We've had a lot of precipitation this spring, which is a good thing. However, it's also cut into our bicycling time. I don't mind riding in the wet; it can be kind of fun. However, wet rides result in more bike maintenance on things such as bearings. Moreover, this time of year, rain often holds hands with Zeus. The latter is the main reason I prefer not to ride in the rain. I have a healthy fear of lightning, thanks to some mountaineering events. Below are photos from several recent road bike rides.
Nonetheless, everything is green, green, green – and more green! The California poppies aren't too concerned about a little wet.
Sometimes we ride far south of the metro area to Arrowhead Golf Course where we visit a nice little 15% grade to the clubhouse. It's probably a good thing I'm not employed by Arrowhead. I'd be the guy seeing how fast he could get a golf cart up and down the steep grade. No matter what the weather conditions, the spectacular up-thrust sandstone grabs your attention.
Allium is enjoying the wet too. Allium is related to onion. The closest wild allium I can find in my literature is Allium cernuum, also known as Nodding Onion and belonging to the Lily family. The domesticated Allium seen at Arrowhead appears to have a fuller flower.
Colorado's 30th tallest peak, 14,110-foot Pikes Peak, was a bit foggy-headed on this morning. Good views of Pikes Peak may be found in the Garden of the Gods, west of the city of Colorado Springs.
Garden of the Gods
The east face of Pikes Peak, unveiled. In the summer of 1893, the words to the anthem "America the Beautiful" were coined in a poem by Katharine Lee Bates following a trip to the summit of this mountain.
The Garden of the Gods area is an interface of several ecosystems. Along the Front Range, the short-grass prairie life zone merges with the piñon-juniper life zone. A life zone is an easy way of delineating a land area by elevation and climate.
Pikes Peak is getting ready to play with the clouds again.
Cheyenne Mountain rises above Colorado Springs and is home to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). In addition to important security and radar tasks, NORAD tracks Santa via radar throughout Christmas Eve. At the same time, kids can log onto a website and talk to real elves.
Another icon of Colorado Springs is the United States Air Force Academy. In years past, football games between Air Force and Navy have resulted in fantastic military jet fly overs. Better yet, the visitor center is open to the public again. However the Academy is still operating under heightened security; you can be party to a random vehicle check at any time. A visit to the chapel and visitor center of the Air Force Academy is fun and motivating. The Academy grounds offer good road biking as well.
On occasion, the Academy opens their observatory to school kids or the public. Cadets operate the telescope and take you on a journey through the heavens. When I visited, people could request a celestial location to zero in on if possible.
Yes, I like the military, aeronautics, stars and uniformed higher education – can you tell?