Last day of February and with temps supposed to be near 60, I had to get out for more miles. This time I went loaded, with all the bags on the bike. I probably didn't have EVERYTHING in them, but easily added 50 lbs of weight to the ride.
Behold, the beast of burden!
Well this was a game-changer! Steering was quite different, I felt every slight rise in the trail, and any momentum was quickly lost any time the elevation went up just a tick.
Clearly, I need to do two things: get more miles on a loaded bike so my knees don't hurt, as they did Saturday, and lose some of the STUFF I'm bringing! I am now re-rethinking taking certain items (full-size camera, iPad, some of the tools, some of the clothes) so I can get that weight down. Denver is flat - how am I going to do this when I get to the hillier parts of my ride?
That said, the day didn't warm up for quite a while, and stubbornly stayed in the high 40s for the first hour or two. I could SEE the sun coming from the mountains, but it was taking forever to get to Denver, where it was still cool and cloudy.
I was aiming for 50 miles, but made a poor choice of trails on the south side of Denver. The East Harvard Gulch trail looked ok on the map, but had this really annoying habit of switching to the other side of the creek every couple of blocks, so I would have to hop onto the street, cross, then re-enter the trail. There were no other bikes on this trail, either - just moms with strollers, who didn't seem used to seeing a bike. After a while, I grew frustrated and tired, and decided to just turn towards home, so the ride ended a bit short.
The route home did take me through my favorite park in Denver. Washington Park may be the most popular park here, and it was certainly full of people today. The first time we lived here we were just a few blocks away and I used to walk my dog there daily. I still miss it whenever I go by.
This field gets REALLY crowded when the weather warms up.
The boat house is a popular subject of paintings and photos.
Next Saturday is forecast to be near 70, so I'll be back out there.