It’s been just over one year and around 5,500 miles since Felkerino and I said goodbye to our Co-Motion Speedster and began riding our Co-Motion Java tandem.
Now that we’ve put both of these tandems through their paces, I wanted to compare the two bikes and revisit the choice we made to replace our Speedster with the Java.
The Co-Motion Java, aka ?
Do your bikes have names? If so, how did you name them? Did you give them a name you would give a person, like Betty or Howard or something?
Or is the name you gave your bike akin to something you might bestow on a pet, like Pumpkin or Spot or Patches? Did your bike speak to you somehow and tell you its name, or did it come to you in a dream?
Instead of riding brevets and doing a 1000K or a 1200K this year, Felkerino and I focused on a weeklong Colorado bike tour, which included two days of riding around Boulder and a seven-day loop rich with hills and mountains. (Felkerino is writing a post of our routes and the gear we took over at The Daily Randonneur, so please stand by for that!)
As we were climbing Loveland Pass, Felkerino asked, “Do you think this tour will change you as a rider?”
We were loathe for our scenic week in Colorado to be at an end, so when we met a cyclist at the top of Loveland Pass who recommended we route back via Oh My God Road rather than suburban roads we were intrigued and routed our 72-mile return from Georgetown to Boulder accordingly.
Rain falls steadily in Georgetown, Colorado, as I write. It feels lovely to be clean and dry in a hotel room after a sweaty warm day of 71 miles out in the sun.
After a tasty coffee in Leadville, Felkerino and I warmed up the legs with a steady climb up Fremont Pass, which tops out at 11,300 feet.
It was a gentle climb out of Leadville, where elevation is already over 10,000 feet.
Yesterday’s ride was an excellent reminder that not all centuries are created equal.
It was also the first day where I settled into “tour mode,” where I did not worry about the miles or how often we stopped. I was just in the present moment.
I loved listening to Neil Diamond when I was little. My parents owned Tap Root Manuscript, which I was pretty certain was a kid’s album.
In early elementary school my musical tastes changed and that Neil Diamond album began to collect dust.
This morning I had the chance to make up for decades of not giving this 70’s crooner the attention he deserved, as the diner where we ate breakfast this morning was all Neil Diamond, all the time.
I’m glad I wrote those sentimental notes about how wonderful tandeming with my partner can be, as I had to remind myself of them this morning.
I woke up famished with only the thought of scrambled eggs and breakfast in my mind. Felkerino, on the other hand, awakened to an equally powerful urge for espresso.
Both of these were available, but located in distinct locations in Glenwood Springs, a few blocks apart. Because Felkerino does the steering on our bike I was at a real disadvantage, and I had a hard time accepting any delay for my scrambled eggs.
At its core, today’s ride was a 90-mile tour of several roads flanking the Colorado River in the hills between Kremmling and Glenwood Springs.
Our ride consisted of paved and gravel stretches that Felkerino routed for us based on tour planning consultation with local randonneurs John Lee and Foon.
There’s nothing that kicks off a bike tour better than riding the highest continuous paved road in the United States.
Felkerino and I spent yesterday riding our Co-Motion Java tandem on the Trail Ridge 200K, a 134-mile RUSA permanent that starts in Louisville, Colorado, and takes the rider to Estes Park, up Trail Ridge Road, down the mountain, to Grand Lake, Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, through a canyon that has a name I don’t recall Byers Canyon, and over to Kremmling.
We had a good ride, the highlight (and lowlight) for me being Trail Ridge Road which ascends to a height of 12,200 feet.