Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fort Collins: Pineridge Natural Area

January came and went. It was a busy month. Besides looking for employment I did some traveling, snowshoeing, hiking, motorcycling…. but no bicycling.

A goathead got my tire and....

..... punctured my inner tube

My mountain bike sat in the garage the whole month of January, the back tire still flat since my last ride on December 25th. On that last ride in December my inner tube was punctured by a goathead, a particularly nasty seed that grows in abundance around here. Unfortunately goatheads are sharp enough to puncture a bicycle tire.

So with no more delays, today I was going to go out and get a new puncture resistant inner tube for my bike. After some research on the net and a phone call, I found out that it was going to cost just a bit more to bring the whole bike in and have them install the inner tube for me. Since I had to drive there anyway and I had no experience with installing inner tubes I decided to let the pros handle the whole thing.

With Fort Collins being a popular bike town and with so many bike shops nearby it was hard to choose a shop. I was told Performance Bicycle at Drake and Collage in Fort Collins was a good place to go. I was actually pleasantly surprised. I walked in, they did the install while I waited and in minutes I was on my way.

Since I had my bike with me, I decided to head over to Pineridge Natural Area, just a couple of miles down the road. It was a beautiful February day with temperatures in the middle 60’s.

Starting at the north side of Pineridge Natural Area

A t-shirt and a fleece pullover worked fine on this early February day with temps in mid 60's

Is that a bone?

Trail signs

I parked at the north end of the parking lot so I didn’t see the map of Pineridge Natural Area and the trails. I took my MTB out of the car and I headed around the park on the paved bicycle path. Then I saw the dirt trail and headed north. The dirt trail went up over the ridge. Since I have not been on dirt with this bike in such a long time I decided to ride a flat single track along the road that was probably used as a short cut to the trail. It didn’t go far, so I turned around and headed back up the trail and up to the ridge.

Single track short cut trail (left), the trail up to the Ridge (right)

Looking down at Fort Collins from the trail that goes up to the ridge

Unfortunately I could not ride up the ridge, I had to walk the bike. My legs aren‘t strong enough yet to get me up any kind of inclines. I rode the rocky Ridge Trail, since I’m not used to riding on dirt, riding on top of these rocks was weird. I came done the other side of the ridge and headed north on the Valley Trail.

Up on the Ridge Trail

On the Ridge Trail looking at two bicyclists riding the Valley Trail down below

Lots of rocks on the Ridge Trail

The Valley Trail was more enjoyable for me. It was flat and wide with some nice scenery. I rode a bit north, turned around headed south. Walked my bike up to the Ridge Trail and rode that trail further south to the south side of the Pineridge Natural Area. Then back on the paved bicycle trail to my car.

On the Valley Trail heading north

Two riders on the Valley Trail

A little mud on Valley Trail

Some nice scenery winter along Valley Trail

Looking at a rider on the Ridge Trail from the Valley Trail

I’m not sure about my mileage today, maybe 4 miles. Riding in the dirt was definitely harder then riding on pavement. What I realized today is that I need to get my legs stronger before I do any more inclines or rough trails. Other then that, the Pineridge Natural Area is awesome and I can’t wait to come back and ride more of the trails here.

A map of Pineridge Natural Area

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Slime those tires!