Monday, April 13, 2009

Fort Collins Bicycle Trails: West Poudre Trail

The snow and chill have finally been replaced by sunshine and warmth. It seems like it's been forever since I did something of significance outside. The last snow fall we got wasn't even good snow, it was wet and not much of it. After a few Winter months of mild and beautiful sunny weather, the last two weeks were sort of depressing. But today was finally going to be a warm day, in the mid 60’s.

Just like I did a few months ago when I started to ride the bicycle again, Mike had also started with some short rides -today he wanted to take a longer ride. The plan was to ride North, then East then West before turning around and riding home. The Fossil Creek Trail to Mason Trail to Spring Creek Trail. Then ride west on the Poudre Trail since I have ridden east before but never west.

Old bridge along the Poudre Trail

The plan was to ride back home the same way, but when Mike saw that nice twisty dirt short cut to the Power Trail from the Spring Creek Trail, we decided to take the Power Trail home, even though the trail ended just a bit north east of home. From there we would have to ride streets to get home, which is not a problem here in Fort Collins since most streets have a bicycle lane. I even brought the Fort Collins bicycle map with me, so I knew which streets had a bicycle lane. I could have used the GPS though for navigation. I think it‘s time to mount the Garmin Quest on to the bicycle.

Looks like this bridge was used to carry water across the Poudre River

Photoshoped to add some more color

Getting back to the Poudre Trail

We didn’t ride very far on the Poudre Trail heading west. Just up to some remnant of a bridge that might have carried water over the Poudre River in the past. The paved surface on the Poudre Trail seems to be deteriorating and in need of fixing. Riding it is not as fun as the other trails which have a nice smooth surface. The Poudre Trail has lots of large cracks in the pavement, I can feel those even on a mountain bike. I’m guessing the Poudre Trail is the oldest of the bicycle trails in Fort Collins.

Mike on the twisty short cut from the Spring Creek Trail to the Power Trail

No action shots of me, just a poser shot

After checking out the bridge on the Poudre Trail we turned around and took the Spring Creek Trail to the Power Trail. I really like the Power Trail, there is a paved path that runs next to a dirt path. I chose to ride the dirt path as we headed South but after about two miles the dirt path started to get smaller and more beat up and finally it disappeared all together. The Power Trail has some smaller hills, where the other trails seem to be mostly flat. Our ride on the “trails” ended at a barricade. Fort Collins plans to continue extending the Power Trail further south but with the economy right now, it looks like the construction has stopped here and on the other trails. After 15 miles we were home.


Anonymous said...

The bridge across the Poudre River was originally put in to haul a limestone slurry AWAY from sugar refining process and into the field on the N. side of the Poudre. Next time you are in that part of town, check out the riverbank... you'll see the cross-section reveals about 3' of limestone material.

Anonymous said...

Once you get west of Shields on the Poudre Trail, it's consistently nice and smooth again... and it's an absolutely beautiful ride that goes all the way up through LaPorte and on to Watson Lake in Bellvue.

Anna said...

Thanks, good to know. I've have to check out the Poudre Trail heading west.