Wednesday, August 15, 2012

things we do in Colorado

This year I only took one picture in Boulder. I really had a fancy for this bicycle covered in plastic flowers. I'd ride one like this if the stems wouldn't get stuck in the spokes and make the cranks seize up. Some things are more whimsical than functional, I guess. Among other things we saw in Boulder: contortionists, trustafarians, pro cyclists, and thunderstorms. Apparently it storms every afternoon on the front range in August - which we found out when we got trapped in a monsoon under a bathroom awning at the bike park.

After a couple days we decided to get out of Boulder to suffocate ourselves at higher altitudes. We drove away from Winter Park wheezing and then found this terrific mountain pass.
It dropped us out somewhere in San Isabel National Forest, which seemed like a perfect place to get a flat tire before we carried on to Salida.

Salida was neat. Lots of fun desertish riding, a random classic car show in the center of town, and surprisingly good thai food.

After fiddling about with the flat tire for 24 more hours, Montana finally relented and got it fixed at an actual tire shop - for free. It seems that common sense takes a long time to break through the male ego. Then we drove back up to the mountains to ride a few miles of the Monarch Crest trail.
A ride at 12,000 feet was a little scary - mainly because I couldn't breathe. Otherwise, it was totally awesome. The trail was mostly super-buff and basically flat along the ridgeline. Surprisingly easy riding for someone who's only been riding a bike for a week. And the new bike's pretty terrific. I can't believe I wasted 2 years of my life dragging my boat-anchor Karate Monkey up hills and trying to tell myself it was fun.

Then on to Crested Butte. Scenic views abound and I struggled up those hills on an 8-mile run.
And this guy from Alabama who camped next to us.
We left Butte, drove about 30,000 miles of gravel road to Redstone (a tiny town with no cell phone service and only one public payphone), miscommunicated with our boss who had offered us a place to stay for the night, and ended up camping in the red cliffs outside of town. Then on to Fruita.
I love Fruita, and I love the riding there. But apparently 1:30 in the afternoon is too late to go for a bike ride if you're not into becoming a bleached animal carcass on the side of the Kokopelli Trail.
My friend Anna and me, in the very hot shade underneath a 500-year-old tree that's probably sick of being in the sun for so long.
Out of the hot desert and finally up and over Independence Pass to Breckenridge, because Montana had to do that race and stuff. We're staying in a condo with 11 other middle-aged mountain bikers who are also in the race. One of them thought it would be brilliant to trudge up a mountain two days before it started. We got really tired and saw a family of mountain goats. Boyfriend's report about it here.
Good stuff. Everyone was really sore and bitchy for the next two days. 

Then the race started, and good times were had by all, especially on the second day.

Watch more video of 2012 Breck Epic Stage Race on

I've been running around the trails in Breck and attempting to help out at aid stations, but on the hypothermia day I stood in the rain at the finish line with coffee and a warm sweater for Montana so he wouldn't die. That hot tub is a quite literally a life saver.

In a few days the race will be over and we'll have to leave Colorado and drive all the way back to Ohio. I'm a little sad about that. But I'm drowning in testosterone here, and I can't wait to be reunited with my lovely cross country ladies.


  1. man, this looks so bbeeeaauuuttiiful!! I want to some somewhere!

  2. Come visit when we move to Colorado :)

  3. rocky mountain high. those pics rock!