Posts Tagged 'Colorado'

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.

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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Garage sale day in Quail Hollow

It’s a quiet, sunny Saturday morning in the Quail Hollow neighborhood of Fort Collins – quiet, at least, until the annual garage sale starts.

Treasure seekers begin to parade by in search of deals. They come on foot or prowl slowly by in their SUVs, looking in the driveways until something catches their attention.

Lots of them come on bicycles, which turns out to be a most efficient way of scouting out stuff and even carrying it away. One enterprising pair of men in floppy hats park their pickup on Dixon Creek Court, half a block from the Quinn house, where I’m helping with the wheeling and dealing.

They unload their bicycles and start exploring, down Dixon Creek Lane, back to Yorkshire, no doubt to Pasquinel and Skimmerhorn and every other lane on the official garage sale map, returning again and again to unload their buys in the truck and set out again. Once, they roll back down the street herding a newly purchased, riderless bicycle between them.

Inspired by the neighborly commerce, I set out on my own bicycle. I get as far as Michener before a shiny new folding bike on a lawn catches my eye. No, you have nowhere to put the thing, I say to myself.

I tell the guy I’ll give him the $25 he wants if he can get air in the tires. He does. I ride it down the street and back. We fold it up and put it in the bag that comes as part of the deal. It’s heavy, so I sling the bag over a shoulder and hoof it back to the Quinn place, laughing along with Babette at the sight of me.

I own my folding commuter bicycle for maybe 10 minutes before reselling it to a kid from South Dakota, before I have time to see what it might bring on eBay. I let it go for $25. I get to keep the picture.

What a great morning.


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