Hello! I am just back from a quick trip to Denver this weekend to visit Melissa. Yesterday she and I grabbed bikes out of the garage (I rode her husband Chanh’s Huffy and she rode her Raleigh “Black Beauty”) for a relaxing ride around the neighborhood.
So, yeah, in Denver a ride around “the neighborhood” can be pretty darn amazing.
This beautiful scenery is in the city. After leaving Melissa’s house and crossing a calm and well-marked street or two…
…Melissa led me down a lovely trail through a huge park.
As you can see, winter bicycling in Denver is not like winter bicycling in Chicago. The bright sun and extremely clear sky were super bright, especially coming as I was from the dark and grey world of Chicago. Good thing I had my big sunglasses.
A couple of details: the cool bell on my bike and Melissa’s cute biking shoes.
The park area where we were biking actually used to be an air force base, which this huge plane commemorates.
Some areas built up in place of the old base look a bit too suburban pre-fab for my taste, but overall it is a beautiful environment.
We took a break from our ride to enjoy a refreshment at a beer garden. I love the beer culture in Denver!
Finally, we got a quick picture together before heading home.
The day before our bike adventure, we explored the town of Golden, Colorado on foot.
Where I guess they appreciate bicyclists!
This town is where Coors is brewed, but we chose to visit a couple of smaller breweries instead. First, Golden City. Their sign cracks me up.
Then an ice cream intermission for this little guy (his first!).
(He’s like – “Why are you poking me in the head, Auntie Dottie?” Because I can, baby!)
And then a walk in the fresh air to the second brewery, Mountain Toad.
Good times! We make a good bike-riding, beer-drinking, baby-playing team. :)
As I write this, I am back in Chicago: snowy, freezing, and Melissa-less. So sad! I’m sure I’ll be back in beautiful Denver again in the next year.
I’m back in Chicago! Can you believe it’s November already?
During my Denver vacation, I spent a day in nearby Fort Collins, Colorado. Melissa, Chanh, Mr. Dottie, and I went on a bike tour of the city’s breweries. Melissa mapped out an ambitious plan to hit all seven, but a late start, early return time for the bikes, and a lot of beer sampling lowered that number to three.
Our first stop was the Fort Collins Bike Library to pick up free bikes. That’s right: free. The Bike Library is a non-profit that lends out bikes like a library (get it?).
The Bike Library is located in a small hut in the middle of the downtown pedestrian plaza. Once we signed a waiver and provided credit card information, we were free to pick out the bikes. Many were unrideable due to needed repairs, but lucky for us, several were left in good condition.
I scored a Jamis Commuter, the first bike I owned as an adult. This was a very nice version, complete with 8-geared internal hub, chain guard, fenders and generator lights, although it made a crazy noise and the fenders were bent up.
Melissa tried out the bakfiets (awesome!)…
But went with a cute blue cruiser.
Chanh and Greg chose/were left with red single speeds.
Our second stop was CooperSmith’s Brewery, since it is next to the Bike Library and has a pub where we could eat lunch. Also, beer!
Then we set off down the road to our next stop, Odell Brewing. The ride was quick, but most of the route was along the shoulder of a two-way street with faster traffic. Someone with less experience riding among traffic may not be totally comfortable with this route (along Lincoln) but we found a more enjoyable back-streets route for the return trip.
The beer at Odell was AMAZING! Easily among the best beer I’ve ever had, especially the Bourbon Barrel Stout.