08 July 2010

An Urban Outing

Colorado Springs has a population of nearly 400,000 so there is a lot of city to see.  We've been hanging close to home since there is so much cool stuff close by but yesterday we decided to widen our territory and head out into the city more.  There is a great network of trails here so we hopped on one to see where it went  and ended up doing 26 fun miles yesterday.
Since we were in town we tried to obey the speed limit. That really is his speed.
We quickly got off the street and onto the safer and more enjoyable trails, which for the most part were clearly marked.  Some of the signs were really helpful, like the one below.  Without it we'd have thought that we were heading down someone's driveway.  The trail followed along the creek which sometimes ran behind residential areas.

There were several parks and we liked riding through them.  This one had a really unique and interesting fountain that kids and adults were wading around in.
The whole thing turned really slowly.  So slowly we didn't even know it was turning until we rode up closer to it and saw that the angle was different.  The waterfall mist coming off it felt good, even though it wasn't very hot at all yesterday.  I think it only got up into the upper 70s.
We took this path until it turned into a natural (dirt) trail.  It was wide and smooth.
And there was plenty of shade.  It was sort of overcast much of the time anyway, though.

Colorado Springs is VERY bike friendly and there are always lots of cyclist about.
And their parks are really, really pretty and lots of people hang out in them.
This tunnel was long and had great acoustics.  :)
Weird pic, huh?  Close Encounters comes to mind.  :)

After we'd gotten through the city parts of our ride, we found ourselves out on the other end of the Garden of the Gods and got to see it from another perspective.  It was stunning all over again.
From here we could see Pike's Peak, the Garden, Cheyenne Mountain, and downtown.
I like how they made the trails and curbs and other man made features in this area the same colors as the natural rock formations.  It adds to rather than takes away from the view.  I could just imagine a bright yellow curb or something, and how it would detract from the majestic beauty here and I am grateful people had the ability and insight to know that.
Up on the top of this particular rock is what's known as The Kissing Camels.  See them?  Or do you need a closer look...
Awww... Smoochie smooch.  :)

We pedaled through the rest of the Garden and for the first time I didn't take a bunch of pictures (since I've already taken so many) and I was more able to just soak it all in.  I think each time we go back there it gets better and better and I will certainly miss this place when we leave Saturday.  We've created and gathered many memories that will always be treasured.

We went on down the road that led to Manitou and once again had a yummy lunch and frozen custard.  I will miss that too!
The trikes parked at Spice of Life, an excellent place to eat.

We had ridden past this before and can't believe we failed to notice the artwork.  All of this was under an overpass that you have to go under in order to get from the Garden into Manitou.  Check this out:
This stuff was put right into the concrete.

An urban outing ends with awesome urban art.  What a great ride!

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