Starting Location: Estes Park, CO
Ending Location: Denver, CO
Lowest Elevation: 5000
Highest Elevation: 8058
Today started off with a really nice downhill into Estes Park where I then rode for a short while with some of the cyclists in the Ride the Rockies event. They were heading for Fort Collins for the day. On the way out I passed by a nice view over Lake Estes and the fairgrounds.
From Estes Park to Lyons I enjoyed a mostly all downhill ride with some awesome views and followed the Little Thompson River for a while. When I got into Lyons I stopped at a gas station for fuel up on snacks and drinks for the day and then continued on highway 36 to Boulder.
From Lyons to Boulder there was a nice big shoulder for biking and there were tons of cyclists out on the road with me. Every one of them that passed by had to make a comment about how much stuff I was carrying. There wasn't much to look at to my left, but there were some mountains to the right of me and I could see the Boulder Flatirons in the distance.
When I got into Boulder the traffic was pretty bad in the city. Being on a fully loaded bike in heavy city traffic is always interesting. I stopped for some lunch in Boulder then used my phone to find my a route throught the rest of the city. I was directed to some bike paths that kept me off the main roads and got me all the way through Boulder. Boulder has tons of amazing bike paths, though it was a bit complicated to navigate and I had to continuously check my phone to see where I had to go. My route took my right by the CU Boulder campus, which had an amazing view of the Flatirons.
Getting out of Boulder I headed for the bike path that parallels highway 36 all the way from Boulder to Denver. The rest of my ride wasn't very exciting. Riding along the side of a busy highway isn't as enjoyable as riding through beautiful mountains, though I was happy to be on a seperated path.
Google Maps had me jump off of the seperated path when I got a little past halfway between Boulder and Denver. It navigated me to another bike path that ended up being closed for roadwork. For the next 30-45 minutes it was a battle between myself and Google Maps because it kept trying to take me back to the path that was closed. I was getting pretty frustrated having to navigate my own way through the busy area. Eventually I made it to a path that was actually open and from then on the ride wasn't too bad. The bike paths took my right through Denver along the Platte River.
I got to the end of the path and only had a couple of miles of residential roads to ride through to get to my cousin's house. I arrived a bit before Kelly and Danny got home, so Kelly gave me instructions to get into the house so I could take my stuff in and get in the shower. It was probably a good thing that I arrived before them since I was so sweaty from the very hot day and I hadn't seen Kelly in probably 12 or more years.
After getting all cleaned up and settled in and meeting Danny and their baby Riley for the first time, we all went out to Station 26 Brewery to get a couple drinks and some food. The brewery was pretty unique because it was built inside of an old firestation - hence the name Station 26.
We returned to their house and hung around and talked for a while and then watched a movie after they put Riley to sleep. By the time the movie ended it was time for us all to go to bed for the night.