We jumped back on our bikes today for the first time in more than a week. The route was an unforgiving 81 miles with two 9000+ foot summits. Our legs were well rested but we were nervous they might be too well rested for the day ahead.
We were a little sad to leave Colorado Springs since we had been there so long and it was starting to feel like home. Plus, the showers were awesome! But all of us were eager to get back on the road to explore new places. We got on our bikes and started our way to Hartsel.
First, we biked through the Garden of the Gods. We took this awesome bike path to get there. We had to go through the smallest tunnel I've ever been in to get there. We could only go single file and you had to be careful not to get too far to the side! When we go to the park, we explored, climbed rocks, and caught lizards.
Our first climb was up a pass called Ute Pass. The climb was tough but lunch was near the top at mile 40. We all chilled out on a porch and ate anything we could get our hands on. Mémo, one of our build site supervisors from CO Springs, swung by and dropped us off some snacks. He also gave Marcus and Mike some overalls that they'd commented on during the week. Mike lost a "What Are The Chances" and had to wear his over his bike kit for the rest of the day. "What Are the Chances" is a game similar to Truth or Dare that we love to play. Basically, if you have a dare for someone, you ask them what the chances are that they'd do it. The person being dared then gives them the odds that they'd do the dare. For example, "1 out of 10" or "1 out of 50." Then both people think of a number in that range, count to three, and then say the number they're thinking of out loud. If the numbers are the same, the dare has to be done!
We descended the first pass and started up the second. I hit 47 mph on the way done, a personal record! The second climb was another doozy but the view at the top was amazing!
Thunder rumbled in the distance so we didn't spend too much time before descending into Hartsel. There are so many hidden gems in Colorado. Hartsel is a tiny town, our group of 27 topped their population of 28. But Hartsel was a great town with a great view and awesome people. Another supervisor from our build site, Joe, came to visit us and he brought 7 of his 14 dogs. They greeted Kat, Amanda, and Nyx as they cruised in.
After a delicious chili dinner and a freezing but refreshing hose shower, we laid our sleeping bags outside under the stars and the temperature was perfect. It was a great first day back on the bike!