Day 40: Boulder, CO to Estes Park, CO
Total Mileage: 53 miles
Waking up knowing we had to leave Boulder was pretty hard for us, cause we all fell in love with the city. We all want to buy houses right next to each other on the same street, throw cycling block parties, and rename the street to 4K Avenue in the near future. We’ll make it happen! Our host especially was very hospitable and the members of their church community were very helpful. We met a person who has climbed Trail Ridge Road on their bike and someone who’s traveled the entire world through biking, walking, hiking, boating, and flying. Boulder is a city of adventurous people, and it’s contagious.
Today’s ride featured three guest cyclists: Eric, who is a bike mechanic at Denver Bicycle Café that Dany met in the city yesterday, and Lauren and Liz from the Davis Phinney Foundation. Barry got us in contact with Lauren, who is the Victory Crew Manager at the Davis Phinney Foundation in Boulder, who rode out with us in the morning with Liz, who is also involved with the foundation. Davis Phinney is the all-time leader in race victories by an American and Olympic medalist. At age 40, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and ever since, his foundation exists to improving the lives of people living with Parkinson’s (http://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/).
Today’s team name: Learned it From My Mama with Lamie, Athina, Sasha, and Gloria. Not entirely sure how the team name came to be, but Athina was the one that suggested it. It makes sense, since Lamie is the mother of our team (our MA!). They warned us today that a majority of the ride would be a constant climb up, which is a perfect warm up for Trail Ridge Road. The first 43 miles were essentially a steady climb, with a number of flat stretches and downhills. The Welcome to Colorado Sign wasn’t kidding about the state being colorful. The surrounding Rockies and cycling alongside the Colorado River was remarkable. It’s easy to google pictures and look up images of the Rocky Mountains, but you’ll never getthe full experience until you cycle through them.
Although there were parts that were pretty difficult, we had a great host to look forward to thanks to Lamie. She scored us the Ballroom at Estes Park Resort, which is located lakefront of Lake Estes, surrounded by the Rockies. Once we passed mile 43, it was literally all downhill from there. You know you’re flying down the hill when your speedometer reads above the speed limit and you pass cars on the way down. Went just as fast as I did in Ashville, which was around 43 MPH.We got to the host early enough to relax. take in the scenery of the Rockies, and wade on the shores of Lake Estes. We had dinner at the most amazing YMCA, the YMCA of the Rockies, and drove by the Stanley Hotel, which is the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining. Having the mountains in the background everywhere you go is absolutely breathtaking, which is one of the main reasons why I love Colorado so much. So much to do and so much to see in so little time, I need more time in Colorado. After the trip, I’m coming back and that’s a promise.