. Downhill and with the wind!
The day started earlier than I intended, however. There’s nothing like the crack of thunder to motivate you to get your tail out of a warm sleeping bag and pack away your tent quickly. Luckily, it passed to the south of us and we enjoyed another beautiful day in the mountains.
The fires and smoke in the air west of Fort Collins caused a minor adaptation of our route, but I wasn’t going to complain about it. I figured the 9 miles we lost would be a nice little jump-start to my drive home.
Before we started down, we had to get out of the bowl that Estes Park lies in. As we pedaled out of town, tourists were already gathering to watch the elk in the city park. I had seen them a couple of times before, so I didn’t stop for pictures, although I thought afterwards that I should have in case either of my two readers had never been to Estes Park before.
Anyway, our climb for the day was pretty gentle, covering a distance of nearly 7 miles before we started down Devils Gulch canyon. This had the tightest switchbacks of the trip on the way down, with one that was a complete 180 degrees. Needless to say, speed control was very necessary.
As we descended, I took a couple of quick peaks over my shoulder for a last glimpse of the mountains for this trip, but the 21 mile downhill required my focus and attention. The scenery was gorgeous, with rock bluffs on either side, but it didn’t feel prudent to stop for many pictures due to the narrow road and constant stream of cyclists.
As we continued our descent, we joined up with the Big Thompson River, and followed it’s course through the foothills to the city of Loveland. The last couple of miles into town were flat as a pancake, and the crosswind was not very fun. I was a little worried about that wind because I wasn’t sure where I was in relation to Fort Collins, and I knew I had a few more miles to travel. Luckily, those miles were with the wind!
As we pedaled across the open prairie between Loveland and Fort Collins, that wind made cruising at 25-30 mph a breeze!
I pulled into the finish line at Fort Collins at about 10:15 feeling very satisfied. It was a great week for me, but I was ready to head for home.
TWExplore posts in the same categories: bicycle, Cycling, Fitness, Ride the Rockies comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.