We were happy to have our first guest rider on this end of our trip, Brian McCormick our buddy from Fargo, ND who moved to Longmont, CO with his family just 2 months ago. Brian’s wife Kristi is the new Registrar at CU Boulder (Go Buffs!) and Brian has started a new franchise in Boulder County with Tailored Living. At the conclusion of our ride we got to meet their two boys Kellen and Connor who are starting school tomorrow. Have a great day guys and welcome to Colorado! Thank you Brian for being our “wing man” today and for smiling your way through what turned out to be a challenging day…has anyone ever heard of three riders getting five (yes, that’s 5 flat tires in one day??) Well, now you have!
Kristi & Brian showed up at the hotel this morning before 7, we enjoyed some coffee together and promoted the Bike For Backpacks cause with Rene the friendly Clarion front desk employee. Rese shared how her children had been involved in the Backpack program locally, all of us agreeing how important it is to get the young people in our lives involved in charitable activities early in life.
As soon as we pulled away from the hotel, Virgil realized he had a flat tire! (#1 of the day). Fortunately we were right near a gas station and he was back in business in no time. About 45 minutes down the frontage road of I-76, Brian got a flat! We thought to ourselves, “what are the chances, two flat tires in an hour??” Brian is what one might call a “bike wiz” so he had his changed in no time and we were rolling again until, boom! Again, Brian was down! The patch he had put on the tire didn’t hold so he was quickly flipping the bike upside down again this time replacing it with a new tube. After a few minutes and a few choice words we were rolling again.
The first 15 miles or so were on frontage roads that were nice, we essentially had them to ourselves. Then we had no choice but to ride on I-76 which wasn’t so nice. It was on this stretch that Virgil got flat number TWO and Brian number THREE. I was fortunate to escape the day unscathed. Over the course of this adventure, Virgil and I have traveled 900+ miles with prior to today only one flat tire and that was in Ogallala, NE. After exhausting our tire repair/replacement supplies we dipped into the trusty DUCT TAPE to fix Virgil’s tire that was continuing to lose air. We had some really good laughs over that!
It was after we were able to jump off of I-76 back onto frontage roads that we got our first glimpse of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Having grown up here and seeing them for years, I’m still awe struck when it’s been a while.
We rode on a little tired and frustrated but ultimately made it to the Comfort Inn in Brighton, CO where were were greeted by our families…the first time we’d seen anyone we knew since Bernadette and Jeff left in Sisseton, SD. There were three surprises that showed up in the form of our daughter Anna, her mom Karen and Anna’s brother Ben! WOW, what an awesome treat! This was in addition to Brian’s wife and boys, my mother Colleen (remember Ogallala) sisters Amanda and Molly, along with Molly’s hubby Mike and kids Megan, Chris and Will. We felt really special to have this kind of reception after 17 days on the road. Thank you all so much for your support! We are so flattered that Karen, Anna and Ben flew in all the way from Fargo to be with us. Gary, we miss you!
We went out for a great Mexican lunch/dinner (it was 3:30pm by the time we sat down), had some Coldstone to top it off and then everyone was ready to hit the sack! Karen, Anna and Ben are here in Denver through Wednesday so after the finale into the Food Bank of the Rockies tomorrow morning (10:00am), we have a few days of fun and site seeing planned.
Tomorrow is the final push, we are excited to finish strong. Mike Matoush, our Curriculum Manager from The CE Shop will be joining us in the morning to ride and various members of The CE Shop team will meet at the food bank. News reporter, Enrico Meyer from 9 KUSA is planning to be there as well so tune in tomorrow evening. For those of you who may be interested, we’ve updated our route for tomorrow morning to accommodate our pace car (Thank you Amanda!). Here’s a link to the 18 mile route: https://goo.gl/maps/ytoKf
Thank you in advance to the people across the country for helping us meet our goal of 2,000 backpacks!