Photo essay of the six circuits of downtown Denver from the final day of racing in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The day was marked by huge crowds, hot sun, and awesome racing. We are keeping our fingers crossed that sponsors will want to make this a tradition in Colorado.

I uploaded the largest version of these photos as possible, so click on each photo to see the full version and ready my witty captions.

My favorite shot of the day, taken from the corner of Broadway and Colfax with a Canon Powershot:

Speeding past at 30+ miles an hour

Riders complete circuit one of Stage 6 of the USAPPC

Civic Center Park in Denver in the background

Spectators were snap-happy that day

Are support cars a necessary evil of road racing?

Rounding the bend, again

Rush hour

And back the other way...

Rush Hour 2: Where's Chris Tucker?

Colfax and Broadway intersection, right before a short steep hill

Demoralizing short hill ahead

Unnamed rider, but a hero in my book

Here they come...

Look at the body language

The peloton heads up Capitol Hill, Colorado State House in the background

Winner Levi Leipheimer's protective posse. Great work, young man!

Advertisements

Papelbon’s on the mound in extra innings, and the Twins are caught looking, third strike. Thanks to undergroundbastard for the shot.

Papelbon, doing what he does best


Some people wake up at the crack of crack when camping. Not me. I prefer to rouse only when the cold hard ground ceases to comfort. Somewhere around 10AM. Middle-of-the-night disturbances are not a problem: I’ve slept through fire alarms, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and nearby breakins. In fact, I think I’ve found a new, deeper level of REM. Eat it, Sleeping Beauty.

Breakfast: eat camping green chili omelettes and ham, drink percolated camping coffee, and enjoy solitude of the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. You’ve never really exhaled unless you’ve done so drinking weak coffee made with tinny campground water while sitting in a $10 canvas chair from Target and planning the day’s activities.

This day, we had decided over onion-and-garlic marinated buffalo burgers (paired with the excellent Black Bridge Red we picked up in Paonia) the night before, we would hike out to Inspiration Point and back, about three miles roundtrip. The trail meanders through desert flora, occasionally offered shade and amazing vistas, and is labeled as moderate. I concur. We walked from the campground to the trailhead, which is located near the Visitors’ Center. On the walk to the You pass the Inner Canyon trailhead of SOB, but according to the ranger, Yogi, that trail is fraught with poison ivy.

We passed, literally.

This tree greeted us near the trailhead.

Follow the brown dirt path, tra la la

Follow the brown dirt path, tra la la

You can see the canyon peeking out of the corner.

I’m no dendrowhatever, but I was surprised that lichen actually grows in the desert. Takes an uninformed New England to be surprised at such things.

Lichen

While this tree marked our first overlook.

High desert sky

High desert sky

We frolicked along in the hot desert sun and took a hard left out to Inspiration Point after 1.5 miles. We parked ourselves on a rock, made friends (or at least tried to) with the largest ants on the planet, and enjoyed the view of the canyon.

Water runs through the deep canyon

Water runs through the deep canyon

A closer look at Inspiration Point at Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A closer look at Inspiration Point at Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Inspiration Point truly inspired.


Aspen leaves make that cool fluttering sound when they get bitch-slapped by local breezes. Here’s a visual to go along with that audio, taken on a hike in Reynolds Park.

Aspen dance

Aspen dance


Thus begins Mural Wall Way

Thus begins Mural Wall Way

Readers-

Another great trip to San Francisco. When there, I’m either at the beach, museum, or in the Mission District. Below is a photo essay from the Mission: an entire alley full of Murals. Brilliant!

Graffiti or Art? I say both

Graffiti or Art? I say both

Just like the sign says: Mission Alley

Just like the sign says: Mission Alley

Graffiti over art?

Graffiti over art?

I love political graffiti--bar code and pie chart

I love political graffiti--bar code and pie chart

Serene cityscape or is Rome burning?

Serene cityscape or is Rome burning?

A closer look

A closer look

Using the corner

Using the corner

Surrealism

Surrealism

Surrealism, up close

Surrealism, up close

Surrealism, up closer--a mural within a mural

Surrealism, up closer--a mural within a mural

Reality line blurred

Reality line blurred

Sometimes black and white tells the best story

Thanks, Picasso, for the inspiration

My favorite, like duh!

My favorite, like duh!

Fists of Fury

Fists of Fury

Thus endeth the Mural Photoessay

Thus endeth the Mural Photoessay


Readers-

I continue to slowly recover from my car accident of six weeks ago. Just when I thought things were great, I tried to exercise today. Managed one lap in the pool until my lower back whispered loudly in my ear: “That’s enough.” So I water-walked for 15 minutes. I’m thinking of joining DO NOT LAUGH a water aerobics class.

I want to post some road trip photos of trips gone by. Below are image moments from one of my most favorite (I know, I say that all the time) from May of 2005. It was just me, the Subaru (RIP, Subi), the Yeti, and all the camping gear that would fit. I went to the less traveled places including Bishop’s Castle, CO; Westcliffe, CO; Mexican Hat, UT; Goosenecks State Park, UT; Mogi Dugway, UT, Owl Creek Pass near Ridgway, CO; and ended the trip with a solo epic bike ride up the northern section of Kenosha Pass. I didn’t make it to the top (almost passed out about a mile from the summit), but let’s remember: it’s not about the destination.

south-end-of-rainbow-trail-westcliffe1

Mountain stream near Westcliffe, CO

 

Mountain biking in May means random snow banks. Fun to ride through!

Mountain biking in May means random snow banks. Fun to ride through!

 

Bishop's Castle--a one-man, decades-long tribute to the working man

Bishop's Castle--a one-man, decades-long tribute to the working man

 

The Great Room, aptly named, inside Bishop's Castle

The Great Room, aptly named, inside Bishop's Castle

 

Beautiful stained glass inside the Castle

Beautiful stained glass inside the Castle

 

Constitutional Rights guaranteed at Bishop's Castle

Constitutional Rights guaranteed at Bishop's Castle

Park here for the castle

Park here for the castle

 

Not fairyland, just Bishop's Castle from the street

Not fairyland, just Bishop's Castle from the street

After galavanting around the Castle and biking around Westcliffe, I high-tailed it to the deserts of the extreme south corner of Utah.

Stay tuned for more pix.

SheSpoke


Readers-

I’m posting this in a fit of Vicodin and pique. In lieu of writing, I thought I’d share photos from my Christmas 2007 road trip–one of my best ever (I know, I always say that).  If you find yourself making the trip to Carlsbad Caverns to see the bats coming and going, may I suggest a side trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, a mere 30 miles away in west Texas?  It’s much less crowded and much more scenic.

The photos below are from McKittrick Canyon, which starts off as desert flora and turns into alpine by hike’s end at the Blue Grottos.  What a Christmas that was.  Sigh…

 

Cacti Welcome Center

Cacti Welcome Center

 

Yuk Yuk Yucca

Yuk Yuk Yucca

Yucca-lined Trail

Yucca-lined Trail

 

Weather-worn Wood and Texas Blue Sky

Weather-worn Wood and Texas Blue Sky

 

Me Loves Me Some Weather-Beaten Trees

Me Loves Me Some Weather-Beaten Trees

 

Zee Trail, Twas Wet

Zee Trail, Twas Wet

SheSpoke at Trail's End--The Blue Grotto

SheSpoke at Trail's End--The Blue Grotto

The brochures tell me that the fall colors at McKittrick rival those of New England. I’ll have to return in the fall to be convinced.