Posted: March 31st, 2013 | Author: JenniferSRoberts | Filed under: Rides | No Comments »
Old trees are being uprooted by the wind and drought.
I’d like to say that my coffee rides and book reading about cycling had prepared me for the de facto season ride opener. Nope. Jersey was snug, I felt clumsy clicking in and I was passed quickly and without a second glance by the AARP cycling team. I was prepared, though. I had my camera, Map Tracks started and a single Kind bar. The weather was absolutely perfect, a spring day lifted stealthily from Winter’s grasp and I woke up feeling cocky and ready. The goal was to ride into Lyons, maybe stop off into Stone Kitchen, if they were open, do Fruit Loops and head home. A gentle ease back into the riding scene. 10 minutes out onto HWY36 and about 2 miles out of town, I thought I was pressing down on the pedals with noodles. I told hubby to meet me in Lyons, I wanted to suffer in silence.
Once I slowed my pace and found a rhythm that allowed me to breathe without snorting, I settled into the ride. It wasn’t fast and I was passed relentlessly by Easter egg-colored cycling jerseys. The sky was blue and the grasses were bleached post-winter yellow, the ground hard from little snow. I’ve noticed many of the old, dead trees finally falling over along the bike path in Boulder so wasn’t surprised to see down trees out towards Lyons. This farm actually had an enormous tree on its side several months past; this one must have been a younger sibling. I jumped off my bike and tried to get a good view of the enormous trunk and brittle branches striking out into the air this way and that. I don’t know if the picture was worth the effort in the end. I had stopped on an incline and found myself unable to click in. I had this image of myself hobbling along into Lyons. Adding insult to the whole sorry scene were the number of people who offered to help me. I wasn’t sorry I was asked (cyclists, in general, are a super helpful bunch) , I was sorry I looked so pathetic. In the end I waited for a break in traffic, turned my bike downhill, clicked in and then turned back towards Lyons.
In the end, Stone Kitchen was closed, I was knackered and Frase, who had ridden up Old Stage, was open to doing one half of the apple. We headed north from town on Hwy 66 and towards Hall Ranch, where we waved to some mountain biker friends, and then took a left onto S. St Vrain drive. I love this quiet, winding road. It’s in a bit of a canyon, so the shady areas retained their winter cool but most of the road is wide open to sunlight and the occasional view of the river. This road provides a welcome reprieve from the summer heat because of those shady patches and I know in July I’ll be parked in one for several minutes to cool down.
Are you being served?
The Bears of Lyons
This horse was kicking his feet in the air like he just didn’t care
Posted: September 27th, 2012 | Author: JenniferSRoberts | Filed under: Cycling, Rides | No Comments »
Living in Colorado, we are spoiled by impressive, awe-inspiring natural scenery. But when I trundled across the Golden Gate Bridge on a fat-tire, aged rental, I was dazzled by the immensity of the bridge and the breathtaking coastal scenery below. It had to be one of the most scenic rides I have ever been on. We rented bikes at Pier 29 in San Francisco and rode over the bridge to Sausilito. We were having such an awesome time, fueled by yummy tacos and margaritas that we decided to keep riding to Tiburon and then catch the ferry back. It was a wonderful reminder that you don’t need special kit, even a decent bike to go exploring and be moved by the natural and man-made world around us.
Posted: July 24th, 2012 | Author: JenniferSRoberts | Filed under: Cycling, Rides | No Comments »
For a time, when I rode I rode to train. Long rides on very hot summer days to get used to riding long on hot summer days for events, like the Elephant Rock ride or the Santa Fe Century. It was fun and exciting to be part of a large moving mass of cyclists, all riding towards a goal. My only regret from those times is that I never took any pictures. I was more focused on miles, RPMs and eating horrible-tasting GUs (the thought of eating one of those now, even makes me want to gag). So I missed out on taking pictures of some of the amazing places, people and scenes on those great rides.
Today, I always ride with a camera slung over my shoulders. It’s a little cumbersome on climbs and I’m a bit wary to take it on very steep climbs in case I’m moving too slowly to turn the cranks and end up landing on it. That’s one of my biggest fears. Hitting a super tough climb, barely turning the cranks and toppling into the path of a car coming up beside me. It’s irrational as the only time I’ve ever toppled off my bike is when I’ve come to a stop light or sign, forgotten I’m clicked in, and slowly flopped to the side.
Recently, my rides have been closer to home and it’s really amazing what you see.
Granted, the pictures may be a little out-of-focus and most likely framed a little off-angle as I attempt to keep balance. I am thinking of taking the extra time to dismount and get a decent shot and I’ve been doing that more lately. It’s just a little more difficult when the road shoots straight up, like the one taken just at the start of Flagstaff Road.
Posted: April 4th, 2012 | Author: JenniferSRoberts | Filed under: Cycling, Rides | No Comments »
From David Byrne's Journal
I’m just kicking off the season’s riding. Looking for the sweet, warm calm between wind storms and biting Spring cold temps/rain. And on those days where the needle falls comfortably in the middle temps, I head out to the false flats and flats that run parallel to the Foothills (it’s too early in the year to kick off the big climbs). Most of the time, I take 36 out of Boulder, following the ribbon of other cyclists in their brightly-colored spandex. The slow incline out of Boulder gives me a chance to warm my legs and stretch out. Once past the Gateway Park, round the concrete works, I begin the big descent. This is my least favorite part of the entire journey. I would rather take my chances and ride over broken glass than take this swift bend out of Boulder.
Yes, I am exaggerating, of course, but this one section of road with its fast turn and close proximity to cars gaining their top speeds reveals to me all the vulnerabilities of wearing flimsy clothing and riding skinny tires. I don’t know what it is that turns my stomach quivering as I am not generally either a timid nor a scared cyclist. If I was, I certainly would not have continued to ride as often or for as long. And it’s not as if Boulder hasn’t done a superb job on the shoulder, which is wide; or with their signs, which say “Share the ‘effin’ road with nice, groovy cyclists” (or something like that). I just feel unusually exposed on this one section of road. To get through it, I point my wheel straight and close my eyes. Ha. In reality, I get into my drops so I have quick access to my brakes, sit back on the saddle and pedal. I stay far to the right so that the speedsters can overtake me on the left and keep my eyes open and alert. The section is fast so the moment of fear passes pretty quickly and then I’m climbing again.
Are there road sections that scare you? If so, where are they and how do you ride through with confidence?
Posted: April 2nd, 2012 | Author: JenniferSRoberts | Filed under: Rides | No Comments »
The weekend before last a friend of mine and I headed out from Boulder with the aim of stopping in Hygiene at the Crane cafe for a little brunch time feed. Hygiene is about 12 miles north of Boulder so it’s not an epic event but it’s a great first ride of the season to get the legs moving. The ride out was lovely and unique in that we met up with all sorts of people along the way.
We met up at Amante. I arrived a little early, disturbing a very professional looking group of mtn bikers. A couple of them looked at me with concern as I rode up on my pink, DeRosa roadie. I assured them I was not joining them, which got a laugh from one out of the eight. Tough crowd.
We headed out towards Hwy36 on Broadway and were just about to make the turn out of town when we ran (or cycled) into Alan Lim of Skratch labs. He was handing out samples of his energy drink and rice cakes, especially designed for athletes. Check out his Web site where he describes the thought and care that has gone into the recipes for his energy foods. I know that I am eventually became grossed out by the sugary, sticky mess that I was eating on long rides and I have to say I really enjoyed the samples he handed out. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the rice cakes as I was not expecting a savory flavor at all. Funnily enough as we pulled away, Alan said “don’t starve”; I shouted back “we are going for breakfast”, which was met with a bit of confusion. I guess I was already wolfing down samples and now was going to go eat more.
Heading out onto Hwy36, we eventually took a right onto Neva. You can actually ride further along 36 and take any number of rights (going south)and eventually run into a road going north that takes you into Hygiene, but we were eager to get off the busy highway. As it turned out, we may have been better off going a little further along because our northbound left turn onto 63 was cut short by road work. The whole road was closed. We noticed another cyclist trying to negotiate a route around but with little luck and not much conviction as he had described a sheriff handing out tickets to cyclist doing the exact same thing the day before.
So we headed back out and eventually turned left onto 75th, which worked out perfectly because we came across yet another cyclist looking for a little photography help, as you would. She wanted a picture of herself standing in front of the Hygiene Feed sign that read “We have chicks”. Of course, as she was only a singular chick, my friend was co-opted into the pic to provide a plural presence.
Finally, we pulled into the Crane Cafe. I don’t think I had ever had such a social, chatty ride. Cycling can sometimes look quite lonely and singular so it was great to chat with other two-wheeled peeps on Boulder roads.
Posted: December 27th, 2011 | Author: JenniferSRoberts | Filed under: Rides | No Comments »
Peanut butter & chocolate coffee yums
One Sunday awhile back I rode out to the Bittersweet Coffee and Bakery in downtown Louisville. Louisville is about 10 miles east of Boulder, with one or two steep sections to remind you that although you are headed east and away from the mountains, you may still be riding up hill.
We’d had a dump of snow earlier in the week leaving sections of the bike path icy and slick, which kept me extra vigilant and a bit on guard. There were only a couple of spots, where I dismounted. I canvassed the Twitter crowd on one area in particular and it came back pretty evenly split between dismounting and riding through. I dismounted and hobbled across the ice patch realizing too late how slick cleats are on ice.
What would you do? Ride or dismount?
I took the South Boulder Creek Path to Old Tale Road then onto Baseline. Old Tale Road has to be one of my favorite streets in Boulder: wide, bucolic, and with a feeling of an old country road. I rode Baseline until turning right onto 42, then followed the sign to Main St. Louisville. Pretty easy shot. You can make it even easier by going down South Boulder Road but I find it neither as scenic or as pleasant a ride.
The extra energy to remain upright in the icy conditions meant that I made a spectacle of
Santa and the Pinky DeRosa
myself wolfing and scarfing down a gluten-free peanut butter/chocolate dollop before I even got seated. I had intended to take a picture of it, but like many the plans of mice and men and something or other. But the coffee was good and the view of the inflatable Santa impressive. Bittersweet is a coffee shop lover’s coffee shop. It looks like it used to be someone’s home with the dark wood paneling, divided rooms and tiny bathroom. You could imagine a family living sitting comfortably in one of the big chairs drinking a coffee. But now it’s an assortment of families, students and cyclists drinking mugs of coffee and indulging in the really amazing baked goods. The coffee is not bad either. I thought the americano was a bit bitter but hubby disagreed and said it was one of the best he had. I think the dollop may have coated my taste buds with a fine layer of sugar and made the espresso taste more tart than it probably actually was.
Since my ride we’ve received yet another big wallop of snow and the streets are more iced up now so it may be several weeks before I get out there again. Although, that may not be a bad thing after the holiday’s rampage through the pies and ice cream.