Fort Collins, Colorado, to Laramie, Wyoming
I have thought about biking from Fort Collins to Laramie many times, but never really had an excuse. In June 2014 I found one. Most years we (myself, husband, sister, and various friends) run the oldest footrace in Wyoming, the Pilot Hill 25K. This year I biked up to Laramie the day before the race, spent the night, and then ran the race the next day. (I will admit my bike and I got a ride home.)
I rounded up my sister and a few friends to join in the fun. Two of us have biked toured quite a bit, one had done a three-day ride, and one had been on the bike five times and never ridden over 30 miles. This ride was 62 miles, starting at 4,900 feet above sea level and finishing at 7,160 feet, with a high point of 8,144.
On Friday morning we left my house at 7 a.m. and followed U.S. Higway 287 all the way from Fort Collins to Laramie. Very scenic, and with a wide shoulder with rumble strip for protection most of the way. It's beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains and foothills and lots of wildlife (think pronghorns and bald eagles). The only downside is there aren't many places to stop, except for the side of the road.
We stopped at the Colorado-Wyoming state border for lunch. The rest stop there has clean bathrooms, picnic tables, and information boards. The road was a bit rougher and the shoulder narrower once into Wyoming, but they are doing a lot of road construction to mitigate these issues.
After arriving in Laramie, we stayed in an old Victorian house/apartment that I found on AirBnB. The host allowed us to keep our bikes in his workshop, and we were within walking distance of downtown and the race start line. What more could we ask for?
On Saturday morning, those of us who wanted to run made it to the top of Pilot Hill and back while the others spent a leisurely morning drinking coffee and exploring the University of Wyoming campus.
Favorite local bike shop: The Phoenix Cyclery in Fort Collins.