Archive for the 'Colorado' Category

Moving to “The Smith Compound”

Where coyotes live...

Time to give this blog a rest and try something new.

The Smith Compound actually has been up for a few weeks now, and your blogger has not been in Iowa in some time. He’s a mile high and Mrs. Smith will be, too, before a whole lot longer.

The Smiths are still very much interested in cycling and what’s going on in Iowa with our many friends and relations.

We are fortunate that we will be able to stay in virtual touch so easily, but things change. Shit happens. Time flies.

Please visit as often as you can, even if it’s only at the new digital home in the West.


What to do with that extra bicycle: Give it away!

Updated 8/25/2010: Here’s a link to the article mentioned below, published in the Greater Park Hill News: Hard-Earned Bike Helps Park Hill Woman Exercise.

* * *

If you’re in the Denver area and have a bicycle or bike gear you no longer need, consider giving it to The Bike Depot.

The nonprofit organization helps residents of Park Hill and surrounding neighborhoods by teaching bike maintenance and safety, encouraging healthy lifestyles and making bicycles available to children and adults who can’t afford to buy them.

I recently interviewed a woman who had just gotten a bicycle – and more – through the organization’s Earn a Bike program. Keep an eye out for a link to the story soon after it appears in the local community newspaper.

The Bike Depot concept would be great to see working in many other communities.

Full disclosure: The time working on that story was my first donation to The Bike Depot.
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Tales from the Front Range: Return to the Poudre

When someone offers you a free rafting adventure, as my friend’s daughter’s river guide boyfriend did the other day, what else can you do?

You go, especially when it’s June on the Cache la Poudre River near Fort Collins.

You do this even if it’s just an hour after a hike to the Greyrock summit that was a good bit more strenuous than you expected. (I have a few pictures of my own, but the ones at that link are better.)

This video isn’t of our group but is on the same stretch of river.

If you have a chance, do this sometime – even if you don’t get it free.

Some friends and I had a similar adventure a few years ago (documented here on my website). This time around, the Quinn sons wimped out on the rafting, so Dan and I went with his daughter and her friends. (Mrs. Quinn will have to go next time.)

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Free advice for bike-unfriendly Colorado town

The former gold mining camp of Black Hawk, Col...
Image via Wikipedia

Google maps couldn’t give me “bicycle” directions from Centennial to Black Hawk, Colorado, but it appears to be uphill. (Where I sit is about 5,800 feet while the little “bicycle ban” town is a bit over 8,000.)

By road, it’s a trip of about 53 miles.

Lacking the time to pedal there today (on my mountain bike it would take me … a while, let’s say) and not wanting to burn the fossil fuel or cash it would take to drive there, I sent an email up into the mountains instead. It should be there by now.

Bicycle ban: Wouldn’t it be better to attract people to town?

Dear Council Members:

Many other communities encourage people who ride bicycles to visit, with the result that those people become customers of local businesses and spend money. Such towns become tourist destinations for people who otherwise would not think of visiting.

Here is a link to one example of how it’s done:

As an experienced public relations professional — and an avid cyclist who has spent more money than I care to think about in other Colorado mountain towns — I encourage you to extend a welcoming hand to these potential customers. It’s good for business.

You could even generate a good deal of positive publicity by reversing course on this issue. I would be happy to discuss how I might assist.

# # #

I figure it can’t hurt to try. Send your own polite letter about the bike ban to:

Pedal on.

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Kill the bicycle ban before it grows…

It’s curious that a little Colorado casino town would decide to go out of its way to ban bicycles while so many other communities are trying to be bike-friendly.

Bicycle Colorado and others are right, of course: Bad precedent.

One would hope a little common sense will prevail before a lot of money is raised and spent on legal action.

Since I’m in sort of in the neighborhood, maybe I’ll drop in on Black Hawk and wave around a little of the green stuff that I won’t be spending there.

You can help by sending a polite email to – and by avoiding the casinos. To borrow a few words from a favorite song and apply them to the ban:

“Kill it before it grows.”

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Old Chub

One of my favorite scenes from the Rist Canyon Hill Climb Race the other day near Fort Collins…

Click for a wider view...

The Fort Collins Cycling Festival has some actual race photos here on Facebook.

Tale of grizzly attack a tall one

It was this big...

The announcer introduced her as the cyclist who was chased by a grizzly during the Rist Canyon Road Race near Fort Collins, but in reality it was “a cute little black bear.”

Ruth “The Bear Attack” Alexander said she wasn’t actually attacked, either, or even chased: “I was trying to get away from it and it was trying to get away from me.”

Great story, though.


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