Hopkins 4K for Cancer

The mission of Hopkins 4K for Cancer is to unite communities across the country in the fight against cancer by spreading awareness, raising funds, and fostering hope.


June 28, 2007

by Peter Dewey
We’re finally in the mountains!! I’ve been looking forward to this day since we left the mountains of Pennsylvania. Boulder has to be one of the most biker friendly communities that we go through, so all of the riders very excited. We spent the first night walking around downtown Boulder where it was surprisingly busy for a week night. Most of the team ate out the first night in town at local restaurants before heading back to the church to watch Disney movies (yes, they are still cool to college students). Throughout the night the “4K choir” (primarily consisting of Rob and Logan) belted out songs such as “Kiss the Girl” from the Little Mermaid and “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. The night was certainly eventful.

The weather coming into Boulder was less than ideal for seeing the snowy peaks of Rockies, so I spent my day off trying to find them. After getting bike maintenance done at Full Cycle on the Hill, I headed up Flagstaff Mountain with Rebecca on our bikes. We were warned by the bike shop that it was the 2nd steepest climb in Boulder with the average grade being 12-14% and the steepest sections upwards of 20%, unfortunately for us, they weren’t lying. The ascent consisted of a number of hairpin switchbacks that brought us up the side of a very steep mountain (or cliff if you ask me). At several points of the climb you could see the road hundreds of feet directly below you because of the series of switchbacks. It finally straightened out a bit but the grade did not ease up at all. At the summit we passed through a series of 4 switchbacks before reaching the crest. All in all we ended up climbing just shy of 3,000 feet in 5 miles of biking, it was by far the steepest road that either of us had ever biked up (and we have both done the 4K once before). At the end of the climb we were glad to finally see some the snowy peaks of the mountains that seemed to be hiding from us. Despite the fact that we enjoy resting on our day off the climb up Flagstaff was certain a treat.

Back at the church we returned to a group of people watching the Disney movies for a 2nd time. Once Aladdin had finished again a group of us headed back to the bike shop to pick up some parts then cruised around town until we found an ideal lunch stop, which happened to be the Pita Pit, which was delicious. Back at the host we prepped our bikes for the next few days by fine tuning and cleaning them. I’m pretty sure my bike hadn’t been that clean since we left Baltimore. Once cleaned up, I decided to take a test run up another mountain with Greg before dinner. We biked 6 or so miles up Sundance Canyon to figure out if it was a suitable route out of town the following morning. Luckily there was a bike race scheduled up the mountain the day after we left so we met up with a biker training for the race to ask his suggestion for a route out of town. It was decided that Sundance Canyon wasn’t the best road since the steepest sections of the climb and descent were dirt. Good thing we found this out in time because that route would have shaved 6 miles off the next day which would probably have been an appealing choice.

The night was spent relaxing around the church for most and watching the Disney movies for a 3rd time. I guess we wanted to make sure we had all of the songs stuck in our heads for the climbs that would be coming. Some of the riders participated in a community bike ride at night with a lot of the locals. It is a Thursday night tradition that bikers go out in funny outfits and decorate their bikes with lights and ornaments and parade around town for fun. Some of the bikes we saw had 5 or 6 bikes welded together with a table the middle where people were playing cards (some of the riders were going backwards). I’m not quite sure how that worked out but it was really cool to see. Before you knew it we were all back in the church sleeping before the big climbs started the next day.