Day 37 – The Twig Takes Root In Colorado – Ft. Collins to Lyons

Miles biked – 31

10/6/2009 Day 37 started like all good days should – with pancakes!  Our host for the morning, Jon’s wife Jean, got us started with some tasty carbs and great coffee.   Perfect riding food.  Except we didn’t get riding, at least not right away.  We had a 30 mile ride ahead of us, straight back to Longmont, and our plans when we got there were to go to some breweries, so we figured we best not get their before noon.

Instead, Jean showed us around the adorable city of Ft. Collins.  It has a cute downtown area with some great coffee shops, bike shops and bookstores.  The town also offers free bikes for visitors to ride around on.  Hard not to love that.  We probably could have spent the whole day wandering around town, but we did have some riding to do, so we said goodbye to Jean and our (possible) new home of Ft. Collins to head back to Longmont.

This time we took a much more scenic route, closer to the foothills of the Rockies, and saw some beautiful reservoirs and fields.  One of the funniest things about the the fields here is the prairie dogs.  They are just like a game of Wackem!  They jump out of little holes in the ground, scurry around for a minute and then jump in another hole.  From the road you can see sometimes 20-30 at a time.  They are hilarious.

Around 4PM, we made it to our first brewery stop of the day – Left Hand.  We’d emailed a bit with some homebrewers connected with the group called Ales4Females, but no one was around when we got there, so we just ordered the sampler and soaked in the sun.  They have a beautiful tap room and some very tasty beer.  A lot of times when we get the sampler we don’t finish the stouts and porters but here, they were delicious!  Their award winning milk stout was especially good.  It WAS a little humbling to find out that the sampler we shared among the three of us works out to 5 1/2 pints (!!!) but we took our time and drank lots of water, because we hand another big stop on our tour – Oskar Blues!

We arrived at the OB brewery and tap room just as our host for the night, the infamous Chad, was finishing work.  He gave a quick tour of their facilities, where they can (not bottle) their beer and we got to try their oak barrel aged Gordon, a hoppy red ale that was pretty delightful.

Our original plan was to then bike over to Lyons (to Chad’s house and the Oskar Blues brewpub), about 10 miles away, but we were pushing daylight and we hadn’t eat since lunch, so we were pretty starving.  As luck would have it, they were opening a new brewpub right there in Longmont in a few days and Dale himself (there owner of Oskar Blues) told us to stop by the pub to sample the test-dishes the cooks were whipping out.  We said yes so fast we almost bit our tongues!

The food was awesome!  They made us gumbo with rice and a sausage and pepper pizza (the third pizza to ever come out of the oven!) and we had more of that tasty Gordon.  It was pretty cool to see the place coming together right before our eyes.  They were installing all 40 of the tap lines for the pub, cooks and waiters were getting the 411 on their new jobs and everyone looked like they were having a great time.

We felt like we’d had quite a day already, but we had one more stop, so we piled into the OB van (that’s what Chad grabbed to drive us and our bikes around since we weren’t biking those last 10 miles in the dark) and headed up to Lyons.  Still in span, we had some rootbeer, met up with our Aussie tag-along Ryan, who was now driving to Seattle (having ditched the motorcycle for a car) and watched as the pub filled with blue grass musicians.  If we hadn’t been so wiped out, we could have stay there all night, but as it was we started to fade at 9pm, as we often do, so we were ready for bed shortly after we got there.

There was just one more thing to discuss – were we, or weren’t we, biking across the mountain passes the next day?  Our friend Allison from Boulder had offered to ride with us (Orli was going to take our gear and drive sag) but even with that support, it looked like we were out of luck – Trail Ridge, our chosen route, had some snow in the last few days and was closed for the season.  Plus, it looked like all the passes were getting snow in the next day or so, none of them would be safe to bike.  Tired, and maybe a little scared, we decided to reroute.

Fort Collins

Fort Collins

Left Hand Brewing Co

Left Hand Brewing Co

Oskar Blues and the Mysterious and Ellusive Dale (of Dales pale Ale)

Oskar Blues and the Mysterious and Ellusive Dale (of Dale's pale Ale)


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