Rist-Masonville loop

This is a great loop with tons of climbing. Starting from my house, Bingham Hill is a nice warmup before the real climbing begins. If you’re short on time, you can just tag the mailboxes (a little less than 1/2 way) or the fire station (an extra mile past the mailboxes). The full loop is more strenuous, as there are few small rises up to Masonville, and then you end with the hogbacks. (Note that this order is if you ride in an anti-clockwise fashion, the easier route, if you ask me; riding clockwise is much tougher due to the steep grade near the top of Rist.)

Descending from the top of Rist is big fun. My personal best for max speed is 62 MPH, so see if you can beat that. :)


Masonville out and back

This out and back route is another of my Ft. Collins favorites. It’s relatively short and sweet (25 miles) and has a decent amount of climbing (2500′). The maps below show a little loop-de-loop in Masonville that adds a bit more climbing and helps make the route a bit more interesting, as it’s not just plain old out and back.

The three humps you see on the left of the elevation profile (and mirrored on the right) are known as “the hogbacks”.

Estes Park from Ft. Collins

This is a great ride from Ft. Collins, and there are several ways to do it, depending on how strong you’re feeling. The basic idea is, you get from Ft. Collins to Loveland, and then from Loveland go to Estes Park.

If you’re feeling strong and want extra climbing, take the hogbacks to Masonville to Loveland. If you want an easier day, take Shields or Taft Hill south on the flats to Loveland.

The climbing starts in earnest once you reach the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon. If you want a sufferfest, take a right at the town of Drake to head up the Glen Haven route. If you want something easier, stay in the Big Thompson until you get to Estes.

Once you get to Estes, you’ve got a lot of options. You can simply eat at the McDonald’s (corner of US 34 and US 36) and go home, or you can continue on to Rocky Mountain National Park for some more pain. If you are a real hardman (or woman), ride all the way up to Trailridge Road!

Larimer CR 23

This route, which follows Larimer county road 23, is also known as “riding the dams” or the “dixon dam ride”. It’s one of my favorite rides when I don’t have much time because it’s relatively short, but there is enough climbing to keep you honest.

The maps below start from my house.