Tuesday, July 07, 2009
The Great Escape
I apologize for a long delay in blogging. I have not been in a Pittsburgh state of mind for awhile. Over the last three weeks travels have taken me to South Carolina and Colorado. Even the Pittsburgh Guy has to admit that both of these areas have treasures that we don't have in Pittsburgh. Of course they don't have the Penguins or Steelers.
First I relaxed on the beach in Hilton Head, which is a beautifully planned resort area. Thought was given to adapting development to the environment as opposed to the opposite. The island has a beautiful long and wide beach with gentle waves. At low tide the sand is packed enough to ride a bike on it. The resort is interconnected with bike paths. Also there are a series of lagoons on which gasoline powered boats are not permitted. Unlike Florida, the island is not over built, as development is controlled. I took time for biking and kayaking. One day I joined a group of riders on the mainland. They took on a fast paced, flat ride through beautiful sections of the lowland.
Currently I'm in Colorado Springs, sitting on a balcony overlooking the mountains with a clear but distant view of the Garden of the Gods, where we hiked yesterday. This treasure is a city park, free to the public. It is scattered with ominous natural red rock formations jutting out of the landscape. The hike was through a red rock trail with
interesting formations and views at every turn, highlighted by the Siamese Twin Formation.
Before arriving in Colorado Springs, we spent a few days in suburban Denver. I rented a bike and went for long rides on the Greater Denver's fantastic network of paved bike trails. One day I rode to the Chatfield Reservoir Park and then along the Platte River to Confluence Park on the edge of the downtown/LoDo area. My turnaround spot was Denver's flagship REI store housed in an old warehouse building. This REI has a Starbuck's in it. I stopped long enough for a macchiato and headed back.
The next day I rode the other way on the 470 trail and hooked up with a couple of local riders. They were younger, a bit faster and altitude adjusted. The lead me to the Cherry Creek Reservoir Park and back. Hats off the Treads Bike Store in Parker. I was able to rent a Cannondale road bike. Attention was given to fit me properly and they loaned me a pair of clipless pedals.
Unfortunately, meeting obligations probably won't allow me to rent a bike in Colorado Springs, which I imagine would be challenging, but sweet riding. I saw the new Charmichael Training Center, www.trainright.com. I would like to stop by and check it out.