Thursday, Ryan and I left with his Uncle for a wonderous 14 hour drive to Golden, Colorado. I suppose I really shouldn't complain, as I got to stretch out in the back seat for all of those 14 hours. Lucky for me, I remembered to bring a pillow (a necessity for any drive longer than 4 hours...)
We took this journey so that Ryan and his uncle could partake in the Triple Bypass, a 120 mile bike ride through the Rockies. I came along to explore Colorado, and be moral/transportation support during their ride.
We stayed in Golden, Co, a cute town just outside of Denver. We arrived Thursday evening, to have just enough time for dinner and a couple drinks before completely crashing.
The next day, we had a fabulous Friday Funday adventure, exploring the town of Golden.
This included a visit to the Golden City Brewery. I couldn't decide which beer to try, so I tried them all... (naturally)
That night we went out and consumed the most sushi I've had in one sitting.. well, except for perhaps the last time I had sushi with Ryan's uncle. The man is a giant, and can easily ingest enough food for 3 people.
Saturday we awoke the the ungodly hour of 4am to get ready for the big ride.
Ryan wasn't feeling the best, possibly due to the combination of a day of drinking beer, a night of drinking sake, vast amounts of raw fish and inadequate sleep. This, plus a discovery of sensitivity to altitude resulted in him puking so hard his nose began to bleed on mile 4 of the ride... He toughed it out for 11 more miles before accepting defeat.
In the meantime, I was driving ahead to Idaho Springs, one of the first stopping points in the ride. I had a minimum of 2 hours to kill before the possibility of Ryan and/or his Uncle to reach the town, so I took the opportunity to explore.
The town was beautiful, and filled with such amazing character. The houses are fantastic. I wish Minneapolis had more houses like the ones dotted in the mountains of Idaho Springs.
After awhile, the bikers began to turn up. I sat patiently on the back of the car and cheered them on as they made their way past. Eventually I learned of Ryan's unfortunate situation. Luckily they have ride support just for such occasions and he got a lift for the 20 some odd miles the rest of the way to Idaho Springs.
He was totally bummed (understandably) but at least we got to be there to support his Uncle and explore the little towns and mountain tops together.
One of my other favorite places we stopped in is Silver Plume. This town was unlike any place I've ever seen, except perhaps Living History Farms in Des Moines, IA, but that is more of a history museum than an actual town.
The most notable part of the bike ride has to be Loveland Pass. Nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, this beast of a mountain is one hell of a challenge to bike up, and terrifyingly fun to bike down.
60+ miles later, the ride is finally over. Ryan's uncle finished in about 10.5 hours, which is amazing. If it were me, I'd probably still be out there struggling to that finish line 3 days late..
We'll most likely do it again next year (and by "we" I clearly mean Ryan and his uncle) but I'm sure we'll take a few extra days to get used to the altitude and to explore more of Colorado in all it's glory.