Why Colorado … Pro Cycling & Chihuly

We got just enough moved into the house to enjoy Leah and Matt’s visit.  We had mostly sunny days, but also some afternoon storms.  Leah captured the above double rainbow over our neighborhood!  Can you spot our house?

Leah likes to visit us in August to be able to see some stages of the USA Pro Challenge bike race.  We started watching the Tour de France together about a decade ago and it’s really inspired her since.  Going from hardly riding her bike at all, to riding from Austin to Anchorage with the Texas 4000 team in 2012.  Then recently returning from their belated honeymoon trip where they watched a couple stages of the Tour and actually cycled some of the same mountains routes as the pros!

So back to Colorado – this year we watched the Time Trial in Vail and the finish of the last stage in Denver.  Vail was beautiful, but cold and rainy.  We got there early enough to find a spot along the barricade right at starting ramp.  That’s us circled in yellow!  In the leader’s yellow jersey is Tejay van Garderen, who would win the time trial and the whole race on Sunday.TJ at startBut the real highlight for Leah was when she got to say hello again to our favorite rider, Jens Voigt (aka Jensie).  Leah and Matt coincidentally sat next to Jens on the airport shuttle in Paris at the end of the Tour de France.  She told him we’d be in Vail and it was great to be able to get a picture with him.jensieYou see our Trek Factory Racing passes.  We were part of a fan club party that in addition to providing food and drinks at a restaurant next to the start, provided a great place to occasionally get out of the rain and warm up.  All in all, it was a great day!  Even the sun came out at the end of the day!

Sunday was the last stage of the race. It started in Boulder, went up Lookout Mountain in Golden, and then ended in Denver. They did four laps of a circuit in downtown, so we got to watch them multiple times. From last year we remembered a great spot where you can see them at one corner and then have time to walk to the next corner to see them coming in the other direction.  So we actually got to see them eight times.  We screamed like crazy as Jensie stayed in a breakaway for all four laps and was caught right before the end.  If you’ve never been to a professional bike race, you’ll be surprised how close they pass by you!

Matt had to take the red-eye back to go to work on Monday, so we decided to stay in Denver for the rest of the day after the race.  We went to the Denver Botanic Gardens as they had a Dale Chihuly glass exhibit.  The glass sculptures were placed throughout the gardens as if they were part of the plantings.  It was truly spectacular!

We had dinner at Moontower Tacos which was inspired by Torchy’s Tacos from Austin.  It was good, but no Torchy’s!  Earlier in the week Matt and Leah taught me how to make Chuy’s Deluxe Tomatillo sauce from scratch so we can make our own Tex-Mex meals.  Good BBQ is still a struggle too.  But a small price to pay for the gorgeous scenery and cool temperatures of Colorado.  Our A/C has only turned on a few times since we moved in.  It’s so nice to sleep with the windows open and feel the cool breeze in the morning!

Well, now that Leah and Matt are gone there’s no avoiding unpacking boxes!