Burning Both Ends (53)

Despite riding until 8pm last night, the alarm went off at 3:30am so we could get to Denver before the afternoon rain.  However, we squandered that opportunity by snoozing, then sitting for an hour and a half with coffees at the Loaf ‘N Jug in town.  This allowed us time to charge the camera at least, which died yesterday afternoon.

While procrastinating, we met a man who said he has cyclist friends who can’t make it over the hills between there and Denver, so we would likely have to walk.  We’ve had similar conversations with other locals along the way.  Everyone seems to have an unconscious sense of pride regarding the difficulty of the terrain in their area, and it doesn’t matter what you tell them you’ve already conquered.



We made it up all of the hills to an elevation of 7,500′, during which we felt the effects of the elevation for the first time. In this area, we saw some gorgeous homes and forests (trees again!).


We also passed a fawn standing beside the road.  At first, it didn’t flinch, but when the camera came out, it took off.  Soon after, the road turned to dirt, but some great scenery made up for the fact that our pace dropped off significantly due to the soft, uneven surface.


I was harboring a bit of anxiety due to the afternoon weather, so it was a relief when the road turned back to pavement!

We were thoroughly surprised when we stumbled upon a Yak farm!


Our afternoon was spent riding on the Cherry Creek Regional Trail from Franktown to Denver.   We were very impressed; it took us through some very nice areas and was relatively well-marked (which is helpful, because there are plenty of other intersecting trails).

 

There were a lot of prairie dogs near the trail.


We arrived around 3pm, in the midst of some light rain.  It was such a relief to get off of the bikes, knowing we would have our first rest days since Ace Adventure, all the way back in West Virginia.  We are spending the night with the Hegartys, Rachel’s relatives, who live ten miles south of downtown Denver.

Later on we enjoyed a delicious dinner with Schevaun, Charlie, Theresa, Catherine, Cahleen, and Rocky, then relaxed on the couch before turning in for a great night’s sleep!

Trip stats, to date (Day 53)

  • Calhan, CO to Denver, CO
  • Daily mileage: 77.3mi;  Trip total to date: 3,454.8mi
  • Daily riding time: 6hr 43min;  Trip total time: 297hr 04min
  • Daily ascent: 2,220ft;  Trip total ascent: 159,380ft
  • Flat tires: Rachel – 1; Chris – 0