Tag Archives: Outdoor Trails

Gettin’ some trail

Like Judge Roy Moore finding out there’s a new mall opening right next door to the high school filed hockey complex, I felt a twitch and jumped for joy when I read that they were finally connecting the paved trails between two of the most skate-friendly towns on the planet – Loveland and Fort Collins, Colorado. It was too good to be true, and long overdue.


But sho’ nuff, it’s done, and open, and glorious! Two pristine new miles of smooth concrete connecting the 35 miles of trail network in Fort Collins to the 18 miles I lost me belly on the first time in Loveland. I’ve spent countless hours striding and gliding in both towns, and now it’s all come together. Eventually, this may be integrated into a bigger project, the larger Front Range Trail system, which will extend from New Mexico to Wyoming. I imagine a trail like that would see more action that a Ficus tree in Harvey Weinstein’s private casting room, but in a much more wholesome way…gives me a chubby just thinking about it.

The new two mile stretch cost an estimated $1.2 million dollars to build. At $600,000 a mile, it’s cheap compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on medical facilities being built to accommodate the deteriorating American couch sloth. We’re now the most obese nation on the planet, with nearly 40% of the population tipping the scale harder than Kevin Spacey groping for glory in the Newsies dressing room. It’s obscene!

And so, hats off to the region’s open lands and trails managers, who’ve done the community a huge service with this extension. If more people are encouraged to get out there and recreate, maybe we can all pull back a few inches on the belt by this time next year, a payback and ROI that’ll be well-worth the investment in the long run.

But I just read that they’re estimating 250,000 people are going to be out there, using the trails. As much as I’d love to see a healthier planet, I don’t want them out there when I’m skating. Especially with their dogs on their 50 ft. extenda leashes, and definitely not those Lance-Wanna-Be’s – because you know how I feel about them. So I’m all for sharing, just don’t be out there early in the morning, unless you know how to keep right. Passing on your left…



Trailway To Heaven

There’s a skater who’s sure,
All that’s paved’s made to roll,
And he’s buying a trailway to heaven.

And when he gets there he knows,
If the rinks are all closed,
With a word he can skate like he came for.

BLASPHEMER!!! Eh, I never understood this high-concept cover anyhows...

Laugh it up fuzzball. It may sound corny, but I’ve found skaters Nirvana. A place where the trail goes on forever, and the season never ends. I’m literally five minutes off my first trail skate as a resident of Santa Clarita, California. Without a doubt, this place was made for me. Seriously, made to order, as if directly from Buddy V. the Cake Boss himself. Imagine…

Triple layers of the firmest, smoothest sponge cake, held together with layers of chocolate ganache, dirty iced in butter cream and covered in smooth black fondant. For detail, we add yellow fondant dotted lane lines, pipe in some green grass, use a little granular brown sugar to create a dry creek bed, a little spun brown sugar to create some dry brush, and all along the path we put up white picket barrier fences, trail mile markers, water fountains, stop signs and cyclists, all made out of modeling chocolate. A slice of awesomeness. What you have is a work of art, completely edible and on your plate every living day. Yeah, being out on that trail, it makes me wonder…what have I done to deserve this?

"Mauro! NOT ONLY are these speedskates, NOT ROLLERBLADES, but geez man, this cake smells like the dump on Staten Island! Woah! Hot Ga'bage!"

Before moving out here, I’d only skated one trail that I’d found when searching the web for trails to skate. The only one I’d found was the Santa Clara River Trail. If it were the only one in the area, I’d be happy to have it. Smooth, black and long, just the way the freaky girl from Airplane likes her men. That aside, it’s good but not the greatest. Parts of it run along a pretty heavily trafficked road, and more than once I was fielding cat-calls from Chicano’s in low riders, which gave me a queasy feeling that made it hard to focus. I mean hey, I know, if you’re gonna wear spandex on public streets, this kinda stuff should be expected. It’s one thing to think you can handle the ridicule, it’s quite another to actually go through it. I ain’t going back on that trail in my skin suit, period. Ah hem…

So. That’s yet another reason why I’m glad I found the San Francisquito Creek Trail. It’s mile upon mile of interconnected skating bliss. More glide for your stride, baby. So good, only pictures and video can really capture the essence of how perfectly picturesque, hell, how absolutely pornographic, this trail system is. So close the door, put out the lights, light some candles and grab the Kleenex cause you’re in for some eye-candy…

Point of Entry. From desert plains I bring you love.

I sat in my garage and strapped up. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect as I ventured out to see this new strip of trail. I’d expected to make my way into this little park, find a feeder trail, and maybe find one skatable mile of good trail before hitting a crossover or dead-end. Or worse yet, maybe a crumbling, pothole laden, chip-seal patched rumble strip like what you can skate in old town Fort Collins, only there’d be no scenery to soak in to make the numbing in your feet more bearable. And hey, that’s not slagging my old turf. Not at all. I never liked the trails around old town Fort Collins, always opting for Greely to Windsor or Loveland.

At any minute I expected to see the cast of Grease cheering on Konicki of the big win.

Wow! Was I in for a surprise! What I found was nothing short of heaven. Freakin’ died and gone to freakin’ heaven I have. I tell you…it was so freakin’ good, I don’t ever say this but here I will, at one freakin’ point, after the first hour and a half of exploring, I found myself wishing it would end! No joke man, this trail, it goes on forever, in every freakin’ direction! You get to a major intersection and you got at least four choices to make. Should I continue straight on this side? Maybe cross the wash and head up the other side? Take the other side in the opposite direction, or head back where I came from? Any choice would yield a great skate experience. So, being a trail freak, I did it all.

What part of the word "perfect" do you not understand?

At one end, there’s Magic Mountain. You know, the real-life Wally World from National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Rusty, may I call you Rusty? I had a bad experience on this trail once. I threw up.

Truth be told, this is the end of the trail I’ll probably skate least, as it’s intended to loop at this point but the bridge completing the circuit is closed till March. So I got to that end of the trail and almost found myself on the ground, with the trail stopping abruptly underneath an overpass.

Oh yeah...the sign really helps.

Judging from the rubber skid marks, I can see I’d not been the first to almost find the end of the trail the hard way.

The skid marks are the only visible sign of empathy a cyclist will ever get from me.

Having made my way back to one of the cross streets, I decided to venture onto another section. Wasn’t expecting much till I got around the corner, then I found this:

Another slice of heaven.

When is this going to end? Seriously, it’s almost too much. But as I keep rolling, I develop the plan. I’ll break this trail up and use it to keep things fresh. I can skate all or parts depending on how much time I have. I won’t need to worry about getting a lesser workout on any route, as it’s got such a great mix of ups and downs, lefts and rights.

Rails to Trails converting an old trestle into a skate/ ped / and, ok, a bike path.

There are some really cool sights too. The mountains, the wash (dry riverbed that serves as a drainage ditch if it ever rains here), the cliffs, the trail itself. This is my new home.

Like the Grand Canyon, just not as deep or as beautiful. But the trail rocks!

Palm trees and cactus, sand and sod, there’s so much to see along this trail, but that’s not usually what I’m in it for. I promise, at some point, I’ll do a slide show of all the great horticulture and topography. The pictures here don’t really do that stuff justice. Because right now, for me, it’s all about getting to know these trails like the back of my hand, so I can know when to hold the speed and when to let up. One thing I’ll say for whoever built this path, they knew what they were doing with the lanes.

The worst part of the trail...I'll freakin' take it!

Skaters and cyclists get a dotted yellow line, joggers and walkers get the white. Plenty of room for everyone, and they all take their lane markings very seriously out here. Just like they respect jay walking laws. (Go ahead, dare cross between signals.) But all this to say, that means that so far, I’m getting along with the cyclists. But that’s only because I have my handy Five Guys Inline Speedskating Burger Bell, an early warning system I use to alert those skin-suited weenies that they’re about to be passed…by a speed weenie on eight wheels! Hells yeah!

Thanks Team Bosch - Works like a charm!

Yes my friends…welcome to paradise! OK, so who wants to eat some cake???