Multi-modal Transit Fun
0 comment Tuesday, July 15, 2014 |
I've had one thing in mind all week that I wanted to do Wednesday evening, open water swimming at the gravel ponds. But I had to make an endodontist appointment in the tech center at 5:00, so I came up with a novel solution. I would ride the light rail to Belleview (12 miles), go to my appointment, then ride South to the C-470 trail, then West until I got to Chatfield Reservoir, swim, then ride down the Platte river trail, get off at Mineral, hop on the light rail and go back to my house.

The whole trip was 50 miles, and only 24 of them were by light rail, so all in all I feel good about the trip since it was an after work thing, and it was threatening rain the entire time. However there is one fly in my ointment that I can't let go.
When I got out to the Chatfield Gravel Ponds, I started getting ready to swim, with 20 minutes until you are supposed to be out (at 7:00) - plenty of time for a quick out and back. At this point, I was approached by an older lady who asked who I was and if I had signed a waiver. I had, but she couldn't find it. Nor could she find my name on the list (you have to join Colorado Masters Swim aka COMSA to use the swimming area in the state park). I told her I signed up last July, and she then told me 1) memberships are on a calendar year, and 2) that she wouldn't let me swim tonight. I told her I'd pay the $35 membership right now, but apparently they insist on getting it online, so she wouldn't even take cash.
I plead my case one more time, explaining that I've just ridden from the tech center to Chatfield solely so I could swim without having to do flipturns. She said no, and that it was some insurance thing (insurance mandates are killing this country, btw), and that I'd get a ticket if I went in. So rather than argue anymore, I decided instead to smile, ride to the other side of the pond a half mile away, and do my swimming without some clipboard wielding authoritarian hanging around and getting in in my grill.

The nice thing about that course of action was that the far side is only accessible by bike or walking, and it's a half mile walk. I figured I wouldn't have to worry about anybody there, so I went in and swam around an 80 yard long area where I couldn't be seen from the far side. I got to see some big crawdads, and a really big perch, and while I was chasing the perch, something splashed on my back that startled me. I now think it was a fish, but it kind of got me frightened, so I got out, and put my riding clothes back on.
Not wanting to repeat any incident, I put a red shirt over the blue one I had on before (A DISGUISE!) and rode around the other side of the pond on the gravel access road. No incident, so I kept going all the way out over the dam, North on Platte River trail to Mineral, then over to the light rail station for another 12 mile shortcut back down to my local stop at 10th and Osage. This was a good decision since after threatening all day, it started raining halfway back to my station.
Not a bad adventure for after work =)