By Megan Hottman
I have always wanted to go credit card camping on a bike adventure…. By that I mean- ride somewhere cool with a credit card, clean pair of clothes and flip flops, and explore the new spot, then maybe ride back.
On Tuesday of this week, my friend Chris introduced me via email to the owner of the Buffalo Lodge Bike Resort in Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs, saying, “Megan, you need to know this place and the woman who owns it!” I checked out this cute spot online and as I looked ahead to the upcoming weekend I thought- why not go and visit? When I learned they were hosting a “folk & flannel” festival with live music, I decided I was in— I was ready for a new spot to visit and a new adventure to experience …
I don’t know why but my immediate reaction to their website (upon learning that it is ALL about bikes AND that it loves dog guests), is “I gotta take my girls with me.” I have taken my dogs on short bike-trailer rides like to the vet and to the park but never more than 5-6 miles. This would truly be an adventure for all 3 of us. 😉
I don’t really talk much about my dogs but since they are my family I feel they deserve a bit of storytelling time here…
My girls are a 14 year old pittie pup named Phoenix and my 9-year old endlessly energetic running partner, Ramsey aka Rambo. 14 years ago on a bike ride, I found a mom pup and a box of 5 puppies someone had stashed under a bright embankment in KCMO – they were pit mixes, illegal in KC at the time and it was clear someone just wanted to be rid of them. I took them to the vet as they were all in very poor health- the puppies were only a few weeks old and were starving, dehydrated, had heartworm, etc. Once we got them in good health I was able to find homes for them all- primarily with friends but I kept the runt- the peanut butter brindle girl and named her Phoenix, as in, risen from ashes. She has survived and outlived her siblings and a major neck surgery and even a dire prognosis back in July and she’s still here with me game for morning walks, human food, and face licks. I know my time remaining with her is running short so I savor my days with her by my side.
The top questions I got from folks along the way and at the resort were:
- What route did you take? View the route on RIDE SPOT- HERE. (My Strava post is HERE but it’s private unless you follow me). Generally speaking the route was: Golden to BCLP, to 470 trail, south to Chatfield, through the park to Titan Road, to Airport Road, to Sedalia. Then, Hwy 105 south to Palmer Lake. Sante Fe Trail south into COS, then city bike paths the rest of the way. Approx 95 miles/4500 ft elev gain, give or take.
- Have you done this kind of thing before? No- not really. A bike Packing trip 4 years ago but that didn’t really count as there were no dogs involved.
- Did you train for this? No. This idea was hatched on a Tuesday and the ride happened Friday.
- What kind of sunglasses are those? Ride 100% (not sponsored). Highly recommend.
- What made you want to do this? Haha have we met? If you don’t know me, know that my answer is usually -”Why not?”
- Do your dogs just lay down in the trailer? Mostly, yes. They face opposite directions so that they each have a view (either forward or backward) and we stopped often enough they got to get out and stretch their legs, have a snack and a drink, and then they were game to hop back in. (Ahem- copious treats help).
- What did you eat along the way? Normal bike food- Crafted Energy Bars, Clif Blocks, a couple bananas, Skratch hydration mix and then I also had sour gummi bears in my bento box which were the only thing that sounded good to me late in the day. Probably did not fuel enough as I reflect back on the day- that is an area for improvement for future adventures.
To read the rest of this adventure please go here: http://www.hottmanlawoffice.com/blog/GoldentoCOSWithdogs
Here is a homestyle video of what the Buffalo Lodge is like!