Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mountain towns, bikes, and rain

The Mountain Fair in Carbondale had lots of bikes around, and perhaps the biggest concentration of Xtracycles per capita of any place I've been.
We managed to squeeze in a little travel before school starts again, by making a (rare for us) trip into the mountains. It takes so much coordination for all of us to go anywhere that we don't often lug ourselves someplace where we're not obliged to go. It was refreshing to get away, even for a little while, though the traffic both ways didn't do much to dissuade my frustration of crowded driving in the mountains. We ended up visiting Aspen, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs.

Mountain towns offer some great bike spotting opportunities for an aging bike nerd such as me. The bikes to be seen did not disappoint. Foremost in my notice are the many vintage mountain bikes, some of which exhibit evidence of years of heavy action, while others appear nearly unused.  I saw far more neat old bikes than I had the chance to photograph,  but here are a few that I captured.

This circa early 1950s cantilever framed Schwinn has a bent seatpost and a newer saddle, but otherwise looked to be in fine riding condition with an admirable patina.
A matched pair of retina-jarring early '90s Klein Rascals shod in old time-y Specialized Ground Control skinwall tires, now pressed into kid transport service.
Lousy photo aside, this 1988 Fisher Hoo-Koo-E-Koo was mostly original, sporting a pair of Fisher Fattrax tires. Fisher Fattrax were my favorite treads from the old days, but were discontinued nearly 25 years ago.

Aspen's bike sharing system, known as We-Cycle, appeared to be well utilized and contributed to the town's bike-friendly vibe.
Of course the girls found lots of things to experience. The townspeople were friendly and happy to accommodate, especially at the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department.
A balloon unicorn and balloon Elmo came along for the ride. 

Back at home, we've had a lot of rain since Monday. Although this is Colorado's monsoon season, it seems as though the rain has been more intense the past couple of years. I suppose that's good for keeping wildfires at bay, though I'm certainly not accustomed to overcast, wet days. I don't know how people in wet climes survive.
The view from my office window is of pouring rain.
I took advantage of a break in the weather to take a Denver B-cycle ride, and ended up riding the elusive white B-cycle.
An enterprising fellow poses with his super chopper near the South Platte river.
A little tough to see in this shot, but that's a guy on a penny farthing commuting home from Denver to Golden. He's been an icon in the area for decades. I've talked to him on several occasions, but can't remember his name at the moment. 
Cherry Creek had been flowing over this bridge along the bike path moments before, as a result of an intense thunderstorm.
To complete a trifecta of oversized bikes spotted, I waited for the train with a doused hipster and his double decker bike. 
New bike instructive stickers in a light rail vehicle.

A fairly recently installed bike box near the Webb Building in central downtown Denver seems to be well utilized. 
My intrepid aspiring photographer enjoyed shooting some art at the Denver Art Museum.

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