Michael Driscoll
0 comment Wednesday, September 24, 2014 |
In Defense of the Suburban Commute
I know this is a Denver blog, but out here in Parker we sometimes feel left out. I've been biking to work daily since June, and I still look forward to every ride. Believe it or not there are bike commuters out here too, we just deal with different issues than you do in the city.
One of the differences is how alone you feel. I don't pass a single building from the point where I leave my neighborhood at the Cherry Creek Trail, until I reach my office park at Meridian. That means if I break down, or crash, or get caught in the rain, or even if I just feel hungry, then I can't just duck in somewhere and get everything sorted. The other big problem is speed -- traffic is always 40mph+ and often up to 70mph. Taking my bike downtown is like heaven in comparison, where I feel like the fastest thing on the road.
But the upsides! We have a great bike path system out here, and it's practically empty. In summer I'll pass 1-2 people in a mile (bikes or joggers), and intersections with the streets are typically 1-2 miles apart. When I'm on the road, sure the cars are fast, but the lanes and shoulders are wide, there's another lane to pass, and to be honest there isn't really that much traffic out here.
As for the rest, I'll have to let the pictures speak:

It's hard to get good pictures of the wildlife, but you see it whenever you're out. This little guy is a coyote that likes to run across the trail when he sees you in the distance. Some nights I'll find deer on the creek trail, but it's always too dark for pictures.

This is kind of what I meant about "different issues". These cows have a fence, but sometimes horses get on the trail, and you have to dismount and shoulder your way through them.
The best part about my ride used to be the worst part: Happy Canyon. It's a great little training ride, and I go through it twice a day. Start with a 6-7% descent, then a little jink:

Then a quick 8% climb out over the noise wall, and a fast straight 7% descent on the other side:

Then get your breath back, because after this curve you're climbing 3-4% for a good mile:

Hope you enjoyed the ride! See you on the trail.