Off we go!

The day we’ve been waiting for arrived this morning, another beautiful Colorado morning!  Thank you to the incredible team at The CE Shop for all of your efforts to pull together our ride send off event at The CE Shop HQ this morning.  A special thanks to Shannon, Ellie, Allie, Rebecca, Liz and Wynter for the weekly meetings and to-do’s in between over the last several months.

After muffins, fruit and some killer cinnamon roles, we pushed off and headed for the Bergen Park…via REI.  We discovered this morning that Virgil’s bike had a bum tire and wisely chose to have it replaced, along with one on my bike.  Kudos to James and Wayne at REI Denver who quickly turned our bikes around along with an encouraging high-five for the week ahead.  (small plug – the staff at this REI location is always fantastic).

Up we went to Bergen Park where we organized our handy green BFBPs tub, strapped it onto Bob (our trailer friend who those of you who have followed us before remember) and off we went.  The route for the day was one of our lighter days in terms of miles for the week but I must say packed a punch in terms of climbing.

After approximately 15 miles we stopped at the summit of Squaw Pass for a breather and photo, and promptly kept going as we were cooling off fast.  Just a few miles down from the summit we found Echo Lake and a charming lodge/restaurant/souvenir store.  We bellied up to the counter to be greeted by “Joe” who graciously recommended the chili and cornbread as their “signature item”.  Not being fools this day, we accepted his recommendation and were very pleased with our choice…or was it his recommendation?  Doesn’t matter, it hit the spot!  Joe shared as well that today was the first day that the Mount Evans road had been opened this summer.  Apparently a 1/4 mile section of the road had started to separate from the mountain and was under repair for the last several months.  Pent up demand was apparent as thirsty Colorado tourists were anxious to get up there.  Did you know that Mount Evans is the highest paved road in North America?

The next stretch of the ride was all downhill into Idaho Springs.  Downhill with Bob presents some challenges, albeit different from those when traveling uphill.  I was quickly reminded that upon approaching 30 miles per hour Bob likes to do a little “dance” behind the bike…not a good dance either.  Fortunately all went fine and we coasted into Idaho Springs at about 3:45pm.  We promptly checked into The Columbine Inn (thank you Liz for making our reservations) where we met Sam, the inn keeper who’s been running the place for the last 25 years.  Sam provided some local flavor and additional encouragement for our fundraising efforts.

Tomorrow we make the trek from Idaho Springs through Georgetown up and over Loveland Pass before we descent into Frisco, CO.

One final note…prior to our departure this morning I shared with the team how honored we are to be doing this ride and supporting such an incredible mission.  If each of us does just a little bit, it translates into a big impact in our communities.  For those of you who are new to Bike for Backpacks, every dollar collected goes back to a food bank in the donor’s state for their school aged backpack program AND just $4 feeds a family of FOUR for a weekend – that’s powerful!

Until tomorrow – thank you for your support – please spread the word!

Big thank you to these generous sponsors!

Big thank you to these generous sponsors!

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Summit of Squaw Pass

All smiles this morning

All smiles this morning

Thanks for coming out this morning

Thanks for coming out this morning

Thank you to these well organized folks

Thank you to these well organized folks

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