26 July 2010

The Hidden Jewel

I remember from when I lived in Denver and rode my bike A LOT that there are amazing bike paths all over the city.  They go from the east side of the suburb of Aurora all the way into the foothills and I was ready to get on my trike and show Ken how great the trails were.  Well, the one we took wasn't anything like I remember.  In fact, it wasn't exactly the "hidden jewel" the bike maps boasted it to be.  We ended up riding nearly 60 miles through industrial areas and back streets that left lots to be desired.  To make matters worse much of the trail was not clearly marked.  There were no signs where there needed to be signs, and therefore we took some wrong turns and did some backtracking.  There aren't many stores along the route either which eventually left me dehydrated, hungry, hot, tired, and just plain miserable.  And we were still 25 miles from our destination of Golden when I started feeling bad.  Here I am riding clear across the country and this is the worst I've felt so far.  And we were supposed to just be toodling around town.  Hmmph...
See what I mean?

There were lots of bridges going over the Platte River.
People come here to cool off.  I lived here for years and never knew about this.
I was too busy working I suppose.  And speaking of work...  this is where I used to slave away for the man.
It was so weird being here again, remembering that other life where I was a wage-slave corporate girl.  I worked for Qwest Communications for a few years back in the late 90's.  There was a great restaurant at the bottom of the Qwest Tower called Presto and I took Ken there but it was gone.  In it's place was a deli called Heidi's and it was quite good too.  We forgot the camera there and had to ride back through the busy downtown streets to get it.  Sigh.  We were sure glad it was there! Thanks to these two for finding it and hanging on to it for us!

While we ate we took in the big city sights and look what we saw:
Very cool!  Out of all the states Colorado has the highest percentage of people signed up to be donors.  That is quite impressive!  Perhaps it is due in part to all the extra effort they they put into getting the message out, like putting it on the sides of buses!  
The Denver Performing Arts Complex.
Invesco Field, where the Denver Broncos play.  Go Broncos!
People who don't have bikes can rent these and ride all over town.  We saw a lot of people riding them and could always tell it was a rental because the headlight was on.  We finally got through Denver and back towards Golden and the path got a little better.  The traffic noise lessened a bit and the trail itself was prettier, shadier, and less busy.  We still went through some more industrial stuff though.

See?  There ARE some trees along this path!
Golden is beautiful but the Coors plant here is HUGE.  It really detracts from the view and as I looked at it and looked at it as we pedaled by, I couldn't help but be amazed by the magnitude of an industry that contributes to the demise of so many people.  People everywhere are going to meetings to try to stay off this stuff, and here is this huge plant just to make the stuff that gets people drunk.  We humans are such an odd lot.
By the time we reached Golden and the Coors plant I was feeling TERRIBLE.  We finally made it though and I paused at the end of the trail to try to steady myself for the last 5 minutes of riding.  We met my parents in the park and listened to some live folk music for a few minutes, said hello to some people they knew, and then finally headed home. The entire next day I slept trying to get over the heat exhaustion and dehydration I'd let happen to myself.  Even that didn't go well, though.  For some reason I just couldn't take a good nap.
One small section of the Coors plant.  It smelled like bread.
This ride was not very fun.  I felt like such a wimp.

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