SPORTS & RECREATION

Best Run for Your Monkey
Run for the Zoo
City Park's annual Run for the Zoo draws all kinds of people, from the very, very young to human centipedes costumed and joined at the waist. Those who ran, walked or fell over laughing in last fall's run got the usual T-shirt and other post-race goodies, along with a free zoo pass. But the real winners were the zoo's cramped primates, whose future new world-class home, Primate Panorama, was the recipient of race proceeds. You can bet the joint was swinging.

Best In-City Mountain Bike Trail
Cherry Creek Dirt Trails
You could take your mountain bike down the cement-smooth Cherry Creek bike path. But then, what's the point of stacking your alloy frame with $1,200 worth of Rock Shoks, fat tires and other off-road accoutrements? What many people don't know is that running parallel to the Cherry Creek path in the stream bed itself is a zig-zagging network of dirt trails that zoom in and out of trees, reeds, rocks and water. Veer off the concrete just south of the Cherry Creek Mall.

Best Place to Put Your Mettle to the Pedal
King of the Rockies Off-Road Stage Race and Mountain Bike Festival
Winter Park Resort

Maybe the nicest thing about King of the Rockies is that it's for everyone. During the week-long fest in mid-summer, mountain-bike tours suiting various skill levels are arranged (including one that takes place under the stars), a kids' race is scheduled, gear gets spotlighted at a Summer Sports Expo and parties are thrown. But the race, attracting the world's top cyclers, is surely the biggest thrill of the event, offering average cyclists an opportunity to rub elbows with the fiercely competitive.

Best Maps for Fearless Mountain Bikers
Latitude 40
P.O. Box 4086, Boulder 80306

All geared up and no place to go? Grant and Mary Morrison's Western Hardbody Mecca Series of maps are an excellent introduction to some of the best--and most challenging--mountain-biking meccas in the West, from Vail Valley to Lake Tahoe. Everything from remote, single-track trails to paved paths and byways is covered. Turn the maps over and you'll find safety hints and regional information to help you get your bearings in new territory. And no matter what kind of conditions you encounter, don't worry about ruining your map--these are tear-resistant and waterproof.

Best Bikes for Hire
Yellow Checkered Bike Project
It would be so much easier to bike around town if you didn't have to worry about what to do with your cycle once you got where you were going. Entrepreneur Joe Canepa, who is also handy with a wrench, took a cue from Amsterdam's streets and decided to do something about it. With a little help from his friends and Metro State student volunteers, he collected bikes (along the lines of a Schwinn Varsity) and spiffed them up with easy-to-see yellow paint and reflective tape for free use by the public. The two-wheelers even have names, like Alberta, Chauncey and Trixie. The idea: You pick one up--on LoDo streets beginning June 30--and ride it to your destination, where you can leave it for the next person to come along. Canepa's plans don't stop there: watch for downtown valet bike-parking facilities soon.

Best Getaway Vehicle
Colorado Association of Campgrounds, Cabins and Lodges
5101 Pennsylvania Ave., Boulder 80303-2799

Gone are the days when you could just take off for the Rockies and easily find a room or campsite at day's end--reservations are a must. But The Colorado Directory: Camping, Cabins, Lodges, Fun Things to Do makes it easy to carry on with some semblance of spontaneity. Created by a nonprofit organization linking owners of commercial lodgings and campgrounds throughout the state, the guide describes hundreds of places where Colorado travelers can rest their weary bones. If you're in a rush, send $6.50 and they'll send you one right away; if you're just in the planning stages and not in a big hurry, they'll ship it to you free within four weeks. Nothing fancy, but use it and you'll rest easy.

end of part 1

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