Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ft Collins - Coyote Ridge

On Thursday, while in Longmont for a Doctor's appointment, we dropped off our bikes for servicing. First time since we bought them that we had them professionally maintainenced. And, boy, did they need it.

So Saturday we wanted to get back on them and go for a ride. We had seen signs for Coyote Ridge and decided to check it out. Ft Collins (and surrounding cities) has a lot of "Open Spaces" preserved. Generally speaking, it's space the city buys and keeps as is. They may put one or two trails for hikers or bikers, but otherwise it is intended to be left in its natural state. They are pockets of prairies or grasslands for the rabbits, prairie dogs, birds, and even larger mammals to always have available to them. The trail for Coyote Ridge is in one such open space. The trail from parking lot to top of ridge was only about two miles, but the last mile went up, up, up a loose-rock path. It was slow going and, in the dry air, you're throat burns from the breathing effort. Andy made it all the way up without walking, but unfortunately I got stuck twice and couldn't get started again on the steep slope because of the gravel and loose rock. So I had to walk a bit till the slope leveled slightly so my wheels could get a grip on something. Making it to the top was a real accomplishment for us flatlanders. We rode the ridge a little ways, stopped and enjoyed the views, and considered the connecting trail down into Rimrock Open Space. If we had gotten an earlier start (we are now in midday heat), we probably would've done it, even though that would've meant going down the other side of the ridge into a valley, following a loop trail that would bring us back up the ridge for another vertical climb. At this point, we were already eager for the downhill ride. Yee ha! It was a fast downhill ride. No pedalling required. Just brakes for control. Had to stand up, out of the seat, because of all of the rocks. After that fun ride, I thought about riding back up the hill just to go down again!

Later that night we took our new MP3 players out for a run. What a difference it makes...music to distract you and no extra weight to lug around. Should've made this purchase a long time ago. Oh well, we're cheap!

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