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Rob from Lincoln on 5/8/2012 4:46:17 PM:
We're taking a ride from Atkinson to Valentine and back next Friday. Can anyone comment on the trail conditions on that stretch?

Abby from Fort Collins,CO on 5/15/2012 3:47:13 PM:
Did you hear anything back? We aren't riding until June but would like to see more discussion on the forum!

David @Colorado from Denver on 5/16/2012 10:27:52 PM:
I delayed a planned Cowboy Trail trip for another year - going to do the Allegheny, C&O Canal Trail instead. No progress on trail repairs, no progress on trail extension, and poor reports on trail maintenance.

Rob from Lincoln on 5/21/2012 11:51:12 AM:
Hi Abby,
Just got back from the ride. We started in Stuart and rode to Valentine. 85 miles each way. The limestone is a little thick due to minimal traffic but not unrideable by any means, however, there has been some cattle and horse traffic so some of the stretches were bumpy for around 100 yards in a few spots. One stretch just north of Johnstown was so bad I had to walk my bike for about a 1/4 of a mile because the trail was so rough. I jumped on highway 20 after that all the way to Valentine. A friend continued on the trail and said he came across a lot of washboards up to around 6 miles south of Valentine.

On the way back I took highway 20 until Basset and was much better. Minimal hills for a few miles but flat the rest with good shoulders. You could take highway 20 all the way to O'Neill with minimal hills and still have a good ride, or hop on the trail for a change of pace, but highway seemed faster and more comfortable in the long run. We had several flats primarily south and north of Ainsworth with thorns and one or two on the rest of the trail also, but highway we had no flats.

Regardless, the scenery was great and we'll definitely be doing it again next year. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Anonymous on 5/22/2012 10:19:11 AM:
Thanks so much! It helps a lot. We'll be traveling with 2 kids, the 11year old will ride her own bike (she is very experienced but still only 11!!) and 8 yr old on a tandem. How was the traffic on 20? We've decided to take a car as a sag since we are also bringing our dog (and heaven forbid she should get hot :)). So I figure we can always shuttle the kids past a bad part. Just my husband and I are planning to do the GAP/C&O the end of September.

Anonymous on 5/22/2012 3:52:59 PM:
The traffic on 20 was fairly busy. Quite a few semis. Not sure I'd take a child on the shoulder. I would stick to the trail. I would say about 70% of the trail was parallel with highway 20 so getting off the highway to the trail was pretty easy. Where were you going to start and finish?

Anonymous on 5/23/2012 10:16:44 PM:
We are going to start in Valentine and finish around Neligh or wherever we end up. We are going to leave a car at the police station there. Since we are taking a sag wagon this time it seems pretty easy. I've never done a ride with any kind of support. This will probably lead to overpacking. :) Thanks for the traffic info. She was a trooper last year riding with logging trucks in Idaho but it took a few years off my life!!!