Pedal the Plains

This past weekend, Matthew and I rode in Pedal the Plains, a 3-day bike ride through the eastern plains of Colorado. We rode from Kersey to Kenneseburg, from Keenesburg to Brush!, and from Brush! back to Kersey, and it was quite a ride.

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We heard about the race through Matthew’s company. As Matthew works for a cooperative bank that serves rural communities, he was invited along to represent his company in the ride for free. Although I wouldn’t be able to ride for free, I still wanted to partake, so I went ahead and signed up – $270 of my money was initially put down for this ride, BUT then I heard about the opportunity to become a Plains Pedaler. If selected to be one of 4 Plains Pedalers, I would have the responsibility of blogging before, during and after the ride, and I would also get to ride for free.
After writing an essay explaining why I would be the perfect Plains Pedaler, winning a ‘likes’ competition on Facebook (thank you to all who voted!), and being selected by the board of the ride, I was selected to be of the Plains Pedalers!

Since Matthew and I both were able to ride for free, we had a virtually free weekend ahead of us!
Camping each night cost nothing, as we already had all of the camping gear, and we were also served lunch and snacks along the way. The only thing we had to pay for was drinks, dinner and parking for the weekend.

From endless cornfields and brutal head/side-wind, to numerous flat tires and sore butts, the 3-day ride was like nothing I had ever experienced, and definitely a lot harder than I thought it would be.
50 miles the first day, 62 the second, and 70 the third added up to be 182 miles in just 3 days – something I’ve never done before, but something I’m now proud to say I did! Although it was a tough ride at some points, Matthew and I had a great time pedaling through a part of Colorado we rarely ever see, and learning about the rural communities that we never would have thought to visit.

Below are some of the blog posts I wrote during the ride —

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From Kersey to Keenesburg – What a wild ride it’s been!
Matthew & I had a blast pedaling the plains and stopping at each Ed Station to learn more about Colorado agriculture! From J.A. Timmerman Cattle Company and Noble Energy, to NGL Water Solutions and the Wild Animal Sanctuary – there was so much to see! We loved the Wildlife Sanctuary so much that we were nearly the last ones to leave..so here we are, setting up our tent as the sun sets. It surely won’t be hard to fall asleep – even in a tent – as we are exhausted from the ride today! But no matter how tired we may be, we are definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s adventures!
– The Frugal & Free Couple

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Keenesburg to Brush!
Started out as a cold ride with little sleep & energy (due to the crazy wind last night – it was inTENTS –> get it? Intense = “in tents” cause we were camping 🙂 ). Luckily, Matthew & I were prepared with tights & jackets to keep us somewhat warm. We didn’t truly warm up until the lunch stop – where this photo was taken – & the sun finally came up!
With so many cornfields & endless plains, this ride has been scenic, but honestly really difficult. We’re not used to riding back-to-back-to-back like this, so our butts are definitely feelin’ the burn.
So, while we appear to be happy & smiling in this picture, we are secretly in pain & stalling so we don’t have to get back on our bikes. Other than our painful booties, this ride has been great! Looking forward to pumping out the last 70 miles to the finish line in Kersey!
– The Frugal & Free Couple

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s over!
The last day of the ride was definitely the best one, as it was super scenic, fast (except for the wind at some points), & the end was in sight!
Matthew & I had never done a back-to-back-to-back ride like this before, so it was definitely a challenging experience & one that will be remembered!
Thanks to everyone who put this ride together! From the food and education stops, to the camping and town activities, Pedal the Plains was very organized & a joy to be a part of!
(Oh and I personally love the Snapchat filter, hence the picture 🙃)
– The Frugal & Free Couple

I truly want to thank everyone who made this well-organized ride possible!
We had a great time, and will likely be back for another fun ride next year!

frugal & free,
Claire

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