Breck – Lofty Riding

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In more ways than one, this was seriously lofty riding for me. My house is at elevation 778 feet, and most of my riding is done in an elevation range between 600 feet and 1200 feet. Last Friday, however, I joined these two gentlemen for a ride on a mountain somewhere in the 9600 to 10,500 feet range. That’s Brad (Association of Caffeinated Wheelmen and Instagram) and Jon (Two Wheels – Six Strings) shown in the photo above, somewhere along our Peaks Trail route.

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My trip to the mountains for the conference was a last minute thing. I didn’t give these guys much advance notice. But they arranged their lives to make time for the lowlander, and drove up from Denver on a weekday to spend the day with me. They brought the coolest bikes I saw during my time in Colorado, including the Bridgestone MB3 above for me to ride. The fit was perfect. I had a crush on this bike all day long.

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I had to stop frequently because the views stunned me. I simply had to obtain photographic evidence as proof that I was really riding a bicycle in such wonderful surroundings. This place had almost everything. The weather was perfect. We had climbs, descents, creek crossings, forests, open spaces…almost everything I could ask for. Well…what we didn’t have quite enough of was oxygen. And that’s the other reason I had to stop frequently.

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The boys were kind and patient. They let me set a pace that my oxygen starved body could handle. But as I look back on the photos of them riding, it appears they were also having a pretty good time.

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We fueled up with giant burgers before we left town for the ride. We rode for a few hours, rolled into town, and had pizza for dinner. Then we headed over to the coffee shop for one more indulgence. When we weren’t riding, the conversation was non-stop. All that talk was insightful and entertaining. They made me feel welcome, and as if I had been a close friend for years. Come to think of it, the conversation between the two of them was non-stop even during the ride. I would have joined in if I wasn’t so busy gasping for air.

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We did, indeed, ride in some lofty places. But it was the quality of the company that elevated my day to the loftiest of heights.  Thanks, boys!

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Breck – Setting the Stage

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Hotel Room View

It was a last minute thing. My employer and I agreed it might be a good idea for me to attend a conference in Breckenridge, Colorado. So arrangements were made, and I landed in Denver last Monday night.

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I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning inside hotel conference rooms.  It took considerable effort trying to forget what was outside, and focus on learning things. Temperatures stayed, I think, between 50 and 75 the entire time of my stay. To me, that is incredible for July.

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Starting my ski area hike

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In the early mornings and late afternoons, I got outside and walked. Most of my time was spent in town. After all, many of my walks involved finding meals. But I also ventured up into the ski area a bit, and up hill on the east side of town on some urban trails.

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The conference included a “bike tour” of stream restoration work done on the Blue River between Frisco and Breckenridge. We did that on Thursday afternoon. It was a little humorous that my first experience with a modern full-suspension mountain bike was on a rental on the bike path. Even so, I was impressed how well it performed. I imagined that the knobby tires and up/down movement would be energy sapping. But it worked pretty well.

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Looks better than it once did

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But the pinnacle of the trip was on Friday. I was fortunate enough to be able to linger one extra day for non-business purposes. I sprung my last minute plans on some of the locals to see if we might arrange a meet-up of some sort. A couple of guys broke free, and made it happen. My free day in the mountains was packed full of fun. It deserves its own post. I’ll get to that soon.

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Trying to figure out how to live here