By the time I left the house, the temperature on the front porch had risen to a balmy 6.3 degrees F, and the sun was peeking over the horizon. I made my way to Kaladi Brothers, taking my time and enjoying the morning, but still managed to get there 15 minutes before they opened. Luckily, they took pity on me, as I stood outside waiting, and let me in early.
I claimed the prized corner table, and waited to see who would show. B, D and T had all left me regrets, so I knew they wouldn't be showing.
Danny Mc showed up first, all the way from the Republic of Boulder, and Brian showed soon after. Rich came in just before the 9:00 departure time and made it a foursome.
As we took off, threading our way through the neighborhood toward Wash Park, and thence to the Cherry Creek Bike Path, I noted the eclectic nature of our bikes. In chronological order: Dan was on his 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper fixed gear, Rich had his 1993 Yeti with drop bars, I was on the pink Gary Fisher with the SnowCat rims, and Brian was taking the inaugural ride on his Niner brand 29" mountain bike.
Our first stop was at Metropolis, a coffee shop off of Speer Blvd. , where we sat in comfy chairs and enjoyed some hot beverages. While we were there, a lady told us that she was impressed that we were out on bikes.
I told her that she should probably be more concerned with our intelligence, rather than be impressed, but we knew she meant it as a compliment and took it as such.
From there, we hopped back on the trail and carefully made our way across the snowy and icy patches, interspersed with some bare pavement, toward Confluence Park and the Starbuck's at the REI flagship store. There, we ran into Dave Nice, who was meeting some friends for his own NYD ride over to Green Mountain. He invited us along, but we were a little short on time and told him we would just be making our way back down to Kaladi's.
As we left, Dan parted company with us to catch the bus back up to Boulder, and Brian, Rich and I took the South Platte Trail south to Florida Avenue. From there, we headed east, toward the DU neighborhood. (The hardest part of the ride was the 100 yards, or so, from Florida to the pedestrian crossing at Santa Fe. The snowplows had buried the sidewalk/bike trail and we had to bust crust to the light.)
From there, we weaved our way through the side streets to Asbury, then straight east to Franklin where we crossed Evans and were back at Kaladi Brothers. Ride distance was about 16 miles at an average speed of 10.3 mph (I had guessed 9.3 as we were riding and talking).
When I got home, the thermometer was showing 43.2 degrees F, in the sun (the official high was 23). And, it felt like 42 degrees as we were riding, toward the end of the loop. I had to remove my glove liners and take one layer off of my head, and I know Brian was peeling a layer or two off, as well.
With the added distance from here to the coffee shop and back, I totalled 20.0 miles at an average of 10.6 mph. Not too shabby for a snowy/icy New Year's Day Ride.