Horsetooth Time Trial Tips from YGR



In honor of the return of the Horsetooth Time Trial starting next week, BIke Fort Collins closes out our month of rolling out regular blog contributions from our partners by sharing a beginners guide to the “race of truth”

Waaaait a second.  Back up.   Whats a Time  Trial?  

A time trial is a kind of bike race that usually held on a point to point or looped course where each individual racer starts out separately, released in regular intervals, and the goal is simply to have as fast a time on the clock as possible.  Theyre anywhere from a couple of miles to hundreds.  (The bike portion of an Ironman triathlon is effectively a 100+ mile time trial),  Most commonly they’re between 10 and 25 miles.

For the most part, TTs are solo events, though team TTs do exist, and some  teams specialize in them.  but mostly its just one person against the clock.

Usually there are rules against drafting.  If you do overtake an over rider your’e expected to do so and cleanly as possible and not linger in the other riders slipstream.

Fundamentally, the time trial is a test of how well you know yourself and y our limits.   Go too hard and you’ll crack and limp to the finish line, broken.  Go to easy, and you’ve wasted an opportunity to explore your potential and squeeze out every last ounce of strength.  The time trial is a race of discovering your limits, knowing when to push past them and knowing when to hold back.   It’s a race of preparation and of staying cool under prolonged physical and psychological stress.  Its also a lot of fun, especially at the grassroots level.

What kind of bike do TTs use?

In pro cycling they use expensive dedicated TT bikes with aerodynamic handlebars , helmets, and skinsuits.  At the speeds these guys are going (30MPH avg is not unusual for a pro riding a 25mile TT)m every little bit of aerodynamic advantage matters, so nothing is left to chance.

But at the grassroots level, YGR TTs always have “aero” categories, and Merckx standard road bike categories.  Merckx is named for the legendary pro Eddy Merckx, one of the all time greats, from an era before aerodynamic gear was in common use in pro racing.    YGR has even been known to throw in a Kerkove category. named for local pro mountain biker Jeff Kerkove, this allows  you to race and be ranked against other competitors on mountain bikes.

Time trials are fun events to enter if you’re interested in dipping a toe into racing but not sure if you have the nerve for elbow to elbow road racing, technical skills required tor mountain bike or cyclocross racing.   they’re about as safe as you can get in a bike race, and you can race against the field, a buddy, or just try to improve your time each week.

Horsetooth Time Trial once again opens the grassroots Tuesday night calendar with the 8th annual Horsetooth Time Trial Series pb Backcountry Delicatessen .   This is no ordinary flat straight TT; the HTTT starts near the corner of Harmony and Taft in Fort Collins and climbs all the way up to the Horsetooth Mountain Park, dives down to Masonville, turns around and finishes by climbing back up to Horsetooth, from the even more formidable west side.

This is a 4 week series, which makes is a perfect early season training series for tracking early season fitness and shooting for personal records.   Remember, this is not a mass start race, so pacing together and drafting aren’t allowed.   Riders will be sent off in 30 intervals and times will be compiled and posted at after the event.   Please be respectful of local traffic on this open course.

Here are the details on your favorite, least favorite 14.35 miles:

Registration will open here on YGR the Monday before each race and will close at 4pm on race day. The cost is $10.00 for your average Joe, $5.00 for college kids and the unemployed. Juniors race free.

Male and female categories include; Eddy Merckx (Mass start legal bikes). Aero (anything goes). Kerkove Kategory (standard issue MTB w/ knobbie tires.

Look for the new Velofix mobile repair van to be on site.






FC Bikes: Bike Share, Low Stress Network, and Whats the BFD?



[We know theres some confusion out there about the difference between Bike Fort Collins, FC Bikes, and the Fort Collins Bike Co-op, and we’re workin’ on clarifying, but all three groups are critical partners in the sustainable transportation movement in Northern Colorado and we at BFC are excited to add FC Bikes- the City of Fort Collins’ Bicycling program- to our growing list of blog contributors.   FC Bikes staff will chime in here every month to keep everyone in the loop about upcoming projects, events, closures and more.  -ED]  


Vision: No Need for a Car to Travel in Fort Collins

Imagine a Fort Collins where you can easily and seamlessly get to where you need to go without using a motor vehicle. You hop on the bus near your house, and then you pedal a ways on a bike share bike and then walk a short distance to your final destination. You do all this with ease and confidence because the systems and infrastructure in the city support it. We are making progress toward making this vision a reality with a number of initiatives the City’s FC Bikes Program is implementing this year.

Below are a few highlights of the projects currently underway. Find out more about all of the FC Bikes initiatives at the first annual Bike Projects Fair on Wed., April 13, 5:30-7:30pm. The Fair will be held at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.








Creating Connections with Bike Share

Starting April 1 Fort Collins will have a self-service automated bike share system thanks to collaboration between the City, Bike Fort Collins, Zagster, and community partners. Building on the success of the Bike Library, this exciting new system will allow you to check out a bike and use it for trips around town, complemented by a local community cycling hub and in-person customer service at the Downtown Transit Center. Bike share is an important component of a robust public transportation system because it expands the possibilities for connecting people to the places where they live, work and play as well as to other transportation options.

Fort Collins Bike Share is scheduled to launch with 16 stations in key locations.  The City is celebrating the launch with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Noon on April 1 at the Downtown Transit Center followed by a short ride to view stations (bring your bike and helmet!)  . In addition, a celebration will take place in Old Town Square that evening from 5pm-7pm.  Bike Share Staff, FC Bikes Staff and FC Bikes Bicycle Ambassadors will be available around town throughout the day to answer questions about the system.




Safe Routes That Are Easy to Navigate

The 2014 Bicycle Master Plan proposed a Low-Stress Bicycle Network to provide users safe and comfortable routes for traveling by bike. FC Bikes is working on a number of projects to make progress on building the Low Stress Bicycle Network and ways to navigate it. Here are two examples:

  • Pitkin Bikeway Project – an infrastructure project that focuses on upgrades to crossings of major arterials, wayfinding and minor striping changes along Pitkin.
  • Bicycle Wayfinding – the city’s bicycle wayfinding system can help people navigate the city’s low-stress bicycle network. The Remington Bikeway, a north-south route, was recently signed with wayfinding signs. A route along Swallow will be signed soon.







Flipping Bicycle Safety Education on Its Helmet

For years bicycle safety education focused mostly on the cyclist. FC Bikes, in partnership with Bike Fort Collins, recently reframed the traditional bicycle safety educational offering and created a compelling program called the Bicycle Friendly Driver Program.  Over 550 people in Fort Collins have been certified as Bicycle Friendly Drivers and are becoming part of a safer cycling community.  Find out how to host a class at your business and when public sessions are scheduled.


Encourage People to Try It!  

FC Bikes is bringing Open Streets back to Fort Collins in 2016! Last year Open Streets events drew over 12,000 people who were able to use the streets without motorized traffic present. This freeing and fun experience encourages people to travel distances of everyday trips using their own power. On June 5 you can join the fun. Bring your bike or skates or your two feet and cruise and enjoy the car-free roads. Check out the activity hubs and meet fellow community members along the route while you are there too!





Jamie Gaskill-Fox is a Program Specialist with the City of Fort Collins FC Bikes. She coordinates the Bicycle Ambassador Program and is a League Cycling Instructor.

At the Intersection of Bicycling and Faith


At the intersection of bicycling and faith

by Meg Dunn

[As we continue to roll out our expanded blog content, I’m honored to present our first regular contribution from stalwart local blogger Meg Dunn.  I asked Meg to share her insights on the spiritual and religious case for bikes and sustainable transportation.   -ED]

I love hanging out down by the Poudre river. The rustle of the leaves in the trees, the music of the birds as they swoop down over the water, and the burble of the river as it wends its way through town somehow soothe the soul. Sometimes I get that same feeling when I’m on my bicycle. The wind on my face, the soft “shush shush” of my feet on the pedals, and the ability to look someone in the eye as I pass them and say, “hello,” all make me feel connected to something much larger than myself. Here I am on my bike. But at the same time, here I am as part of a larger world, a larger community,… as part of Life. It’s a feeling that is at the same time both exhilarating and humbling.  It can feel deeply spiritual.


Of course, I don’t always feel this way on my bicycle. When I’m traveling down Mason street with an impatient motorist on my tail, I’m usually not singing hymns or shouting Hallelujahs. It’s at times like that that I’m riding my bike, not because it feels like a spiritual experience, but because my spiritual beliefs speak to my world view. And my world view has led me to make a conscious choice to travel, as often as possible, by foot or by bicycle.


I have a car. With three kids, one husband, and two dogs, all of whom travel with me now and again as we get around town, there are many times when we’ll all pile into the car to get where we need to go. But as a family we’ve made some very deliberate life choices because of our faith that affect how we travel. When we moved here fifteen years ago, we deliberately chose to pay a little more in order to get a house that was located in a walkable neighborhood. We chose to send our kids to our neighborhood schools so we wouldn’t have to drive them back and forth every day. And we attend a church within walking/biking distance.


I said we made these choices because of our faith. Let me explain.


Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” And in the book of Genesis, in the story of creation, it says that the Lord, “took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” When God made the world, he didn’t just give it to mankind to use for our own purposes. He also put us here to take care of it.


Sure, there’s some level of crap that we can throw into the soil and water and air and somehow the plants and animals and other organisms manage to clean out the junk that we’re putting into the system. But there comes an overflow point where we’re doing more harm than the environment can handle. God has called us to be stewards. We should be treating the land as caretakers. …like it doesn’t belong to us. …like it belongs to God.


So our family does what we can. We decided to  reuse and improve our older house rather than tearing it down, throwing it into the landfill, and using newly harvested natural resources to build a new one. We have food gardens in front and in back of our house and we’ve never used herbicides on our grass. We eat organic and local as much as possible. We compost, recycle, keep backyard chickens, support a local CSA, and eat home cooked meals made from minimally processed food items.


And we bicycle.


I’ll fess up right now that we still shoehorn our family into a little sedan to get to church in winter, but as soon as the roads are clear and the weather starts to warm up, we’re out pumping up tires and testing brakes on a Sunday morning so that we can head to the service by bicycle. It feels so much better going to worship God when we haven’t polluted his creation on our way.


So we bike as a means of caring for the planet, but we also bike as a means of caring for ourselves. We’re just as much stewards of our own bodies as we are stewards of the planet.  Being fit and healthy is a way of valuing and appreciating the gift of life that God has given us.


Bicycling is also a means of being a more connected part of our community. When you’re traveling around by car, you don’t have opportunities to talk to the person in the car next to you, or the person standing on the street corner, or the person biking past. But when you’re on your bicycle, you can easily stop and chat when you see a neighbor or friend. And I frequently have short interactions with pedestrians and other cyclists when I’m pedaling around. We might just say hello, or talk about the weather. But I’ve also talked to people about their bicycle, they’ve asked me for directions, or we’ve shared concerns about whether the stop light can “see” us or not. All of these interactions are threads that help to make our community feel safer, friendlier, and more people oriented.


Fort Collins is a rapidly growing city, which has led to increased traffic and congestion on the roads. I don’t know about you, but I find traffic to be frustrating and anxiety inducing. Rather than improving my spirits and helping me to connect with those around me, I find it can often do exactly the opposite, leaving me exasperated, angry, and upset with my fellow Fort Collins residents. Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” But I tell you what, it is really hard to love my Christian brethren when they and their little fish bumper sticker cut me off in traffic. I think that as a believer, it behooves me to be at the forefront of finding answers to the problems that plague our community. And one answer to the problem of ever increasing traffic is to find alternatives. Transfort service, improved walkability, and safe streets for cyclists are key means of getting angry people out of their cars and helping them to make better, healthier, and friendlier transit choices.


You certainly don’t have to be a spiritual person to advocate for bikes and other forms of alernative transportation in Fort Collins. But if you are a believer, then I think it behooves you to think about how our transportation affects our interactions with one another; how it affects the health, well-being, and safety of the people in our community; and how it relates to our role as stewards of God’s creation. God might not be calling you to sell your car and take up bicycling as your only means of transport. But leaving the car at home a bit more often, and using alternatives means of getting around that are better for the environment, for your health, and for the community, can be an act of service to God and a witness to others.

About Meg Dunn

Meg has been been bicycling for as long as she can remember. Though she did go through a bit of a “Dark Ages” period in the early 1990s when she lived in Detroit, she’s been using a bicycle as an alternative form of transportation since the mid-70s when, as a kid, she realized that a bicycle could get her down the street to the store where candy bars were sold. Though bicycling was a popular form of transport in Ann Arbor and San Francisco, Meg has found that to be less the case in other places where she’s lived… including Fort Collins where bicycling is often seen more as a form of recreation than transportation.


Meet Overland Mountain Bike Club


[Editors Note: This is the first of what will be a monthly blog contribution from Overland Mountain Bike Club,  We thought it would be best to start with an introduction.  OMBC does great work in the Community.  – CJ]


So who is “Overland Mountain Bike Club”?  You’ve probably heard or seen the name around town at some point.  You may have passed someone out on a local trail wearing an Overland jersey.  Or maybe you’ve seen the blue tent at some event around town…Get Outdoors Day, Tour de Fat, at a trail head.  Maybe you’ve even seen a pack of them on a Wednesday evening social ride.  But who ARE they, and what do they actually do?  Quite a lot, actually…

Overland was originally founded as Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike Patrol in 1995.  A group of Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol members decided they could use something to do during the summer months, so they formed a similar group based around mountain biking.  They soon entered into an agreement with the US Forest Service to conduct patrol rides on USFS trails, and they were in business.  21 years later, the Patrol still has an operating agreement in place with the Forest Service.  As well as Larimer County.  And the City of Fort Collins.  And Lory State Park.  And Wyoming State Parks (specifically Curt Gowdy and Glendo).  

Sammies Ride 4

The original patrol group soon made it a requirement for every member to complete a minimum amount of trail work as well.  It was now becoming a patrol group, a trail maintenance group, and an advocacy group.  In 1999, Diamond Peaks and New Belgium Brewing partnered on an idea for a new event.  The idea was to create a new, fun event to celebrate the cycling culture of Fort Collins, highlight New Belgium Brewing, and raise a little bit of money for a local non-profit group.  They decided to call it “Tour de Fat”.  Over the next 10 years the club took on more events, more trail building efforts and more members.  Since it had become more than “just a patrol group”, in 2009 the organization decided to take the name of Overland Mountain Bike Club, based on the historic Overland Trail which connects the areas of Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming.  

Today, we still have Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike Patrol operating as a service of Overland.  But we have become much more!  A quick glance at our calendar and you’ll see a wide variety of events…trail building skills clinics, patrol training, trail work days, social rides, monthly meetings, Take-a-Kid Mountain Biking Day, Get Outdoors Day, various community outreach events.  A new event for 2016 is the Tooth or Consequences Mountain Bike Festival, happening July 22-24.  This will feature the ever-popular “40 in the Fort”, a new enduro MTB race, and a festival kick-off party at New Belgium Brewing.  We also recommend riding options to out-of-town visitors to further highlight the trail systems of Northern Colorado & Southern Wyoming.

Joe & Tami 1A

Overland is now made up of nearly 300 members and gives approximately 5000 volunteer hours per year back to this community.  The patrol group is completing nearly 350 patrol rides annually to help ALL trail users with any medical or mechanical issues, keep trail users informed of trail etiquette and “Rules of the Trail”, and provide the land agencies with valuable trail user statistics.  Our trail building efforts in 2016 will include assisting with the new Hidden Valley Trail at Devils Backbone, a new loop trail at Hermit Park Open Space, the re-construction of Young Gulch, as well as other general maintenance projects.  Overland also gives financial grants to Ciclismo Youth Foundation, Cheyenne High School Mountain Bike Team, Laramie High School Mountain Bike Team, Stone Temple Youth Mountain Bike Camp, and to various local trail projects.  

Hopefully everyone has attended at least one Tour de Fat event.  Many of you have probably volunteered for it as well.  If you have…THANK YOU!  You are helping to make all of these events happen…you are helping to keep our trails maintained…you are helping to keep our trail users safe…and you are helping support multiple fantastic organizations continue to do great things for this community, including Overland Mountain Bike Club!

See you on the trails!

Kenny Bearden

Administrator – Overland Mountain Bike Club


Rules of The Road: Playground Edition


(For the latest in traffic code, city and state, check FC Bikes great page HERE)


It’s a tough world out there, folks.


Traffic is busier and busier every year. Trains going through the middle of town create hectic holdups and spur road frustration in even the most genteel of drivers. Roadwork seems to be going on everywhere…all the time. Or maybe that’s just on your commute. And on top of it, cyclists and drivers are often forced to share roadways, which often seems to infuriate both parties.


It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Especially for that last part. While there isn’t much we can all do to decrease traffic, reroute trains or stop the roadwork, we can all work together to create stress-free roads for drivers and cyclists alike. Here are a few things to keep in mind whether your pedal-pushing involves a two-, three- or four-wheelers vehicle or, as I like to see them, the playground rules of the road:


  1. The Golden Rule always applies. Sick of drivers passing too closely? They probably are too. Maybe scoot a little more to the right in the bike lane. Nobody’s saying you have to ride in the gutter, but you don’t have to ride the line either. Tired of having to wait for slow cyclists to move along so you can turn right because there’s no enough room to scoot around them? Cyclists are vehicles according to Colorado state law, so treat them accordingly. You wouldn’t try to zoom around or lay on the horn if someone driving another car were moving a tiny bit more slowly than you like. Just frustrated in general? Try using the vast network of bike paths instead of the roadways, cyclists; drivers, try to be grateful that cyclists AREN’T in cars adding even MORE traffic to the roads.
  2. Use common sense. I strongly dislike it when I see fellow cyclists blowing stoplights and stop signs and riding three across in a lane that obviously cannot accommodate more than single file. Similarly I’m not a fan of being honked at, followed too closely or having vulgarities screamed at me when I’m biking along peaceably. If you’re in a situation where your safety may be compromised, cyclists, deliberately acting in ways that guarantee your safety is compromised is a TERRIBLE idea. In the equation you versus a vehicle, that vehicle is going to win every time, so take your safety seriously and ride responsibly. Drivers: cyclists are people too!! Cyclists are guaranteed the same rights to the road as YOU are. Use some common sense when driving around cyclists and consider their rights as well.
  3. Stop. Texting. While. Operating. Any. Moving. Vehicle. This goes for you, too, cyclists. While driver are arguably more dangerous as they are piloting several tons of moving steel, that doesn’t let cyclists off the hook. Texting while cycling is as irresponsible as texting while driving. Just don’t do it. That also goes for updating Facebook statuses, posting to Instagram or checking your Strava standings. It can wait. I promise.


One of the coolest aspects of living in Fort Collins is our robust cycling community, and we all need to do our parts to make this community one where we can all get along. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is go back to the basics and start with our playground rules again. No hitting. No fighting. Respect each other’s space. And if all else fails, maybe give yourself a time-out for a couple of breaths so you can rejoin the rest of us from a happier, calmer place.



Dondi is a year-round commuter cyclist, freelance writer and Co-op Representative at the Fort Collins Bike Co-op. In addition to “Building Community Through Bicycling” she enjoys road rides, rock climbing and baking treats every Sunday for the Bike Co-op’s velonteer crew. You can reach her at


more bikes • safe streets • one voice



BFC  had an eventful night at RioSwap last night. By appearance, it was the best attended RioSwap by a solid margin.

In addition to the usual margs and bike parts, this year added trainer races (Courtesy of Gold Bike Friendly Business Source Endurance Center of the Rockies) and a live broadcast of The Bikes and Beer Radio Show.

IT was also BFC’s opportunity to talk about our new look and new vision publicly for the first time. I’ve been using the language for a while, because I think its an easy way to explain Bike fort Collins. Its an elevator pitch if you will.


The gist is this:

  • While infrastructure is critical, its wasted if it goes unused, and also probably counter productive.


  • Reciprocally, encouraging “interested but concerned” cyclists to take the leap is much harder without safe streets and progressive community attitudes about sustainable transportation to support them.


  • While a thriving, possibly even sprawling, bike community is an enviable situation for most communities, with scale comes the challenge of uniting and engaging and educating ALL cyclists about our shared challenges.   and presenting a unified voice to governments and businesses who influence the way our community grows.


So I’ve come to think of advocacy and community development as something of a feedback loop.    If we work to get more people on bikes, we have a bigger community to engage and activate to do the work, and together we can effect change to the way we think about and plan our shared public roads and spaces.   And this, in turn, helps us get more people on bikes.


Neat, huh?


The best part is, it distills to 6 simple words


More Bikes, Safe Streets, One Voice.


And thats our vision.


Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out a number of announcement about programs and events.  Some new, some expanded, some old favorites we’re bringing back.

The first major news is that starting today, will host an ambitious new blog dedicated to sharing news about everything that’s going on in NoCo cycling, with the goal of creating a more engaged, informed bike community. Topics will range from infrastructure to events to advocacy to project updates and closures and more. And we’ll be updating it twice a week. I am tremendously proud of the lineup, which includes contributions from the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the FC Bike Co-op, Overland Mountain Bike Club, FC Bikes/City of Fort Collins, Your Group Ride, Pedal Fort Collins, FC Bike Share and more.   We have a stable of regular contributors and plans for special guests from time to time a well.  This blog will covering everything from racing to advocacy to city policy to trail conditions to current events affecting NoCo Cyclists.     The blog will be updated twice a week.




So here’s where you come in.   BFC has committees and programs that are doing great work, and the programs we’re announcing over the coming weeks that will balance our advocacy and shape our city.   We need everyone who rides a bike, or even cares about someone who rides a bike, or even just cares about sustainable transportation and a healthy future for Fort Collins to join us.


Theres a tab up top that says “Support”,  There’s so many ways to support us.

  • Become a member
  • Become a volunteer
  • Become a donor
  • Join our Bike Friendly Business network
  • Join a committee
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Follow us on social media.

Being recognized as a Platinum Bike Friendly Community is an acknowledgement that Fort Collins takes cycling seriously.

Now, our responsibility, as a bike community and as a city, is to make sure that as we continue to grow and change, everyone in Northern Colorado has access and resources to choose bikes and other sustainable transportation, can make  informed transportation decisions, and enjoy safe streets.   We must use our platform to develop new programs, that lead lead the way for other cities  to make the shift to putting people first in their communities.

Join us today.

We Bike Fort Collins