Boulder: Day 2

Mountain Sunset

Day 2 was fun, full, and exhausting.  It was also another beauty of a day, weather-wise.

We began our day at The Boulder Bikesmith where we rented bikes which we’ll be using to get around Boulder for the next day or two.  The tandem bike we rented last year was unavailable so I had to relearn how to ride a bike.  The weird thing is that it’s true what they say about riding a bike.  Having learned as a child, the basics are so ingrained that it all came right back to me after the initial wobbles.  I’m not used to handbrakes and shifting gears but that didn’t take long to learn.

I took a grand total of four photos and none of them involve cycling or the things we did throughout the day.  I decided not to take the camera along.  At first my reasoning concerned the safety of anything I was carrying (in case I should take a spill).  Later, when I felt confident enough to carry it in my daypack, I discovered the camera case will not fit in the daypack.  I am not confident enough to carry the camera unprotected by the padding the case provides.

Hopefully I’ll find some time to walk around and snap a few shots.  If not, oh well.  I took loads of photos last year.  You can find a few by doing a search for Boulder in the search box on the sidebar.  Look for the posts from August of 2009.

We met M the Younger after picking up our bicycles.  M the Younger and C went up around Bald Mountain Scenic Area to go on a heavy-duty bike ride that involved a long, steep climb up to Gold Hill and then the easier downhill back to Boulder.  It took them about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

M and I cycled around Boulder while they were off having their adventure.  We ended up at Dot’s Diner for second breakfast.  The best way to head off any signs of altitude adjustment (sickness) is to keep the body well-supplied with food and water.  Dot’s Diner is a breakfast institution in Boulder.  No trip here would be complete without at least one breakfast (first, second, or third) at Dot’s.

Eventually we all came back together and took off on the bike paths.  Boulder has nearly 100 miles of linked bike paths and many of the main roads include a bike lane.  I would love to live here.  I’d rarely, if ever, need a car (which would be just peachy because I do not like driving, not one bit).

We ended up at the Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder, a pedestrian area that stretches from the 1100 to the 1400 blocks of Pearl Street.  We had lunch at my favorite place to eat and drink in Boulder:  The Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery.  The food is amazing with plenty of great vegetarian choices, and their beers are delicious.  Last year we were not able to drink this early into our trip due to the effects of being at higher altitude.  This year we’ve had little to no symptoms of altitude sickness so we decided to risk it and had no problems.  One beer is pretty much enough at this point in acclimating to the altitude.

After lunch we strolled around and did a little shopping.  I was looking for a specific item that I knew I could find in Boulder.  Having found walking to be easy exercise, I decided to try running.  Unfortunately my first week of training for a 5k resulted in knee pain and swelling.  I gave up for a while but then came across several articles about barefoot running.  I’ve been trying it and have no problems at all with my knees.  Since I don’t really want to run outside in my bare feet (not at this point, at least), I decided to invest in a pair of Vibram Five Fingers.  I tried on a few pair, walked and even took a few jogs around the store, and left with my new shoes.  Or no shoes, as the case may sort of be.

That pretty much wraps up the day in Boulder.  We went back out to M the Younger’s place for dinner, hung out for a while talking, and stopped to watch the sunset on our way back to the hotel in Boulder.

Today we’ll be biking and then hiking.  We scoped out the big hill we’ll be climbing on our bikes.   I may be walking a good part of it, not being used to working so hard on a bike.  It looks pretty daunting from the bottom looking up, but we’ll see.