Destination: Coal Creek Coffee (Downtown) Laramie, WY
Distance: 33.4 miles
I’m in Laramie, WY for a few days visiting my son Will, who is a freshman at the University of Wyoming. He had prior commitments that took up much of the day Saturday, so I borrowed his Surly LHT and took it for a Coffeeneuring Ride!
I picked up Will’s Surly the night the before the ride and spent some time Saturday morning cleaning and making some minor adjustments to the bike. Will stores the bike in a bike locker but uses it daily to get to classes and what not, so it had accumulated some grime. Will asked for fenders, but alas I didn’t get them installed before he left for school. Bad Father! Anyway, it’s a fine bike and it cleaned up nicely, and I was happy to do it.
It turns out that there is a lovely Greenbelt trail along the Laramie River. The north end of it starts just a block or so from my motel. So obviously I was meant to ride it!
The trail meanders along the Laramie River with frequent benches and informative signs. I passed a number of folks out walking but no other cyclists. The bridge below was originally part of a railway that ran to Centennial and other places. Centennial lies on Wyoming Route 130 about 30 miles west of Laramie, and is part of the Colorado High Country 1200K Brevet. I hope to ride the CHC sometime.
The river must be running a bit high right now as the trail was partially flooded where it passes under Clark Street.
The Surly had no trouble skirting the water so I was able to continue down the trail. The south end of the trail forms a large loop (1.5 miles) through a once industrial site that has been restored with native vegetation. Quite nice. Completing the loop meant I was done with the Greenbelt, so I headed down Garfield Street to cross over the rail yards on a cool bike/pedestrian bridge.
I was careful to comply with the signage that instructed bicyclists to dismount within 30 feet of pedestrians. However, the one other cyclist I encountered on the bridge did not. Still, the bridge was fun to ride across.
Coal Creek Coffee Company (downtown location) was but a couple hundred feet from the Rail Yard bridge in downtown Laramie. Here I stopped for the requisite coffee, and, because I was hungry, some of their delicious soup. I must confess, it was not low-carb. I seem to loose my resolve to eat low carb on rides without Tom to keep me honest. The coffee was good (not great) but the shop has a great ambiance.
I checked with Will and it looked like our schedules wouldn’t be able to mesh until later in the evening. So I headed east on Garfield (a block south of busy Grand Ave.) and then turned north on 30th. I continued on 30th as it ran out of town and became gravel, and then turned back west to come out on Roger Canyon Road. Since I had lots of time I headed north on Roger Canyon, and it turned out to be a wonderful out and back ride. It slowly gains altitude as it passes the landfill and then turns east into the hills.
I had a stiff tailwind for most of the ride up the road, which I knew I would have to deal with on the way back. The road snakes through a narrow canyon as it gains altitude. I climbed until the pavement ended and turned around to face the wind. But the downhill grade canceled out the headwind for most of the way back. I’m sure this is a favorite of local cyclists.
I was a bit tired and thirsty, as I hadn’t brought any water with me, but happy with the ride. Hopefully I worked off some of those carbs.