The sweet satisfaction of successfully completing this epic adventure from Steamboat to Fort Collins. The ride was a total of 230 miles and 17,000+ feet of elevation gain in 4 days!
Riding in the company of friends I had made. I particularly enjoyed the camaraderie and support of this awesome community of riders on the last day!
The gravel climb out of camp was serenely beautiful (not very many cars on the road this morning!).
As much as I love gravel, after days of intense terrain and steep elevation gains, the miles of smooth downhill pavement heading into Fort Collins did feel pretty fun. (Although, be aware! it LOOKS like it’s all down hill after mile 8 but there are definitely a few little lumps further down the road that you will feel.)
Biking past Fort Collins’s beautiful Horsetooth Reservoir always makes spectacular scenery and great riding.
After days in quiet and remote places, it was almost shocking to suddenly see and have to deal with 2-lane traffic, traffic lights and urban life in general.
It was hard to say goodbye to the friends that I made and I was sad that the 4-day adventure finally came to an end.
Do this ride if you want a little bit of climbing on dirt roads and a lot of fast and fun downhill riding. (If you want more miles, spend some more time at Horsetooth Reservoir.)
Bike packing is an incredible way to see areas you can’t experience in the same way otherwise. The Ramble Ride events are a terrific way to try out biking camping with the luxuries of someone else cooking for you, carrying a bit of your gear and doing the planning for you. In addition, there is the added security of on-ride support. If you are curious about bike camping and want to test the waters in the community of others- there is no better venue than these Ramble Rides!!
As part of my contract with Ramble Rides, I agreed that I wouldn’t share a GPX file of the route. By clicking on the route map at the top of this page, you can still see the route on my Strava profile.
We started this ride from the Sky Ranch Lutheran Campground.
Go to Day 1 of the Ramble Ride
Go to Day 2 of the Ramble Ride
Go to Day 3 of the Ramble Ride
I got a bike as a young child and quickly set off making trips up and down the driveway then loops around my neighborhood, but I fell away from the joy of cycling as more and more of my free time was occupied by ballet training (around age 10). It wasn’t until I gave up my professional dancing career and moved to Colorado in 2000 that I began cycling seriously.
From infancy, and well into my late 20’s, I suffered from exercise-induced asthma and was afraid of cardio activities that made me wheeze. If my asthma was triggered by an intense activity, I was advised to stop immediately and use an inhaler.
I was into yoga and Pilates back in 2000 (Still am today!), so when one of my friends suggested we go to a spin/yoga class (30 min of spin, followed by 30 min of yoga), I was game to at least try something new. Even though I had trouble breathing in the classes, the safety of an indoor spin class gave be the ability to choose how hard to push myself, and at just 30 min, I slowly learned to tolerate the stress on my lungs. The fact that the spinning was followed by yoga gave me space to work with calming my thoughts and my head which said: “I can’t do this!”. As I got stronger and more confident and my cardio endurance increased, my asthma problems became less and less, and therefore, my willingness to try more adventurous and strenuous activities increased! I went from seeing cyclists biking up Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO and thinking, “they are crazy!”, to, “that looks kind of fun and I wonder if I can do that?”. And then I bought a bike, joined a club and tried biking up that mountain! My Asthma is nearly non-existent and I have been hooked on outdoor biking ever since.
I currently live in downtown Denver and have been car-free for about 10 years, typically biking 7,000+ miles a year between commuting, road riding and gravel bike adventuring. I have been a member of Naked Women’s Racing Team, and Colorado Women’s Cycling Project.
I teach Pilates and Yoga for a living and have been doing it for over 15 years. Just this year, I went out on my own and began a private-practice Pilates Studio called Align.Move.Breathe. I am a self-proclaimed “body nerd”, constantly reading, attending continuing education workshops and learning as much as I can about movement, bio-mechanics, alignment, anatomy and Ideokenesis.
I love to teach my clients how to relax and have fun with all movement, as well as have new and positive experiences with their bodies while gaining strength and flexibility in body, mind, and spirit. I strongly believe in both Pilates and Yoga as safe, supportive, and healing practices which can profoundly transform one’s every-day life!
If you are in the Denver area and interested in the intersection of biking and Pilates or Yoga, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura’s favorite Gravel Route: There are so many great rides it is REALLY hard to decide, but if there was one ride I would do over and over, it would be Four Mile Canyon and Switzerland Trail to Sugarloaf. It’s quiet, beautiful, challenging and fun!
Laura’s Gravel Bike: Spot Rallye Geared (It originally came with an 11-32 rear cassette, but she upgraded to 11-42, and it now comes standard that way.) Spot is a small bike company out of Golden, CO, and the people there have been terrific with customer service!
She is currently using Panaracer GravelKing SK+ 700×35C tires (but the Schwalbe G-One 700×35 that it came with were pretty sweet too).