Friday, January 28

A Trip to Olde Town

Recently I took my daughter to the library in Olde Town. We rode north to the Ralston Creek Trail and then headed east toward Olde Wadsworth Blvd.

First off, why the heck has the City of Arvada denuded Ralston Creek from Garrison almost all the way to Carr Street?

The tree service guys had the trail completely blocked at Carr Street, but no signage indicating that an alternate route should be chosen.

I've answered my own question with a quick visit to the City's website. Apparently the complete clear cutting of trees along the creek is for floodplain mitigation.

I'm not going to go on my "shouldn't have built in the floodplain in the first place" rant. Suffice it to say I think the tree removal scheme is cockamamie.

Anyway, we turned south off of the RCT onto Olde Wadsworth and headed up the hill. I'm comfortable riding on Olde Wadsworth in traffic, but when I saw the "Bike Route" sign indicating a route to the west on W. 59th. I decided I'd give it a try, see if the Bike Route would be a viable option to riding up the hill on Olde Wadsworth, as the bike lane there ended and traffic lanes narrowed.

A block after turning onto W. 59th the "Bike Route" is directed back onto the RCT. An endless feedback loop?

In the graphic below our direction of travel is indicated with blue arrows, the signage for the Bike Route indicated in green.

I'm not sure what the intent is with the proposed Bike Route. If the route directs southbound bike traffic on Wadsworth onto the RCT, why wouldn't it just put you there at Marilyn Jean (Monroe?)? Maybe the intent is to keep cyclists busy while motorists go on about their happy truckin'.

Of course I turned south on Van Voorhis and returned to Olde Wadsworth to cross Ralston Road into Olde Town. We had an elderly lady in a Cadillac buzz us. She stopped at the red light at Ralston so I pulled up beside her open window and said:

"That was a little too close."

"Oh..." was her reply. She didn't seem like she was gonna beat herself up over it. I'm certain if I had passed her walking her schnauzer in the middle of the RCT on my bike she'd have called me nasty names and painted me three shades of red to her bridge club.

Despite our ob-stacles the Bean and I reached the liberry unscathed. We followed a young man on a Diamondback to the front door. We hitched up to the hitching post as he was dropping his books in the return out front.

U-lock and cable in place I was turning around to shoo Beanie into the liberry and the young man pointed to the Cannonball and asked:

"Do you climb?"

"I do..did! Not so much in the past four years," I nodded at the Bean, "but I used to climb a lot."

"Well, with the La Sportiva, Misty Mountain and Sterling Ropes stickers..." he pointed at my frame again.

I chuckled. Those stickers are about 15 years old.

Turns out he climbs some himself and is interested in learning traditional (trad) climbing. I gave him a Bike Arvada card and suggested he email me sometime and we'd go climbing.

He lives in Wheat Ridge, but comes to the Arvada liberry because it's closer to where he lives and has a better selection.

We wished him a good day and went on in the building. I had requested Twilight in the Desert by Matthew Simmons, and Beaner got a Wiggles movie and a book about fruit written in Spanish.

Before leaving town we nailed up a "Bike Arvada" flyer at the kiosk out by Olde Wadsworth. We sat at a table enjoying the sunshine for a few minutes and then I texted Mandy to let her know we were in town. I knew she'd be coming through shortly.

The Silly one wanted to go into the Army-Navy store (chip off the old blockhead) so we went in to browse. Mom showed up a few minutes later so we did a family browse before heading home.

We actually beat Mandy and Gump to our street. As she got out of Forester she said matter-of-fact: "I guess you proved we never should drive downtown again."

And I guess we did.

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