Today was my last class in Boulder, so I decided, since the weather was finally cooperative, or at least not requiring of bulky clothing, that I would take a longer ride in and explore a bit before class, especially since the last couple of rides over I got to town much earlier than necessary.
So I turned off Marshall Road and up Cherryvale. Cherryvale is a great road ride with nice wide shoulders. I followed Cherryvale to Baseline where I picked up the South Boulder Creek path. I had a moment of hesitation when it followed a road for a bit, but then I was on course and cranking hard.
The South Boulder Creek path meets the Boulder Creek path at the confluence of their namesakes. There I turned southwest and followed an amazing urban multi-use trail, my all -time favorite. It was a bit busy with commuters and strolling lounge acts. I only wanted to yell at a few people though.
And then I was at Broadway, and needed to head southeast to get to the building where my class was going to be held. First I was on a wide sidewalk, and feeling more than conspicuous, but it quickly morphed into a bike lane going up the hill from the creek. Then I crossed over and got on the sidepath that parallels Broadway on the campus (east) side.
I typically abhor sidepaths, but the one along Broadway is actually well designed and very nice.
In short order I was locking up my bike outside the Wolf Law Building. I'd ridden 28 miles in 2 hours and 28 minutes. Leadville pace plus.
The class was great. It was the Regenerative and Permaculture Design Class. This was, in fact, the class that drew me to the program. And sadly, for now, it was my last class. It only whetted my appetite for more permaculture knowledge!
At the end of the day I felt good, but once back on the bike I was sluggish. It was hot. I had been sitting all day. I had a long way to go home, too.
I was also taking a slightly different route on the return trip, and I got sidetracked once. But then I was back on a different section of the South Boulder Creek path, a very nice section south of South Boulder Road.
No, I did not choose another trail
I finally returned to Marshall, and my normal route, and faced an uphill ride for a couple of miles and a stout headwind into Superior. I'd finally discovered a sneak attack route throug Superior that avoids the heavy main drag through the sprawlgasm of box store development there.
I crawled up along McCaslin, then back up through the open space to 120th. More wind. More slug. Finally I was headed down Simms toward Standley Lake, faster, but not as fast as I wanted to be going.
After what seemed a long grueling ride I pedaled back into the Bikeport to the lovely faces of home. When the final numbers were in I had managed a near 12 mph average on the commute home. I have no idea how...
In total I rode 52 miles today. I saw more of Boulder than I had previously, and I finally got to see a bit of what makes Boulder a Platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community. If I weren't so dog-tired I might try writing up a brief analysis of what I saw. That may come later.
I've concluded that despite the moniker of "The People's Republic of Boulder" and the perceived air of pretension, and the faint perpetual smell of patchouli, I would live in Boulder. Hey man, the Flatirons are right there!