Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Golden/Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins

Thursday, Aug 18

Andrea and I hang out in the Old Town section of Fort Collins, then meet up with Kristen for lunch and an awesome Mountain Pie pizza spot. After farewells to Kristen, it is time to go to the New Belgium Brewery (Sunshine Wheat and Fat Tire Ale) for a Brew Tour and tasting. It is very cool…we have a good time. Then off to Denver for Andrea’s interview for a personal training job at Denver Athletic Club. I work out and swim while she interviews with the fitness director. We then grab dinner at the Handlebar Grill, which is kind of like a mountain biking museum. Everything on the menu is named after a bike or bike part, very cool. Then we stay at Andrea’s friends house.

Wednesday, Aug 17

I headed to the Boulder School of massage after breakfast to try to loosen up my tight legs from the race. After that, Andrea and I had heard about tubing down Boulder Creek…and decided to investigate. We got to the park, but the guy who rented the tubes just decided to take Wed off from work I guess…not cool. So, we just hiked up the creek and back and watched people tube who owned their own. Sure looked like fun…for next time I get to Boulder!

We meet up with my friend Kristen Keteles in Fort Collins. Kristen and I head up into the mountains for a really cool mountain bike ride. We work up a huge climb, and work our way across a ridge on the Horsetooth trail. We start working down some pretty technical sections. Kristen is riding strong, and I am convinced that we would have dropped ¾ of my guy friends back home…nice pace. I end up going over my handlebars on a somewhat technical section, but should not have crashed. Luckily, I had a nice roll landing, and it didn’t hurt. It is starting to get dark out (after ~2 hours of riding), and we start bombing down a pretty steep doubletrack section…when Kristen gets loose in a corner and washes out and comes down hard on her knee. I knew it wasn’t going to be good, especially as her knee really started bleeding badly. One last tough technical section (the Colorado State Univ downhill race team practice course), and I have an awesome ride and clear the 1 mile section. After Kristen catches up, we ride back to the car in the moonlight…very fun and cool ride…but I feel bad about Kristen’s big crash.

Kristen cleans up the wound (screaming painfully while working the rocks and dirt out). Then the three of us head to Old Town Fort Collins for dinner and some microbrews.

Tuesday, Aug 16

After talking to people in the bike shop, we decided to go on a road ride up into the Flatiron mountains outside of Boulder. After about 10 miles of flat riding, headed up a mild grade mountain for about 7 miles, then hit a crazy 10% grade climb that burns our quads out big time. I actually thought that Andrea was going to die…but she made it up. We then bombed down the mountain at ~40 mph and returned back to the Boulder after a really fun ~32 mile ride. On the way back to the hostel, we stopped on Pearl Street for a nice outdoor lunch and beer (can’t resist, it is HH prices all afternoon). We then watched one of the street performances (Tom)…very entertaining and funny.

At night we went up the mountain to a little town called Nederland, where we grabbed dinner and then went to this little townie bar where we played bingo and hung out with the locals. Very cool. We met this guy who was going to a house party in Boulder, and weaseled our way into an invite. After making our way back into town, the party ended up not happening…which was good b/c it was late and we were tired.

Monday, Aug 15

I make some delicious (Tucker proclaimed) pancakes for my cousins, and then head to Denver to pick up my friend Andrea Bernard, who is joining me for 3 weeks on the trip. After grabbing her, we spend a while packing the car (she has this HUGE suitcase that is causing some major logistical problems in the back of the SUV. No more Tucker Time for the next few weeks, but I think it will be nice to have company. We head up to Boulder and check into our hostel, which is in a great location by the campus of Colorado University and only a 10 minute block from Pearl Street (outdoor mall area). We head down to Pearl Street for lunch and explore for a while. We then find a great hike from just outside of town, and hike for about 1.5 hours in the Flatirons (mountains just outside of Boulder). It sure is cool to have hiking/biking like this just on the border of the city.
We get back to the hostel and head out for the night. We grab dinner, and notice across the street is some salsa dancing…so after dinner we decide to check it out. My memories of salsa from ballroom dance class at JMU sure seem like a distant memory right now…ugh! We then head across the street to The Sink bar…a complete dive, but we heard they had great drink specials. All the college kids were back in town in full force and looking to party, and we found the total dive where they all were…too funny. We grab a drink…for “flip night” where they slip a quarter and if you guess right, you get your drink for 25 cents…SO cool! If you lose, you just buy it for normal price. Andrea and I then shoot back to Pearl Street to some cool spots we heard about…but after a while decide The Sink bar is the place to be this night, and go back to a very rowdy crew of college kids. Too funny. I guess my next two beers right…and enjoy some microbrew suds for only 50 cents! Good times.


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