The Bikin' Fools


Day Five

Boulder to east of Hudson, CO


After a good nights sleep we awoke to a bright, clear Colorado day. We had cereal with Janet then began our journey. We stopped briefly at a postal store and sent a few items that we wouldn’t need back to California. Then we rode to the University Campus and followed a lovely bike path along Boulder Creek. The path was idyllic. It was lined with cottonwood trees. It followed the contours of the rushing creek as it made its way east out of town. Eventually this treat ended and we were relegated to the roadways once again.

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Boulder Creek

After some confusion we generally made our way eastbound. I had selected a map that was only fair and didn’t show all the roads. We made inquiries and kept riding. Eventually we became established on an identified route, highway 52 and began to pedal with earnest towards Pennsylvania. During this time of getting oriented on course, we had noticed that the brilliant, clear skies had given birth to cumulus clouds. These heavenly bodies grew with impressive speed. By mid afternoon, as any local understands, these clouds had become dark. They began to look foreboding. Then rain could be seen descending from the flat bottoms of the towering giants. We watched intently at their progress across the plains relative to our position. By the time it became obvious we would not be able to outrun or find reasonable shelter the rain began to fall on us. We considered riding in the rain but quickly decided to make our own shelter. We parked the bikes next to the fence of a development. We stretched a tarp over the bikes and fence then staked the other end. The rain thundered down for about fifteen minutes before letting up. After a half hour the shower had stopped altogether and we were able to continue.

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Emergency tarpology

As we pedaled east the Rockies stood majestically behind us. It was an awesome sight. It was amazing to consider that we had just rode nearly two hundred miles over the Continental Divide. The bikes were working well. Our equipment was appropriate and we had only to ride, ride, ride.

We rode for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. We had covered 80 miles on the previous day. That effort was extraordinary. We were somewhat tired and had started late today. The rain gave us a break that we wouldn’t have taken on our own. We pedaled toward I-76 and the town of Hudson. As the day grew long we began to consider where we would stay for the night. This was our forth night. We knew there would be no campgrounds. We were entering mostly agricultural lands. Fields spread across the landscape. We would consider anything that was quiet and safe. Eventually as the sun began to reach the horizon we scanned the area for a spot. There were precious few trees and little protection. We considered several spots and finally found a dirt road that held some promise. We pedaled past a dwelling that looked like workers quarters. A short distance down the road there was a tree row that separated two large fields. We walked our bikes to a spot next to the trees and declared it home for the evening.

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Securing the tents for the night

The wind was blowing hard as we set up our tents. We knew the wind would likely settle down after sunset. But there existed a definite hazard that the tent could turn into a high tech tumble weed and blow away. It was a tricky situation until we finally had them staked and put things inside to stabilize our round, fabric houses. We had covered 52 miles. It would turn out to be one of our shorter days, yet we were pleasantly tired. We consumed our dinner of potato salad, Cole slaw and tapioca pudding. We slept well.

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Continuing abundant beauty traveled with us