Today was the beginning of a very active weekend. We got up around 7:30a and got Chloe ready for her 1st Soccer game (and mine as assistant coach... a stressful role, indeed.) Unlike in PA, the league she's in here is co-ed (although her team happens to be all girls), and the games are 5-on-5 (including goalie) and are played on a much smaller field. Chloe and her team played well... Chloe scored two of her team's goals, and made some saves when she was the netminder. The most important stat, though, was that the TigerBears (Chloe's team) and the Squirrel Girls (the opponents) had a fun time.
Upon returning from the game and having some lunch, I went on a short, but climbing-intensive ride. It was just a shade over 27 miles long, but involved almost 3,200 feet of climbing. I would have liked to go for a longer ride, but there were important matters to attend to...
Tonight, Peggy and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary by going out to dinner at a great restaurant in Boulder's West End. Not having lined up a babysitter, we had Chloe join us and a great time and meal were had by all. Afterwards, we strolled around the Pearl Street mall to get some ice cream (for Chloe and I) and coffee (for Peg). We couldn't make it too late of a night, for there was more in store for tomorrow.
Today is the second day in a row where the alarm clock went off at 7:30a. After topping off the stomach's with fuel and getting the right gear on our bodies and loaded into car, we headed to the CU campus to participate in the Buffalo Bicycle Classic. The ride raises money for scholarships that go to students within the CU College of Arts and Sciences. Since it's inception 6 years ago, it has raised over $800,000 and is the single largest source of scholarships for CU's CAS. Like many charity rides, this one offered routes of varying length. We opted for 14-miler, which had its own nickname, the "Little Buffalo."
For our first, big family ride, things got off to an inauspicious start. We got to the Start/Finish line about 30 minutes before our ride started. So we checked in, got ourselves a course map and read that there is a rolling start (meaning we can leave when ever we want too, versus a mass start for everyone riding a particular route). Rather than wait the 30 minutes, we decided to venture off on our own.
We left the Start and followed the directions given to us by the volunteers manning the intersections. Right off the bat, we were pointed in the direction opposite of where I knew we needed to go, but I figured it's early, maybe we'll head back the right way after a block or two. As we approached the first intersection, I asked a volunteer if this was the way for the 14 mile route. He said "Yep." I wanted to make sure because I knew if we made this turn and it was wrong, it meant going down a short but moderately steep hill, and that we'd have to go back up said hill to correct things. (Normally, I don't mind climbing hills, as my brief cycling comment for Saturday attests to. But it's a COMPLETELY different ballgame when I'm also pulling around a 45 pound girl on a 15 pound trail-a-bike. In these situations, hills are considerably less attractive.)
We make the turn, go down the hill and continue on for a couple more blocks, still not heading in the direction we need to go. At this point, we pull to the side of the road, consult the course map again, and begin to think the ride organizers don't have the swiftest volunteers manning the course. We turn around, head back up the aforementioned hill and make our way back to the Start/Finish line. By this point, more "Little Buffalo" ride riders have amassed to begin the ride, so we decided to wait a bit and leave with the group. As luck would have it, we met up with friends, Jordan and Baylor, who were also doing the ride with their kids, and pedaled away most of the morning with them. (I can't complain too much about my setup with Chloe... Baylor has a tandem trail-a-bike for his two sons attached to his bike.)
We crossed the finish line around 11:00a, parked our bikes and took in some lunch. And talked about what (longer) route we wanted to do next year. (Photos, top to bottom: Taking a break at the first rest stop; At the finish line; Chloe nearly getting stampeded by a raging buffalo.)