TANDEM BIKE TRIP: Overnight to Lyons, CO

In between snowstorms here in Boulder, we’ve been stepping up our bicycling trips on “Hot Rod,” our new carbon fiber Calfee tandem. I’ve risen to what Porter calls our “Chocolate Croissant Challenge,” a trip in sometimes sub-freezing weather to a coffee shop in a neighboring town. In no time we were ready for our first overnight of the season–to Lyons, Colorado to hear our friend Gary Koenig play in a bluegrass jam at Oskar Blues!

tandem biking to LyonsPorter and Gail with “Hot Rod” on way from Boulder to Lyons, Colorado


Gary is much admired for his playing of the Dobro, by his fans and friends, fabulous wife Peggy, and musicians jamming on guitars, mandolins, banjos, violins, and bass.


Gary Koenig on Dobro, with fans at Oskar Blues


Amber not only belts out the bluegrass songs with the musicians, but insists that Gary teach her how to play the Dobro.


Gary Koenig teaches Amber to play the Dobro


After a rowdy night of bluegrass music and adult beverages, Porter and I stay overnight at the cozy Aspen Leaf Motel, right out of the Fifties, complete with turquoise refrigerator, dinette set, and picture wall calendar. We pedal home the following morning.


Gail and Porter ready to ride Hot Rod home from Aspen Leaf Motel

33 comments on “TANDEM BIKE TRIP: Overnight to Lyons, CO

    • Marian, LOL! Such a paradox that I could seem to be totally absent when I’m plunging into being totally Present! Let’s get together soon to catch up. Much love always!! XO

  1. Hi Gail & Porter! What a pleasant surprise to see your post pop up in my in box. You 2 are stylin’, all color coordinated with each other and your Calfee tandem bike. We’re curious to know if your “tandem” adventure on the CDT will continue on this spring? Does Porter still want to finish the CO section of the CDT? Not sure if you recall my husband, Alan (“FROST”). He hiked through NM, CO and got as far as Rawlins, WY last year. He did not want to do a “flip-flop” after being stopped by the deep snows in CO in late May. Took a break, came back to Bellingham, then returned to southern CO beginning of July 2015. He’s planning to finish the CDT this season — Rawlins, WY to Canada or BUST!! 🙂
    Happy Trails & Tandem Biking!
    Ina Sue Fox

    • Hi Ina, wonderful to hear from you! I recently met a friend of yours and Frost’s–Jeni Umble, I think? She’s in the group photo in this post with Gary Koenig and fans. Porter is planning to hike the 800-mile Colorado section of the CDT this summer from north to south that we had to pass over because of the snowpack last May. I’ll be his support person as I was last summer. Happy trails and hiking to Frost as he continues from Rawlins to Canada–we know he’ll make it!

    • Hi Ed, each carrying our own backpack is different from loading our gear into panniers on our tandem, for sure! Congrats on your self-contained Oregon trip! Porter and I biked on our previous tandem from Houston to Maine then Houston to San Diego, fully self-supported with our panniers.

  2. Wow, live bluegrass would be a good motivator for me, too!! Nothing like a snowstorm or subfreezing temps to make one feel alive. Good for you guys!

  3. What a fun post, Gail. I drove that road a lot and remember seeing lots of bikers when the weather permitted.
    I’m most pleased that amber has found an outlet for her musical talent. Right on!

    • Frank, I love thinking of you driving that beautiful road. The wind was out of the west so we really had to push especially going uphill, but we had crosswinds and tailwinds on the way home! Amber sends you her warmest regards, very much enjoyed your wonderful book, BEADS OF WATER: Finding Relief: Notes and Poems about Living 70+ Years with PTSD, and like me, looks forward to your next.

      • Gail, in that part of my life I was involved in several arts and crafts activities and I would drive up that road on my way to the resources in Loveland. I would visit the Wood Emporium for hardwood (the owner was amazingly helpful), a glass-blowing studio, and in August, the Sculptures in the Park event. If you have not seen the sculpture exhibition, do give it a try. I never imagined that so many gifted sculptors are at work today. I do miss that part of the country.

  4. The beautiful weather between storms was wonderful and I’m glad to hear about your adventure in Lyons. Did you know I lived there for several years in the 90s? It’s grown a lot since then, but I still often rode my motorcycle over from Lyons just to have a soft-serve hot fudge sundae on summer days. My son Steve and his wife Linda always attended the Bluegrass events there when they lived in Colorado and I have one special memory of visiting Oskar Blues for dancing, music, and beer with Suzanne Venino and friends years ago. Now I have a vision of two dear friends in red riding their hot rod into town for an adventure of their own!

    • Rosemary, Yes, I was in that group organized by Suzanne Venino to go to Oskar Blues! We all took a chartered bus (maybe Banjo Billy’s?) together from Boulder and danced, sang, and partied the night away! I cherished that memory while we were at Oskar Blues this week. And I didn’t know you lived in Lyons in the 90s! I can totally picture you there!

  5. What a great idea for a trip!!! Thanks for sharing – and now what will you do until this snow melts//!!??
    Carry on!
    Hugs,
    Beth and Phil

    • Beth and Phil, LOL! Fortunately we can still hike in this snow–our MicroSpikes help! And of course there’s our Therapeutic Yoga class, which we love–at StudioBe in Boulder. Hope all is fantastic with you guys, and I’m sure you’re still riding your gorgeous horse!

  6. What a grand idea! I love following and being inspired by your adventures! I take the chocolate croissant challenge by going to Lucky’s Creamery & Bakery and resisting buying too many!

  7. Thanks Porter and Gail for you tandem adventure, which all goes to prove that adventure is in the legs of the protagonists, not in the length of the trail. All the same, best to you on the last leg of the Colorado trail. . Keep us posted! And happy white Easter: I’m dreaming of a White Easter, just like the ones I used to know, where the tree limbs break off, and children take off to find bright eggs in the snow….

  8. You are my fantasy!! Cycling through the snowy mountains. Gathering with friends over good music, adult beverages, and a motel full of 50’s memories. Knowing that fantasies do become realities, I shall keep hoping for such!! HUGS and more Hugs, Jane

    • Jane, what a fun comment, thank you! You are our Beaufort fantasy! We love keeping in touch with you and Lloyd and hope to see you both in the not too distant future! XOXOXO

  9. Fun to see! I’m glad you’re still out and about in spite of the usual March madness (the weather, I mean) I’m getting ready to do just the Mt. Adams section of the PCT this summer. My trail guide is so old I think a new one is in order. The tandem bike is a super idea. I like your destinations, too. We have the Palisade Bluegrass Fest here in June; the 11th or so. Come on over and ride the Fruit and wine by way and take in the music!

    • Mary, I’m so excited for you about the Mt. Adams section of the PCT this summer! You are a continuing inspiration to me!Thanks for the heads-up about the Palisade Bluegrass Fest in June, will see where we are and what wants to happen!

  10. Your adventures are aspirational. Here in Houston, Ron has replaced his bike with a Ducati motorcyle – red, of course. I am trying to adjust. And always, we follow your lead into future fun travel.

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