After a great breakfast of sausage, pancakes with homemade strawberry jelly, cantelope, and leftover oatmeal chocolate chip cake, we said our goodbyes. A big thanks to the Hegarty’s and Izzy for giving us places to stay; we can’t wait to come back!
Several busy bike paths took us out into the foothills beyond the mile high city (“MHC”). En route we met Joel and Wendy. They are sponsored by Jelly Belly for an upcoming 3-day charity ride for the local children’s hospital, the Courage Classic, so they donated some sport beans to us :-). Thank you both so much; we really appreciated it! And good luck with the ride; it sounds like it will be a lot of fun.
While were talking, another tourer pulled up which was a surprise since we are off-route. His name is Stefan, and he is from France. His route went from San Francisco to Denver, and he was very excited to have a few rest days in Denver before traveling home.
We loved climbing up Deer Creek Canyon; it was lightly traveled and provided several great views for our first climb through the Rockies.
This afternoon we think we might have seen more non-touring cyclists than for the first 56 days combined! It might be because of the Triple Bypass ride this weekend, though.
At the top of the canyon, we happily stumbled upon a cyclist rest stop in Pleasant Park, maintained by the Pleasant Park Grange.
It was such a nice surprise; while there, we talked to a few local cyclists and enjoyed cookies, water, and gatorade, in addition to pb&j’s that we made, before continuing on our way.
Two of the cyclists we met were Samson and Kern. Samson is more of a mountain biker, but within the past few years, has gotten into road biking and is now training for an Ironman triathalon in Boulder next month. Good luck, Samson! Kern had a lot of good insight regarding the area and has done some touring in Europe in the past, so we enjoyed hearing his stories.
Route 285 was busy with traffic but provided a some great views. Because we got a late start, we didn’t make it to Bailey until after 6pm. We had been planning to ride to Kenosha Pass Campground, another 20mi with plenty of climbing.
As we headed toward the campground, we passed the Platte Canyon Fire Station No. 1 and saw some people outside. We asked about other options for camping, and they said there was nothing closer, but offered up the space behind the building. We took them up on the offer and set up camp after chatting briefly. Thanks, Platte Canyon Fire Station!
We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant down the street, and, when the owner found out about our trip, he even offered for us to sleep on the deck under the roof.
Finally, we headed back to the fire station under a fiery sky and got to sleep as quickly as possible.
Trip stats, to date (Day 57)
- Denver, CO to Bailey, CO
- Daily mileage: 50.0 ; Trip total to date: 3,504.8
- Daily riding time: 5hr 09min; Trip total time: 302hr 15min
- Daily ascent: 5,419ft; Trip total ascent: 164,799ft
- Flat tires: Rachel – 1; Chris – 0