Days 60-67 (16th-23rd zero days), in Denver: 'Whoa, we're halfway there' - Chris Cross America - CycleBlaze

June 21, 2022 to June 28, 2022

Days 60-67 (16th-23rd zero days), in Denver: 'Whoa, we're halfway there'

Hi! For any regular readers here, sorry for the long gap in blogging. I realize I probably didn't explain that I'm hanging out in Denver until Wednesday at the home of my sister, Jenna, brother-in-law, Chris, and their two little ones, Noah and Brooke. My parents are also here to visit and help with child care. 

Dani is meeting me here on Monday evening, the 27th (hooray!), and spending Tuesday visiting everyone, and then we'll get a ride up to Fort Collins and the two of us will pick up where I left off, heading west to Walden, Colo., and then north and west into Wyoming toward Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. (Yes, our Yellowstone plans remain intact!) This ride may have been 2,400 miles already, but I'm only just a little more than halfway through (cue Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer").

But before I get back on the road, here are some highlights from my time in Denver so far.

It's been so much fun meeting my niece, Brooke, and playing with my nephew, Noah. 

This was possibly the first time I held Brooke, but it might actually be the second. We're both looking at the camera and it looks like we're both smiling, but I thing Brooke is actually sticking her tongue out. Whatever she's doing, it's cute. She was just shy of four weeks old at this point.
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Here I'm goofing around with Noah, who is sitting on my shoulders. Noah is 18 months old. I've enjoyed doing his wake-up routine one morning and playing with him inside and outside. It's fun to see him observing the world and figuring things out.
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We all enjoyed some home-cooked meals and even a nice dinner out last week (Noah handled it surprisingly well) at Linger, followed by ice cream to go, from Little Man (flavors: salted Oreo, 16th Street chocolate, salted maple pecan and buttermilk cupcake). We followed the Stanley Cup Final and enjoyed the Colorado Avalanche's victory Sunday night from the couch. (Woohoo! Congrats, Coloradans!)

On Saturday, we played with Noah at the park just down the street on Tennyson and later went to the zoo (two outings in one day!).

Mom and I rode with Noah on the carousel at the zoo. Here, we're all looking at the camera and Noah is holding the golden pole on his animal (a tiger).
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On Sunday, we went to see the Meow Wolf exhibit downtown. Strollers are not allowed, so we brought a child-carrier backpack for Noah and I got to carry him on my back, and Jenna carried Brooke. It was a lot of fun to have Noah on my back (especially in a fully supported backpacking kind of setup — surprisingly comfortable!). I had a difficult time seeing his facial reactions, but I really enjoyed hearing a few giggles from him and seeing him point. The exhibit was pretty cool. It had some vibes from Dr. Seuss, some from the St. Louis City Museum, some from Magna Tiles.

I also spent a pretty good chunk of time getting Dani's bike ready after it arrived on Thursday. Reassembling a bike after it is shipped is not a huge project, but after I did so, it got a flat tire, and also the rear brake was dragging on the rim of the wheel (caliper brake, not disc brake), and Dani asked me to clean and lube the chain, so it was a bit more work than a simple reassembly, but now he's ready to roll! (Yes, Dani's bike is male.) His name is El Compañero, which means "the companion."

This brings me to one of the last errands I need to run before I leave Denver. El Compañero arrived via Bike Flights, in a very nice, reusable bike box that I can't seem to give away despite posting it on Warmshowers, Craigslist and Freecycle. If any readers of this blog have any suggestions on what to do with such a box, please comment on this post or email me at Breaking the box down and recycling it seems like a waste of its potential when there are clearly thousands of cyclists in Denver and someone would probably have a good use for it ... but that's exactly what I'll do if I can't give it away by Tuesday. 

Maybe I should bring it to the airport when I go pick up Dani, or drop it off at the train station. (Funny story: Dani and I once took a train back to D.C. with our bikes in boxes, and when we arrived we dragged the boxes out of the stain, and as we assembled our bikes so we could ride home, a couple of cyclists showed up to catch a train and we gave them the boxes. It could not have worked out better.) Anyway, suggestions welcome!

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