Boulder, Gould, and Fort Collins

Last week Debbie and I visited two of the country’s five Platinum Bicycle Friendly Communities. The irony is that we didn’t bring our bikes and we didn’t rent bikes. We were there on our feet but still soaked in the velo vibe. Our visits to Boulder and Fort Collins were on either side of our visit to Gould.



I’ve been immersed in bike culture for 42 years +/- since I first rode my “Purple Panda” as a kid. It was very cool to visit Boulder and Fort Collins during our trip to the Never Summer 100K. Debbie and I preferred Fort Collins. Granted, we barely spent 24 hours in each city, but it appeared to be more rustic. Boulder was a bit more slick.



Both Boulder and Fort Collins are super-cool for cyclists. There were bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, bike racks (of all different types), bike shops, and bicycle adventure/tour companies. You could buy bikes or rent bikes. Both communities visitor centers featured bicycling as a central activity.



As noted, we didn’t have bikes with us, so we explored some different terrain. In Boulder, we went trail running in Chautauqua Park. It’s an iconic and beautiful location right at the edge of town.




Gould was very rustic. During our drive from Boulder, we stopped a few times to explore the banks of the Michigan River. We watched white water rafts navigate the easier rapids. The water was thundering down in spots that looked to only be navigable by skilled kayakers. We camped at the North Michigan Campground which was formerly a private KOA campground, but is now part of the state park.



We stopped at the State Forest State Park visitor center on the way into Gould and we visited the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area on the way out.



Gould didn’t have any restaurants, but Boulder and Fort Collins are great for vegans and those interested in healthy eating. In Boulder, we dined at Leaf and explored the massive Whole Foods. In Fort Collins we ate at Tasty Harmony and The Gold Collective, which was awesome.


Our trip to Fort Collins was after the Never Summer race, so our activity was low key. We opted to do something different. We rented SUP’s from Inlet Bay Marina at Horsetooth Reservoir and enjoyed a leisurely two-hour paddle. We had a blast.



I definitely left Fort Collins yearning to ride. It would be an awesome community to explore by bike. I can imagine long road rides, intense mountain bike rides, and a lot of commuting around the city. We shall return.



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