Trip Planning: Colorado


It’s true, I’m heading back west again, and this time, I’m RIDING.

And hiking, and horseback riding, and possibly even motocrossing a bit if the rentals aren’t too steep. Colorado is an absolute playground for sporty outdoorsy types like me, and I’m excited to be heading there once again: my third time in the last year.

I’m staying in the Rocky Mountains in a little log cabin at 9000 feet in the vicinity of Grand Lake. I’m pretty sure the altitude will be my biggest enemy. This is what asthma feels like, I think–walking 100 feet and needing a rest….biking should be a challenge. I labored last August at Hall Ranch, and this time I’ll be higher. There are trails from our front door, right near the outdoor hot tub I’ll be soaking in when I’m done.

In Colorado, you can’t spit without hitting a bike shop, and rentals are abundant. To prepare for my trip, I have learned to remove my speedplay frogs and pack them. I give them to the bike mechanic at the shop I’m renting from and bam, I’m in business–using my own cycling shoes that I’m already dialed into. Other items on the packing list are: helmet, sunscreen, camelbac (flush the bladder & lines with Listerine because I haven’t used it in a while), map, compass, shoes, gloves, waterbottles, cycling glasses (with my inserts, because I don’t do contacts), camera, allen wrenchs, cell phone, and all the other things I’d bring on an excursion. Except bug repellent. Because I swear, they have no insects in Colorado.

One item I am interested in securing is some pepper spray for animals. I’m not sure this is available in Colorado. They had this in Montana for the Grizzlies, and after watching Animal Planet for a while, you understand why. I don’t believe the Grizzlies are that far south, but there are mountain lions. In the Northeast, I’m very much used to being on top of the food chain. Nothing in the woods will actually eat me up here. Last week, when my girlfriend was mountain biking a couple miles from her home south of Denver, she was stalked by a coyote*. So hence the desire for a little protection. Hopefully the elk will be more appetizing than me.

I’ll provide a full report when I return, and will tweet from location.  

–Karen

*note: my girlfriend was not eaten by the coyote.

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4 responses to “Trip Planning: Colorado”

  1. Leah says :

    Have a great time! Colorado is so beautiful.

  2. Glenn_in_MA says :

    Did you try any other pedals before the Speedplay frogs? How do you like them…how do they compare? I use the Speedplays on my road bike and need something more walkable for my fixie.

    • Karen says :

      Glenn, sorry for the late reply–I’ve been away!

      I tried Speedplay frogs and nothing else. I was told they were a good choice for women because they are easy to get in & out of. I heard the egg-beaters were tougher for women to get out of (don’t know if it’s tru or not, but I was brand new to the sport and was taking any advice I could get–that was 9 years ago).

      So I like them, but I’m curious to try something different. I also use speedplay for my road bike. What do you use?

      • Glenn_in_MA says :

        I use the old Speedplay X series…mainly because they are knee savers for me…I went from cleats/straps directly to the Speedplays due to their float…honestly, I don’t think I could ride like I do if I had not changed or went with a more standard clipless. I think my cleats were misaligned and over time that injured my right knee…and I still have to deal with it. I’ll see if I can pick up some Frogs on eBay. Happy riding!

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