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  • Writer's pictureJoy Ma

Day 38: Joy went home

Wednesday July 12, 2023

Colorado Springs, CO -> Denver, CO

70.74 mi, 2756 ft elev gain

70 °F, humidity 37%, 8.8mph headwind

Just before 9am of the glorious morning of Wednesday July 12, I woke up. Brushed my teeth, and said good morning to my parents. Fixed myself breakfast, and got ready for the day: put on a bikini and grabbed a baggy shirt, grabbed a beach towel, and loaded up the car with a paddle board and water tubes. What am I getting ready for, a day at the lake??? Absolutely! Meanwhile......

Audrey, Vin, Katherine, and Lucy had been braving the harsh Colorado sun since sunrise. Though Colorado highways are usually not a problem for bikers, during the previous day on I-25 (Colorado interstate-25):

  • Joy and Audrey got pulled over for biking through roadwork, and

  • Vin's tire was demolished by a nail

so we went for a slight detour. Unfortunately, this lead to 20 miles of bumpy roads that untraversed by the usual Colorado biker bro, in other words, an hour and a half of pain. Meanwhile......

Duha drove Andrew to the hospital. A massive bruise was forming along his rightside, his shoulder mobility has stiffened to the point he couldn't even lift a glass of water, and his head...well, hopefully his helmet (which now needed to be replaced) was the only thing that suffered serious injury.

Above images from left to right:

  1. Joy's mom drove down from in Boulder to pick Joy up from Colorado Springs (the previous day)

  2. Vin and Audrey biking from Colorado Springs

  3. Andrew's helmet post crash (the previous day)

Okay, now everyone is caught up.

Joy's day at home

The previous day's route took us to Colorado Springs, just a 90 minute drive from my house in Boulder! Naturally, it was a wonderful opportunity to visit home. Today was my first full day back, and doing the classic day in Colorado (according to Colorado natives) justice, I packed my bathing suit and booked it to a mountain-side body of water with a group of friends. Today, it was Chatfield Reservoir! (Funnily enough, the rest of the team's bike route took them past this reservoir. The Target I stopped by for lakeside refreshments was only 1 miles from the spot! Unfortunately, despite a very exciting possibility, the team did not end up stopping by reservoir).

It couldn't have been a more perfect day, the mountains were stunning, the sun was out, the water was lovely, and the company was unbeatable. Today was a beautiful reminder of what's so special about Colorado: how the nature, the water, the trees, the mountains create the space for people to be connected with the place they live and the people they share the space with. I don't know where else I'd be blessed with the same feelings that you get speeding down to a lake with old and new friends, no other care in the world except to be with each other and to enjoy the water and vibes.

Post lake, we hit up Korean bbq at Dae Gee (couldn't help passing the famous Casa Bonita, now owned by South Park along the way), then went to the gym (CU Boulder ID holders, past or present, get in for free on Wednesdays! So thanks to the one class I registered for in high school, I got a fantastic lift in at the nicest gym I've ever been to). Though I missed my Spokes buddies, I'm so grateful for the chance to go home and spend such a fantastic day in Boulder.

Boulder is a special way of life and interacting with people that is different from what I experience at MIT. Today, I felt at peace and I felt connected. I know that I'll bring gratitude, confidence, and happiness from the reminders and experiences of home from today.

The bike ride

Like most rides, it was hard, it was fun, it was painful, it was long, it was tiring, it was an impressive feat. Everyone eventually made it to their Warm Showers crashpad in Denver.

Medical update

The doctor gave Andrew opioids.

An evening in Denver

Duha cooked an inCREDible meal of samosas and veggie and chicken curry! I'm so sad I missed it :(. Then, we hit up the local IKEA. After 2+ hours of lounging on Swedish beds, snacking on Swedish meatballs, wearing shark plushies as hats, and generally enjoying the sweet sweet pleasures of being in a city through the joys of giant aesthetic furniture stores, etc, the team was adequately exhausted. However, taking advantage of the rest day tomorrow (hence lack of an early wakeup call), Andrew, Duha, and Vin weren't finished yet. They toured downtown Denver and even made it to a beautiful mountain lookout point overlooking the city!

Best day ever. I love Colorado. Tune in tomorrow to hear about the team's adventure in my beautiful hometown, Boulder :)




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