Pete and I rode to Briggsdale, CO and back over the past two days, its was a great ride, pictures I took are available here:
Briggsdale Tour Pictures
I may get around to making an elaborate google maps item, but this will have to be sufficient for now.
We started Saturday morning from Boulder and headed up through Hygiene to Ft. Collins. I was using the BOB trailer and Pete had his panniers. We made some really good time in the morning, there was little to no wind and we rolled into Ft. Collins around noon. After a delicious Spicy Italian at Subway, we rode through CSU's campus, which isn't as pretty as CU's, and found our way to New Belgium Brewery, who treated us to a free pint.
The ultimate goal was to get to Briggsdale, CO which is in the North Eastern plains in the Pawnee National Grasslands. To get there, we headed straight east for about 40 miles. Somehow, the storm systems around us created a weird inversion and despite of the fact that we were headed into the direction the wind always blows, we had a headwind pretty much the entire time. It sucked our spirits for about 20 miles before we got to Ault, CO, where we stopped for dinner at a mexican restaurant.
This restaurant was a sight to behold, not only did it have a couch inside with a 3 foot tall california raisin sitting on it, but a disturbingly large photo of a hamburger framed on the wall, like 3x4 feet! Pete has a picture of us with these items that I'll post when I get the chance.
The wind didn't die off and the next twelve miles were grueling. We finally hit the border for the grasslands and almost called it a day, but the wind completely died off and the rest of the ride to Briggsdale was really nice, especially at that time of the day.
The campground we stayed at was called Crow Valley Recreation Area, which is a prime bird watching venue, something that neither of us have any interest in. We set up camp and were fortunate enough to meet the friendliest people in the entire world, Andrew and Jean from Greeley, Co. They were with their kids at the next campground cooking campfire food just for fun, and were not staying the night. They invited us over to eat there food, which was amazing; Brawts, baked potatoes, fried Shitake mushrooms and zucchini, and baked onions all for free! It was delicious, especially since the original plan was to eat in Briggsdale, which turned out to have zero restaurants, or anything else for that matter.
After a good night's sleep, we headed out of camp to find some food. It took about 25 miles, but in Kersey, CO we ate at this pretty incredible breakfast joint. I had something called the Haymaker, which consisted of hashbrowns covered with biscuits, which in turn were covered with over-easy eggs, and everything smothered in gravy. There was sausage on the side as well. Quite a meal to say the least.
Immediately after riding again, I began to experience flats, in total three. I blame the tires I was using, Kenda Small Block Eights which are cross tires. I should have gotten some touring tires, but I'm cheap. Anyways, these things were getting really soft on the pavement, which I believe let to the increase in flats. Luckily, after the third tire change the sun disappeared behind some clouds and I didn't experience anymore equipment failures.
Finally rolled in to Boulder around 5 or so, glad to be done but having enjoyed the ride. I then immediately ate two pieces of cherry pie that I had conveniently bought before I left.
Things I will not be using on another tour:
-Kenda products of any kind
-Terry saddles, this monstrosity on my bike has probably caused me permanent butt damage. I ordered a Brooks B17 the second I got home. I don't know how I managed to convince myself to use it again after the problems it gave me in Utah, but those days are over. I also ordered new Specialized Armadillos to tour on, kevlar weaving!
Things I was impressed by:
-My new Mountain Hardware sleeping bag, this thing kicks serious ass and I'm excited to try it in colder weather.
-My Joby Gorillapod camera tripod. This thing wraps around everything and it allowed me to actually get in some pictures so it wasn't the Pete show nonstop. Good call Dad!
-My new Chaco flipflops, they did a great job letting my feet air out after a day stuffed in cycling shoes and the soles are like hiking boots so you can walk on anything in comfort.