Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Few Days in Colorado: Good Friends and Mountain Biking

I had meetings in Boulder, Colorado on Monday and Tuesday of this week, so I took advantage of the trip and spent last weekend out there seeing friends.  I spent Saturday afternoon with the Sparkly Pia family.  I was honored to be their first visitor since moving to Colorado.  The weather cancelled our plans for a short hike, but I did get to see the outside of their new house.  Saturday night, I drove down to Denver and spent a great evening with Tangled Up in Denver and her family.  It had been more than two years since I had seen them and how the kids have grown!  Time passes so quickly.

Sunday, I was invited to give mountain biking a try for the first time by a friend I've worked with over the years.  When the invitation was issued, I assumed we would be doing some scenic road cycling in the mountains.  I accepted and said I would bring my shoes and pedals.  Then he said a friend of his would bring a mountain bike for me to use.  First time on a mountain bike, riding at 6000ish feet 24 hours after arriving from basically sea level...what could possibly go wrong?  Now, I love cycling.  I have spent untold hours on my bikes, but I can't say that, other than the random gravel road, I have ever biked off pavement.  I am used to the skinny tires, shoes that are hard to walk in, and the ridiculous clothing of road cycling.  I know nothing of riding off road.

I brought shoes and pedals anyway, since I use mountain bike shoes for commuting.  The guys got me set up on the generously loaned bike and we were off.  Well, they were off.  I struggled with the first small climb because I wasn't used to riding over rocks.  They waited for me at the top and reassured me that, yes, the bike will actually roll over almost everything (my road cyclist brain took some convincing).  I slowly got more comfortable riding over uneven terrain and wound up having a blast.  By the end of the ride, I was trying to figure out if there is room in the garage for another pair of bikes.

It was a great couple of days of fun, followed by a little bit of work.  I only wish I could have spent more time with everyone.  It seems like a vacation to Colorado might be in order.

Pictures (click to enlarge):
 The Flatirons north of where we were riding.
 Taking a quick break.
 One of the easiest parts of our ride.
 A different kind of boot shot.
Another view of the Flatirons and the changing leaves in the valley.


  1. Amazing country considering it is so close to major populations. When I was in my 20's I had to work at a Forest Service computer center in Fort Collins for about a month. A climbing freind from my undergraduate days was still getting his doctorate at U. of WY in Larmie. We were able to fit in several great weekends of climbing. On one weekend we climbed routes on the Flat Irons. It was an amazing weekend of great climbing! The other thing I remember is that in Washington DC it seemed only 10-20% of my co-workers regularly did outdoor stuff where as out in Colorado it seemed like the vast majority of folks were very active with outdoor activities of some kind.

  2. Since March 16, we have killed by swats or trapped on sticky tape, between 7 and 500 flies in our house, almost every day. We often cannot eat and prepare food in our clean, well-kept home. How can we deal with this problem? This happens, every spring, but this year is by far the worst and longest in duration. Public health, extension, and a pest control firm say they cannot help us, but we have their sympathy