A group of 6 Salvagetti employees headed out this past weekend for a quick bike overnight. There were 3 simple goals: 1. Leave after work on Sunday 2. Be back to open on Monday 3. Smell like camp fire when it was all over.
Sunday at the shop felt like Christmas for all of us. For some, it was the first time ever going bike camping. A couple folks were last minute, so we were mixing and matching racks, bags and packs to make it happen. Our weapons of choice were varied, very varied. Two fat bikes: Surly Ice Cream Truck and Surly Pugsley. Two mountain bikes: Mosaic MT-1 and Surly Ogre. Two skinnier tire bikes: Ritchey Breakaway CX bike and a Surly Pacer.
At around 5:30pm (after closing down the shop at 5pm) we rolled out from our Irving Street location heading down to the South Platte River Trail. We somehow timed it perfectly that we were rolling down the path as the zombies, I mean slightly intoxicated football fans, were leaving Sports Authority Field after a Broncos win. This is the exact reason we have very loud bells on our bicycles. With several dongs with a bell, the crowds parted and we were able to pedal our way through a thousand, or so, blue and orange clad Bronco fans.
The route took us down the South Platte River Trail to Bear Creek Trail. As we turned on to Bear Creek Trail at Hampden Avenue we stopped at the perfectly placed, recently opened, ‘Bout Time Pub for dinner. The owner is a cyclist and happily allowed us to bring all of our bikes on to the patio where we shoveled delicious food into our happy bellies. By the time we were done dinner it was dark and getting a bit windy out. We all suited up with an extra layer and lights then headed west down the Bear Creek Trail. At Fox Hollow Golf Course we got a bit turned around due to a detour. For future reference, take the detour!! Finally, we found our campsite and went off to find firewood.
As we all sat around the campfire sharing stories of the ride and starting to plan the next one, it was hard to remember that less than 3 hours ago we had been at work. The moon was bright, our laughs were strong and the ease of pedaling our bikes to get there made it very easy to imagine making a habit out of it.
Around 10:30pm many of us started dropping like flies. The day had been long after working a full shift at the shop, pedaling 22 miles and realizing we needed to do it again in the morning. The weather was perfect and most of us slept like babies through the night. We woke up around 7am to start strapping things back to our bikes and headed back home to the shop, using the detour this time.
You can easily go for a sub-24 hour bike camping trip from Denver and never touch a road. The Bear Creek Trail takes you right into the park and you can get to this trail from the South Platte.