After leaving the Drakes in Laramie, I rode south towards Ft Collins. It's about a 70 mile drive on HWY 287. My friend, Steve Carpenter, moved to Ft Collins a few years back after a very successful stint as the boy's cross country and track coach at TC Roberson. Several State Championships made their way to Arden under Steve's tutelage.
Steve got off work early and rode up the road to meet me. Steve is crazy about cycling. Already this summer, he has done the Bike Tour of Colorado and the Triple Bypass (which involves climbing up and over 3 huge Colorado mountain passes) and is planning a century in Boulder this coming weekend. We met about 14 miles outside of Ft Collins and he led me in. It was nice getting to draft off the back of his wheel. Normally, I'd feel bad for not taking a pull, but that day I had no shame as Steve led me all the way to his home.
Ft Collins is a great town. College town as it's the home of Colorado State University. I hadn't been here in about 9 years, so it was nice to be back. It's got a great network of bike paths and nearly every street is equipped with a bike lane and they were all being used. It's something that the south is truly behind in. It was blazing hot the entire time I was there.
Saturday, we made it to New Belgium and toured the facilities. I've long been a Fat Tire fan, so it was neat to get to see the place it was born. New Belgium is a great company. They produce a lot of their own energy, have installed artistic bike racks throughout Ft Collins and every employee that works there a year gets a free cruiser bike. The tour was fun-- just like everything about the company.
Made it over to O'Dell's, a new brewery right near New Belgium. Sampled some good stuff there too. Didn't tour the facility though. The afternoon involved naps and cooking out. It was a nice day off the bike.
Sunday we got up early and headed to Estes Park and hiked up to the top of the Twin Sisters. It was about 7.5 miles roundtrip and over 3,000 vertical feet. The summit offered spectacular views of the valley and gorgeous shots of Long's Peak. It's the way Colorado should be seen.
Thanks a bunch to Steve and Kelly for hosting me for a few nights. I needed the rest and it was fun to be in a great town like Ft Collins and with super people.