This has been kind of a strange day for a riding day. The day started really early when I picked up my bike from Berthoud Bicycle . The two guy that own the shop are amazing. They worked outside their normal hours to finish my bike in time for me to get back on the road today. They replaced the rear wheel, chain and bottom bracket (the part where the pedals connect to the frame and spin), trued both wheels, adjusted the cables and cleaned and lubed everything. The bike rides so much smoother now. Everything had gradually gotten out of whack and I had forgotten how the bike should feel. For all the work they did and parts replaced, it didn’t cost nearly as much as I expected.
I rode back to my sister’s house to pack. I had sent some cold weather gear ahead to her, so I left with more than I had when I arrived. I decided to completely unpack everything and repack. I had trouble sleeping last night and moved a little slowly. I didn’t leave her place until a little after 1:00 p.m.
It didn’t take very long to get to Longmont, CO. My Aunt Roberta lives on the north side of Longmont. She and her friend Carol have been following my blog and jokingly said they wanted their parking lot to be part of my route across the country. I stopped by to visit them. Carol is also a talented painter and has painted some of the photographs I have taken on this trip. She also did a small painting for me of my bicycle with a canal trail in the background to commemorate the trip. Such a cool memento.
By the time I left my aunt’s place, I was starting to get a bit hungry. I rode through Longmont, then stopped for lunch. By the time I left Longmont, it was already 4:00 and I didn’t think I would get much further. I hopped on highway 287 toward Denver. I had hoped to get to downtown Denver and stay in a hostel, but with how late it was, I knew I wouldn’t make it that far. The highway does have a nice wide shoulder, but it is very busy and the noise can get a little overbearing after a while. The mountains were contantly in view as a reminder that I will eventually have to cross them. I think I will continue to ride south untily I see a gap, then turn right.
When I got to the northern suburbs of Denver, I left the main highway to get away from the noise and was able to get a little further than I expected. The day ended by riding through some office parks. They were eerily silent in the evening.