Occasionally Snowcatcher and I will ride to downtown Denver for whatever reason. I'm not big on downtown, but it does provide an excellent training ride of about 60 miles, round trip. Snowcatcher often rides it as a commute to work. Moreover, there is an excellent bike path along the South Platte River nearly the entire length into town. Today, we were checking on bike path detours due to highway construction.
First, a scenic detour of Chatfield Reservoir dam for climbing practice. Chatfield Reservoir is actually a huge flood control reservoir. In 1965, over four consecutive days of rain, the South Platte River let loose. The flood flows claimed 21 lives, inundated 250,000 acres and yielded $540 million in damage. Flood control followed.
We have been paralleling the Platte River for about an hour. Earlier, I had done some bearing work on my headset (a headset is the bearings where the forks attach to the bike frame); we stopped so I could fine-tune the bearings a bit. Low and behold, I find Dieter and Wolfgang lounging in an Altoids tin in my back pocket. Slackers! I was curious as to why they were suspiciously gone this morning. I attributed it to them marauding another Friday night spinsters dance. But noooo, they're just lazy!
"Hup to it, morons! I know you don't want me to send you back to Bavaria," I challenged.
"Bite me!" retorted Wolfgang.
"Bite yourself!" I chided. "My gosh, I thought you guys liked to ride, now get after it!"
We reach the end of the bike path and are forced to zig and zag through an old industrial area. A sign said the bike path would be completed by mid-April. The detours are not bad. Soon we roll onto brand new bike path for the remainder of the ride into downtown.
About 2.5 hours into our ride, we roll up to busy Confluence Park, which is the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River. On the west side of the river, REI has restored the 1901 Denver Tramway Power Company Plant into one of their huge flagship stores. It's a fun store to visit.
After some food, water and several minutes of people watching, we point our bikes 180-degrees and begin our return trip. Elitch Gardens Amusement park is along the way, so we stop for some blog fodder. The first to catch my eye is a portion of the Mind Eraser. The Mind Eraser is a coaster where riders are suspended whith their legs and feet dangling. Throughout the ride they blast through rollovers, dives and double corkscrew spins at 50-plus miles per hour. I have ridden this ride, and enjoyed every second of it!
The next ride that caught my eye was the Twister II. For me, nothing epitomizes a large amusement park more than a good old fashioned wood roller coaster. Did I mention the wood supports need to be painted white? Well, they do. The Twister II fit the bill, and we loiter around while I take numerous photos. I rode this roller coaster many moons ago when Elitch Gardens was located in another part of town.
The Twister II comprises 4,640 feet of track, is 10 stories high and sports a 90-foot drop. Even better, segments exert up to 3.1 g-force.
Sports Authority Field. The stadium is home to the Denver Broncos, and hosts numerous large-scale concerts.
The Denver skyline is my parting shot of downtown, proper. Now, it's into the industrial world we go.
We zig and zag the opposite direction along our bike path detour. As we ambled along, we came across the Denver Animal Shelter and decided to ham it up a bit.
Stopping at a Qdoba, we pick up some burritos for supper. Four-hours into our ride, we find ourselves back amongst green fields, only 30-minutes from the end of the line and good grub.