We first arrived in Denver.
First things first, we ran 5-miles on the river walk trail through town,
then met up for some local beers at the Ale House with our friend Ty.
That night we ended up sleeping in the back
of our truck on a side street of a quiet neighborhood of Ty and Mike’s friend
|Fans at the US Pro Challenge Cycling in Breckinridge.|
It was quite comfortable and
peaceful, but I’m not sure what the neighbors thought when they saw two
vagabonds crawl out the back of the truck parked on the side street in the
|Tyler & Mike|
Once up, and embarrassment set aside, we continued our trip
to Boulder, where Mike’s cousin’s Kiel and Jordan live.
We met Jordan at their cute condo on the
outskirt of town, which seemed to me like a dream community for the young,
active, and fit!
Everyone appeared to be
under 35 and if not running or biking, they were probably out doing some other
Their condo backed up to
acres and acres of open space, which included trails and parks.
We were envious!
|Jordan cheering Kiel on via side-walk chalk in Boulder|
Luckily, we had time to take showers, but that’s about all
we had time for after arriving in Boulder.
Jordan had an intense schedule worked out for us as fans of the US Pro
Cycling Challenge – Tour of Colorado races that Kiel was currently competing
|Sara & Jordan at the finish line.|
We dashed off to the store to pack a
picnic and then off to Beaver Creek (near Aspen) to watch the finish of stage 4
of the tour! I did not realize, until
actually seeing a race in person, and learning the rules of the road, that it
was this intense, involving so much strategy and that cycling had so many
FANS! It was a fun event to be part of,
even as a spectator!
|Hiking up the 3-mile hill to see the finish of stage 4 in Beaver Creek.|
|And they are off!|
|Jordan visiting with Kiel at the finish of a race|
After stage 4, we visited with exhausted Kiel, who looked
like he just had finished his fourth marathon in a row, and then continued on
to Breckinridge to catch the start of stage 5.
It was a crazy whirlwind of driving across Colorado to cheer on Kiel for
|Start of the race in Breckinridge |
|Groupies outside the Team Type 1 team van|
After the start of the race
we drove to Colorado Springs to catch the finish of stage 5 and then headed
back to Boulder to catch the climb up Flagstaff for stage 6 the following day.
|Sara, Mike and Jordan at the top of Flagstaff|
We had quite the respect for Kiel after
watching him race the grueling 100-mile courses day after day, finishing in the
top 25 of all the cyclists!
I mean, I
was tired just driving from start to finish each day and hiking up the hills to
watch the finish of the races, I can’t imagine actually competing each day in
the 100-mile plus race for 7-days in a row.
Cyclists are a tough bunch; pain is the name of the game.
|Kiel's fan base - pre-race autographs |
We watched the final stage, 7, in Denver, which was a 15-km
Mike, Jordan and I hung out
afterwards until later that evening when we attended the US Pro Cycling
Challenge Team Party that evening with Kiel.
I was impressed that the riders had enough stamina to come out, party
and drink more than one beer!
|Giving Kiel a little motivational support before the start of his race|
After the tour, we had one day to relax in Boulder with Kiel
and Jordan before returning to the northwest.
We went on a short hike, packed our bags and flew out that evening to
|Cousins - Mike & Kiel|
Our first time back to the West
Coast in almost a year!!
Two weddings, a
memorial service, visiting family and attending the Port Townsend Wooden Boat
Festival filled our two weeks on the West Coast.
Then back to Denver, Colorado to continue on
with our road-trip home.