Friday, August 20, 2010
Things to Do in Denver When You're Dumb
Yesterday I arrived in Denver. The direct flight that left at a reasonable hour seemed incredibly tolerable relative to my layover laden flight(s) to Oregon a week or so back. I can't even complain about the airline trying to ream me for the bike case. Jetblue actually kinda rocks. $50 for a bike case AND a borderline over-size piece of checked luggage. It also doesn't hurt that I got to spend the flight watching Colbert and something on Discovery called "Two Weeks in Hell," a show documenting the awesome horribleness of Green Beret training. I thought it was fitting, a portent of what's to come during the next week or so for me. I'll think about those poor bastards trying to lug a one-wheeled cart through deep sand with stress fractures in their shins while I'm climbing laboriously, high above Breckenridge, in the cold rain, hatin' life. Only instead of being forced not to sleep afterward, I'll be drinking beer, eating pasta, and getting made fun of by Dicky all night.
I lived in Colorado back in the early nineties, I worked for Green Peace canvassing door to door. Often I would end up working a "turf" in Denver, it generally didn't go well. I was once shoved off a stoop, onto my ass, in the snow by a shirtless fat man, as he screamed "Green Peace! That's a fucked up outfit!" I then made light of his corpulence, which lead to him running barefoot across his snow-covered lawn, jumping in a beat up mini van and chasing me around the neighborhood for the rest of the night. It was the pre-cell phone era, so I had to hide cowering behind some bushes until my scheduled pick up time. I didn't make my quota that night.
But Denver's not really that bad after all, it's quite lovely in fact. I had a great time hanging with Jeff Carter and his wife Liz, eating and drinking in their North West Denver neighborhood. This morning we went to a weird little burrito joint called "Giant Burrito." Like all weird burrito joints, they had exercise equipment for sale over in the corner of a back room, and aesthetically abhorrent pottery for sale in another corner. Normal.
Jeff and I drove up over Loveland pass and all that other beautiful crap on the way up to Breckenridge to meet up for a ride with Jeff's buddy Mike, Dejay and his buddies Claire and Peter from Australia, and Doug. I have no idea what or where we rode, all I know is that there was no air there and flat ground felt like a 23% grade. And the descents were like a dream of flying. The trail head was off Tiger Rd. and it had something like the word "dredge" in the name. Oh, and we rode on the Colorado Trail for a bit. I'm gifted navigation-wise. After the ride we stopped for a snack in downtown Breckenridge, an hour later I had no idea how to get back to where we'd parked.
Tim Faia hooked me up with his friend Monique Merrill for a place to stay up in Breckenridge. I was completely baffled by her generosity, how she opened her home to a virtual stranger without asking for compensation. I told her what she was doing was amazing, "That's the way the world works" she said. Man, I wish it did, it would be a lot better place if so.
After today's ride I feel like tornado passed through my lungs, but in a good way. Tomorrow the elevation will probably hit me even harder. Don't know what the ride plan is, or if there even is one. My posse from today all departed for Denver or Boulder and they won't be back until Saturday. I expect Montana "I win single speed races riding a HUGE gear at elevation even though I'm from Pennsylvania" Miller is probably showing up at some point to put a pre-race hurt on me.
I'm going to break a cardinal Big Bikes rule and possibly blog through the weekend, at least Saturday. Allegedly I won a Blogger Grant to get into this thing, so I might be blogging for another major cycling media outlet (aside from Big Bikes) the rest of the trip. We'll see, I haven't heard any word on that business. Goin' with the flow.