The home stretch. Day 1 of the Ride to OR Show was my longest ever day on a bike. Day 2 was the highest elevation I had ever ridden. Day 3 brought us into Colorado’s front range, and now we were ready for Day 4, our final day in the saddle. It was Denver or bust for the 2018 Smartwool Ride to OR.
Ride to OR Day 4: Boulder to Denver 47 Miles
It was bittersweet getting up knowing this was the last day of riding. I was looking forward to the Ride to OR for months and just like that, it was almost over. Sure my body was tired, but it had been such a great experience so far. Little did I know that some folks were dressing up for the occasion. Along with multiple Wonder Women, there was also a guy in a cycling kit that looked like a suit. His suit was complete with a bowtie and fanny pack that played music.
My big goal for the day was to finally ride the whole day with my roommate Deb (smiling and waving below). Our route from Boulder to Denver was only 47 miles and no huge climbs. We did get to enjoy some roads that were used in the past by the US Pro Cycling Challenge that is held in Colorado, including one short but very steep hill. I was more than happy when the cyclist dressed in the suit came up next to me on the hill and gave me a push for a little bit. Clearly, he was in much better shape then me if he was offering people pushes as he rode.
Part of the route today also brought us on some nice bike paths leading up to Golden, CO. The paths were quite busy with other cyclists, joggers, and walkers since it was a Sunday. Even though it was busy it was nice to not have to worry about cars and trucks for a few miles. Once we got to Golden we rode around the Coors Brewing Company factor. Way back when I was 7 years old I actually went on a tour of the factor with my family so it was fun to be back there again. There was no time to stop for a tour this time though because lunch was beckoning us in Denver.
I took the final pull for the last 10 miles into Denver for my group. My Wahoo GPS was still working and not draining my phone like the Ride with GPS App was doing for some people so I didn’t mind taking point. I also knew that I had two family friends waiting for me in Denver who I haven’t seen in a very, very long time. After riding through wide open spaces and the Rocky Mountains going into a city was not that great. I mean, who wants to keep stopping for stop lights? Of course, we followed the law and stopped, but it really messes with your rhythm. There was one last light right before getting to our final destination. It lasted a while, and I savored those last moments with my riding group.
At last, we reached the finish and received cheers from our fellow riders who were done. I rode right up to my family friends and gave them each a sweaty hug. We still had a little time together as the last of the riders trickled in. Camping chairs were set up in a big circle as we enjoyed pizza, beer, and wine. Then just like that the 2018 Ride to OR Show was over and everyone headed to their hotels. It was back to reality and back to work. The next day would start the bi-annual Outdoor Retailer Trade Show, and everyone had things to do before hitting the show floor.
Check out the video compilation from about 20 of us riders from the Smartwool Ride to OR Show.