Updated: August 19, 2011 at 12:00 am
Perhaps the most exciting three-day sports weekend in Colorado Springs history culminates Monday when 135 or so pro bike riders launch themselves from Garden of the Gods and race downtown at upwards of 50 mph.
It’s the prologue of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and it follows the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon over the weekend.
I’m totally psyched!
And it reminds me how lucky I am to live in a community that embraces cycling and encourages it with a network of neighborhood trails.
The trail system isn’t perfect. I’ve done my share of bushwacking when a trail abruptly ended. And I’ve gotten lost a few times trying to find connections.
But I’ve also lived in cities where I wouldn’t dare commute 10 miles on a bike, as I do from my Rockrimmon home to downtown.
Check out a video I made of my commute.
Hang on as you climb onto the handlebars of my old Stumpjumper and rocket along with me at 60 mph — thanks to the magic of time-lapse editing — down the Pikes Peak Greenway along Monument Creek, over to the Shooks Run Trail and finally to The Gazette.
It was a blast making the video. And I’d love to see videos of your commutes.
Strap on a camera and show me your route. We’ll create a library of the videos — and photos — on outtherecolorado.com and make them available for others to enjoy and perhaps scout out their own routes.
You’ll see great new concrete trails the Parks Department has been building.
You’ll also bump along some old asphalt trails that have deteriorated badly.
You’ll see me ducking across city alleys and streets in the Roswell, Old North End, Patty Jewitt and Shooks Run neighborhoods.
It got me wondering about the status of area trails, especially with the severe budget cuts experienced by the parks agency.
Actually, a lot is going on.
Kurt Schroeder, manager of the city’s parks, trails and open space, said his staff remains committed to developing trails and piecing together missing links that sometimes frustrate folks on two wheels.
“It’s a slow process,” Schroeder said. “We have little money for rebuilding old trails. But we can still get money for new trails.”
In fact, the city expects to finish in October most of the 3.5-mile Midland Trail from America the Beautiful Park to Manitou Springs, thanks to a $2 million lottery grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, or GOCO.
Trail is being built along Sand Creek out east as well as from North Nevada Avenue to Dublin Boulevard near Cottonwood Creek, said Sarah Bryarly, the city’s trail guru.
Her wish list includes expanding the Rock Island Trail, punching Shooks Run Trail south to Fountain Creek and expanding Cottonwood Creek Trail from Vincent Drive.
It all sounds great to me. I can’t wait to ride them.
And I can’t wait to see your photos and videos!