Tuesday, December 27

Laying Siege to the People's Republic

I think I've mentioned that I will be taking some classes in Boulder over the coming year. I'm pursuing a professional certificate through the University of Colorado's Sustainable Practices Program. By wrestling with time and space a bit I convinced the powers that be to allow me the necesary Fridays free from work to attend class, and I even managed to convince them to pay for it!

As a direct result of my scheduling needs my employers have instituted an experimental flex schedule for myself and three other co-workers. If we don't screw it up we'll be able to take a flex day about once every two weeks. So...no need to take mental health days to train for Leadville...

The conundrum that then remains is the physical gulf I must span to get from my home in Arvada to the campus of University of Colorado in Boulder some 20+ miles way by 9am on certain Fridays.

By bike my best route is 22 miles with some 800 feet of gain along the way. I have to cross at least five drainages. By bus, if I get a ride with Mandy and the kids up to the park-n-ride at Sheridan and 36 I can make it almost to the classroom in about 35 minutes with an hour return trip in the evening.

I'll have three classes in January, and then one each in February, March and April. The remainder of the classes I want to take have not been scheduled yet.

I'm hoping for much thawing and no accumulation between now and my first class on January 6th. If the surface conditions are amenable to it I am going to try and ride there. With a 9am start time I should have ample time to make it all the way up to Boulder so long as I leave early enough. To get home after 5pm (after dark this time of year) I have three options: 1) bike home, 2) Mandy pick me up in Boulder, 3) put the bike on the bus and mass transit home. Having Mandy pick me up would be the fastest path home. Riding would be the most enjoyable, unless the weather is unfavorable, and riding the bus would involve the most stress until I had a successful crossing under my belt.

I have a feeling the bus is going to become a reality at some point between now and my class in April.

So the CBX 4.1 is ready to cross road and trail. My 22 mile bike route involves some dirt, including a small bit of the Dirty Bismarck. See, I had my reasons for those explorations.

I'm hoping to gain even a small bit of familiarity with cycling in Boulder. I know I won't have much time to explore extensively, but I will have to get into and out of town and there will be a lunch break each day and I will probably take advantage of that to learn my way around campus. I'm compulsive like that.

Boulder is a Platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community. Until I signed up for these classes I have had no reason to ride there for other than recreational purposes. Surely I'll gain some insight from behind the handlebars.

Regardless of what cycling knowledge I can obtain, the program promises to be a good educational opportunity for me.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! The class seems like the best fit into my life right now. I've got high hopes ;)

    I knew from my drive in yesterday that a lot of lanes, shoulders and paths were going to be tricky today, but it was better than I expected. I think as long as we don't get more snow before then I'll be okay.