I woke up from an allergy-induced slumber that was less about rejuvenation of mind and body and more about providing a stationary object on which pollen could collect. I was due to meet a friend at 7am for an easy ride and breakfast out to Hygiene but woke feeling drugged, my thoughts sluggish and a bit blurry. Fortunately, I had prepared my things the night before and my husband had the forethought to have the bike loaded in the car so that there would be no last minute retreats back to bed.
After a couple cups of coffee, I was off if not fully energized then at least conversational. One thing about getting an early morning start to a ride is that there is really no one else on the road at 6:45. It doesn’t really need to be explained as to why this is the case but I think it might be a habit worth forming.
We cruised onto Hwy36 with a couple of other two-wheeled souls and headed north towards Lyons. That first, sharp descent that curves right always make me sit a little more attentively on my seat. The wide sweep of the road draws your eye both to the looming Flatirons in the west and the flat, sprawling plains towards the east. The view seems charged with the roar of passing cars and I have a tendency to hug a little more closely to the far right of the shoulder.
The first chance we got off of Hwy36 and headed east on Neva, which offers a lovely little descent through farm land and reservoirs; you might even catch a glimpse of a lama pack munching grass. There’s nothing inherently wrong with 36: nice shoulder, fairly courteous drivers, and a smooth ride. But if you don’t have to ride adjacent to a race track, why would you? East of 36, the farmland that immediately spills out and across the prairie is beautiful and full of unexpected animals, like lamas and goats. Of course, today, there were no lamas rather the more traditional herd of cows with lots of calves filled one of the fields. In hindsight, I should have stopped and taken better shots of the cute, little things trotting around the place.
But I didn’t and we flashed by them and on our way. A left on 63rd, a right on Nelson and then another left on 75th and we were coasting into Hygiene. By this time, the two cups of coffee and half an oat bar were nowhere to be found in my stomach. I’d been trying a newish energy drink form Skratch Labs and that had helped keep hunger at bay. That is until we hit Crane Hollow Cafe and the smell of green chili, eggs and bacon threatened to overwhelm my dietary goals with one rich and heady blast of aroma.
If you haven’t ridden out to Hygiene before, you are missing a solidly, fun ride. If you’ve ridden out to Hygiene and not eaten at Crane Hollow Cafe, you are missing the entire point of cycling. As it turns out, I’m weak and the Rancheros were delicious.