TRIP 2006

Update #16 - June 17th
Greeley, Colorado
3021 miles ( 4839 KM) since March 27th,
3512 miles ( 5619 KM) since Jan 01st

My four days in the Colorado Springs area were okay. I spent two days in the downtown area with my acquaintance, Vic, and two days with my friend's, Ann and Jon, who I hadn't seen since 1999. Jon and Ann live in the Northwest corner of Colorado Springs. The area is referred as being "Pikeville" since it has a spectacular view of Pikes Peak in the west. It is also higher in elevation by about 300 feet (6530 feet above sea level) than downtown Colorado Springs.

Jon and Ann have a really neat dog, named Ursa. Ursa is a brown lab who is about eight years old. She has a large collection of chew toys. Ursa seemed to have a different chew toy in her mouth most all of the time. One of Ursa's favorite game was fetch. It was really funny when Ursa spit the toy either next to me if I was sitting on the front room sofa or in my lap. She had a pretty good aim. Ursa would generally leap up and catch the toy in mid-flight. After about ten tosses, the toy would be really slimy so you had to repeat "All Done" several times and she would get the idea that you had enough for a little while.

Jon was pretty helpful in doing some bike repairs. I've always had some problem with my rear brake. The brake arms never really loosened up properly. The left arm would seem to want to rub on the rim. There was a s-curve in the cable housing below the seat and this caused some tension on the cable. Jon shortened the cable and made the path more direct by eliminating the use of two cable eyes. This made the brakes work so much better.

I left Colorado Springs Wednesday morning, June 14th. It took me a while finding a route that I could ride next to I-25 heading north towards Denver. Once I got out into the country away from the city, the wind was pretty strong coming from the southwest. It was so strong that I was being pushed up some hills. By the time that I got to Palmer Lake, I got up to around 7300 feet above sea level. This was to be the highest that I would get this year.

After taking a break in Palmer Lake, I started my trip downhill. By the time I got to Castle Rock, I had dropped around 1300 feet. I'll be down to 5280 feet when I get to Denver. I arrived in Castle Rock around 5 p.m. I wasn't able to connect with the members of the Warm Showers group. Being that it was a Wednesday night, I'd thought that I would see if I could find a church that might have a Wednesday night service. I came across just two churches and neither one had a Wednesday night service. I found my over to the police station to see if there was a either a chaplaincy or ministerial program that I could connect with to see if I could stay in one of the churches for the night. I met a couple of nice police officers. I was surprised when they told me that they were able to arrange for me to have a room at the local Super-8 motel through the county's T.A.S.K. program.

The night at the motel was okay even though I've been waking up quite early. My body's bio clock is still on Eastern Time Zone. For the past week, I can't stay in bed after 5 a.m. MST. I cannot wait till I'm really starting east.

June 15th was my birthday. It's hard for me to believe that I turned 50. I've been on this earth a half century. Kind of wanting to have a family but I've not really had a family for over 30 years now. I was almost 20 years old, when my family back in Germany had totally disowned me with a funeral and a tombstone when I told them that I had become a Believer in the Messiah. I never had a feelings of having a family of my own and I've never really had an interest in having a girl-friend. I tell everybody that I've been quite content in being celibate since birth. I tell everybody that if ADONAI ever wanted me to have a wife she would have to be traveling by two-wheels her self.

I left the motel around 7:30 a.m. There was a bit of a tailwind so I got an assist riding along U.S. 85 towards Denver. At Sedalia, I hit a bit of a minor brick wall. There was some road construction just north of Sedalia and there was a sign that said "Bicycles Prohibited". I was still about thirty miles south of Denver. I wasn't sure how I was going to go on since there wasn't an alternate route. The interstate was about six miles to the east but I didn't know whether I would be allowed to ride along the shoulder or not. The guy in the local gas station was from India and he didn't have any ideas on what I could do. Next to gas station was a restaurant and I went inside to see if somebody might be able to give me some directions. While I was talking to the waitresses, one of the customers chimed in to tell me that if I could wait awhile he would take me in his truck to a place where I could ride into Denver.

After about twenty minutes, we loaded my bike in the back of his truck. There wasn't room inside the truck cab, since the guy had his wife with him, so I climbed in the back of the truck and sat backwards. The ride was about 14 miles and some of the miles was across a dirt road on top of a mountain range. Near the top of the mountain, there was a large area that had a high fence around it. I got the chance to watch a small herd of buffalo gallop across the meadow. There must have been about twenty of them. These buffalo are added to the other non-farming animals that I've seen along the way (antelope, camels, deer, emus, llamas, ostriches, prairie dogs, and zebras).

Going downhill, I got quite a few glimpses of the skyline of downtown Denver. The guy dropped me off in Highland Farms, which is just south of Littleton. I had a straight shot into downtown Denver on Broadway. I got into downtown Denver around 12:30 p.m. Going passed the state capitol, I got a glimpse on the elevation. At the base of the capitol steps were the numbers "5280". I had dropped around 1100 feet since Palmer Lake.

I wandered around the 16th Street Mall a little bit. I didn't feel like trying to head out towards Greeley. I wasn't sure that I would be able to get hold of any of the warm showers members since I didn't have a work numbers for them. I did have a phone number of somebody who I had stayed with back in 1999. I had contacted them through Habitat for Humanity. Between 1996 and 2000, I had contacted nearly 1200 of the almost 1600 affiliates in the U.S. while I was on my tours. It was a surprise to me when Hugh answered his home phone number. Hugh was doing consulting work at home. Hugh invited me over for the night at his house about 13 blocks north of the downtown area.

Hugh had only DSL internet and he was still working on his work. There wasn't any wireless networks in the neighborhood that I could get on. He did tell me that there was a coffee house about six blocks away that had free wireless internet. This was my first time and probably my last time in a coffee house since it was really hard for me to concentrate on what I was doing from all of the loud noise of the music and the other patrons. I only stayed long enough to get most of my email read and answered.

I had a pretty good day yesterday. I got on the road around 7:30 a.m. Hugh grabbed his bike and he escorted me to the South Platte River. This was a concrete paved bike trail along the Platte River. The twelve mile ride was pretty good except for riding passed the sewage treatment plant and the oil refinery. The bike path ended around 93rd Street. It took a little bit of compass reading and map work to find Brighton Road that paralleled the interstate and U.S. 85. I rode through the small towns of Brighton and Ft. Lupton.

Between Brighton and Ft. Lupton, I rode passed large truck farms of onions and lettuce. There were a lot of migrant workers in these fields. These crops were doing so much better than the regular field crops of corn and wheat. These fields had an elaborate system of irrigation canals. Just passed Ft. Lupton, I had a 24 mile ride along the shoulder of U.S. 25 into Greeley.

I got into Greeley around 5:30 p.m. and went over to the house of the Warm Showers members. We went out for Tex-Mex. There is going to be a block party as a kick-off for designating the neighborhood for historic preservation so I've been invited to stay over. Not knowing when my next day off will be I took up the offer.

I haven't really decided on how I'll start my trip east. If I stay in Colorado, I've got maybe 2-3 more days of riding in the state before I could swing into Nebraska. I'm less than 41 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. If I head north to Cheyenne, I'll have just a day ride in Wyoming before I cross into the western edge of the Nebraska panhandle. I'll make my decision tomorrow morning before I head out to go to a church service.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change. The next update should be posted between June 24th and July 1st.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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