For the two years that I've lived in Loveland, Colorado, I've enjoyed biking around Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins. I usually take the "back" way to the dams and loop back via Wilson or Taft. The return trip has always been a bit treacherous: cars go fast and the bike lane is narrow and often filled with clutter. I'm fully aware that I have avoided riding to Fort Collins in the past because of this 5-mile stretch.
But on Saturday, the new Long View Trail was officially opened, and it changes everything. I biked back today from a ride around Horsetooth and it was so much fun. A completely protected, away-from-the-road path with lovely bridges and packed dirt on both sides for runners.
At 10am on a Wednesday, I passed at least a dozen people in 5 miles; many of them were older folks, and more women than men. This is a good thing. When people feel safe, communities grow. I also saw someone on a skateboard and a mom with a double-wide jogging-stroller. I have no doubt that pretty soon this path will be well-used, year round. Thank you Larimer County!