Daniel and Karin traveled a long way for him to ride to the summit of Mount Evans. They were visiting from Switzerland where Daniel is an architect. Bob Shaver and his daughter, Anna, got him started up the renamed Squaw Pass, but Daniel rode solo to the summit parking lot of 14,130 foot Mount Evans and returned to the Denver area on his bicycle.
This is not their first trip to the United States. In 2011, the two of them rode their bicycles from Chicago to L.A. on Route 66. The weather was hot. They wisely took their time and stretched the bikepacking trip to two and a half months. But they felt safe here- a bit of a stretch from a later adventure in New Zealand where they rode- as is customary- on the left side of the road and wondered if the drivers were a bit too casual about how close the drivers would come to their handlebars and their elbows as they whizzed by.
They had enjoyed their stay in the U.S. enough during the first trip that they tried to get visas to work here, but the red tape would not permit the change of venue. Daniel did correspond with Rick Petersen who lives here and teaches at the University of Denver. Also an architect, Rick, a graduate of Harvard, had also studied in Europe. The connection was such a friendly contact that Daniel restored a classic Olmo bicycle and gifted it to Rick on this trip. Daniel also purchased a new BMC bike here and took his maiden ride on the bike with Rick and the Olmo.
Early on in his athletic career, Daniel was a soccer player and rode his bike mainly for transportation. Even now they do not own a car and use the bicycles to shop and move about their neighborhood. Karin is a teacher who has taught at the same school for twenty years and noted that the students learn about cycling safety at eleven years old. The children must pass an exam concerning lights, brakes and reflectors so that they can ride safely on the Swiss streets and scenic country roads.
Though the two of them are exceptional cyclists, they prefer the longer, slower rides when they spend time together and take in the scenery. But if the passion moves them at home there is always the Grosse Scheidegg, a 100K ride about two lakes that features a climb with an average 11% grade.
The memorable quote from this trip came from Bob Shaver, who, when it was mentioned that he was flying at the start of the ride up Squaw Pass, responded that the inscription on his tombstone will probably be just that- “He was flying at the start….”
I also road Mt Evans that day, starting from Evergreen. Daniel passed me a few switchbacks from the summit (he was flying at the end, too 😀). It was just us and some mountain goats at the summit as the road was closed for the year. That day was perfect weather for a late season summit ride. We had a nice chat at the top, as I had just returned to Evergreen after a month hiking in Switzerland. Love meeting fellow travelers