We had an exciting end to our week. Back on Friday, we rode from Kremmling, CO to Idaho Springs. The route took us through Winter Park ski area before we rode over Berthoud Pass. This was literally the high point of the trip, topping out at 11,307 feet in elevation.
The climb took nearly two hours, but the view from the top was worth it. The pastor of our host church even rode up the pass to meet us! Then we started down the other side, just as a storm front moved in. Some of us got caught in the hail, while others opted to wait it out. I managed to hold on to my bike despite numb hands until I made it into Empire, at a more sane elevation. I found the Hard Rock Café (the original one!) and sipped coffee until I stopped shivering. We then rode the final miles to the church, where bright sunshine warmed and dried us. After a great pizza dinner provided by First Baptist of Idaho Springs, we got some much needed rest.
Saturday turned out to be a fast ride into downtown Denver. Most of the route was downhill, including a 12 mile run down Bear Creek Canyon at speeds of 35 mph! After spending time in small towns for so many nights, the sheer size of Denver caused our group to splinter and get lost, but we all managed to make it to Central Presbyterian, our host for the weekend. For me, this was a special stop because my mom was there to meet us. That night, Christina Handrich, a friend of Allen and Allyssa from Americus, made us four different kinds of lasagna. Yum! Later that night, some of the group went salsa dancing … at a church!
Sunday was a chance to meet and greet our host church friends at their service and later at their annual picnic. Finally, to wrap it all up, some of us rode over to another church, where they had a Blessing of the Bikes.
Sadly, this weekend, we bid goodbye to four of our riders: Brett, Melissa, Doug and Jessica. Sad to see you go, but we will see you again when we ride into Ohio! And to make up for the loss of riders, we gained three new ones: Graham and Amy from Kansas City and Don, a friend of Tom Weber’s, all of whom will be with us for the next week. All in all a wonderful end to another great week on the Fuller Center Bike Adventure.