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abominable slowman
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1,072 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since moving to Fort Collins, CO, I've had it on my mind to start doing some of the bigger climbs around here. I'd heard that Rist Canyon was a good one. Yesterday was decent weather (50-ish degrees, sunny, not too much wind) so off I went on a 50 mile loop including the ascent up Rist Canyon and then back around through Masonville and past Horsetooth Mountain.

Here's the route and the profile:
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TVTbLnMkP7_Z4Zk_vVvxMQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvTq0-_gI/AAAAAAAAFGQ/DuZQ4W9srj8/s400/Route.jpg" /></a>
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/y2IzNE-4agWD2E-YecyGCw?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvSwpZKjI/AAAAAAAAFGI/_vnzjIB_YY4/s400/Profile.jpg" /></a>

The first climb of the day was enough to warm up my legs and give me a view of where I was headed later. Here's the view from that little climb, Rist Canyon is somewhere in this view, rising up into the forest.
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AH5Z41BrTBXk_mSPnwjuAw?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/Samux85Ng-I/AAAAAAAAFDA/2IK8OZmR8wM/s400/DSCN4045.JPG" /></a>

The climb was really nice. Mostly not very steep (about 5% average, with some 12% sections) and about 11 miles. I got some nice views along the way.

<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/s-bJn2Oy3oSpoEBlbz3XjQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/Samu0c2M0jI/AAAAAAAAFDQ/Xga0MndbK-w/s400/DSCN4047.JPG" /></a>
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/OqC_-SGnrHecFzV6KWAs1w?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/Samu19AnZMI/AAAAAAAAFDY/3Q19dfLhZ-M/s400/DSCN4048.JPG" /></a>
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/353yChJm7z4AWxfI2ppKRA?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/Samu4oPP4PI/AAAAAAAAFDo/LW12XlnAcMo/s400/DSCN4050.JPG" /></a>
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cAQnAdR61BVlnnrWcgjvBg?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/Samu-3knmtI/AAAAAAAAFEM/YxaCkkcLFE0/s400/DSCN4054.JPG" /></a>

Near the top, the road steepens. The last half mile or so is tough. Here's a fairly steeply switchback where the difficulties begin.
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_nqtl27LmqiQYjBr56Lp7A?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvAivm-4I/AAAAAAAAFEU/z5iFf9s1dYA/s400/DSCN4055.JPG" /></a>

And this is what it looks like after the switchback
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0uYDnFQ6vcUJsO7fNAsMeA?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvBwAIuvI/AAAAAAAAFEc/YLjfiqjDzz0/s400/DSCN4056.JPG" /></a>

But, of course, you are rewarded for your effort. The view back east:
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6rEbacXRPvgirub3J-Ampg?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvF4RKaLI/AAAAAAAAFE0/p-vWuN7csqY/s400/DSCN4060.JPG" /></a>
(Ok, it's mostly a picture of my bike which served me well on this ride)

The view to the west showing the "Never Summer Mountains"
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ynAtr317OJnuh9PjFXPoiA?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvEWSeQrI/AAAAAAAAFEs/pPzXMmwlgIQ/s400/DSCN4058.JPG" /></a>

From there it's a steep, fast (and cold) descent to the next intersection. There's an old school here:
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SCji3Gmm-Ph-1HAIan1c8g?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvLjL8mRI/AAAAAAAAFFU/qkboH8TcDb8/s400/DSCN4064.JPG" /></a>

Stove Prairie Road heads south toward Masonville. This is where I'm headed after I make my left turn toward the south:
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/3GhQIWRszZXLkM1WBG-XaQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvMzkCy9I/AAAAAAAAFFc/ua09I24kY1E/s400/DSCN4065.JPG" /></a>

It's a beautiful road, but I had a cold headwind the whole way. Thankfully it's generally downhill.

<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/oBgey9fjKGhK-TYURs1ABw?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvOn1f3cI/AAAAAAAAFFk/D6X0Ps9DSFI/s400/DSCN4066.JPG" /></a>
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/V9RYWViljnjxDA3Nc-D44Q?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvQFDUwgI/AAAAAAAAFFs/qQJ4k71R3UY/s400/DSCN4067.JPG" /></a>
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vuk3bgZ_lfDDQD0UTCdCMQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvRQDSpJI/AAAAAAAAFF4/HUXVfg_91IU/s400/DSCN4068.JPG" /></a>

I love the scenery around here
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Ri3WIfbrkvB9Uf1wyw0HWQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCPa3qcT134qlHw&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_CyS9mydUTiA/SamvSokvZXI/AAAAAAAAFGA/gM6nyjkWgpU/s400/DSCN4073.JPG" /></a>

After hitting Masonville, I had few smaller climbs to get over the foothills and get back to town. I was on the verge of bonk at this point, so I put the camera away and just settled in for a steady pace home.

If ever you find yourself in Northern CO, I highly recommend this loop (or a longer one including these roads, which is the plan for the next nice weekend:thumbsup: ).
 

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Nice photos and report. Look at those blue skies! We are still at or below 40-degrees with gray overcast up near Spokane, WA. The weather report says more rain and snow on the way too. I guess we have another month or so before things turn warmer. Thanks again!
 

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Formosan Cyclocross
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3,378 Posts
Nice pictures. I just can't believe they named a whole canyon after Robbie Rist a.k.a. Cousin Oliver. Careful you don't get jinxed on your way through.
 

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Premium Member
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21,910 Posts
I just can't believe how little snow there is.

Can anyone say, "Drought?"
 

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abominable slowman
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Drought

MB1 said:
I just can't believe how little snow there is.

Can anyone say, "Drought?"
I work in the water resources business. Don't forget that it is basically a high desert around here. The high mountains have plenty of snowpack, average or slightly above average, and that's where most of the water in rivers comes from. But I am told that this has been an usually mild and dry winter down here in the foothills and plains. Not good for lawns and trees come spring, but it makes for nice riding : )
 

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Bacon!
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9,190 Posts
Wow, what a great day of winter riding.
 

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I'm glad someone is getting out to enjoy this really nice weather. I got some commuting in last week but no rides over the weekend. The honey-do list is unmanageable right now. :(
 

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Thanks for the post and pics. I love that ride. The last steeps always humble me and my triple with an 11-34. Yes. I like having those gears for the this climb as I really enjoy too much of the local Fort Collins brews. I need to add some climbing to my rides and lose like 15 pounds.:D
 
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