How to get out-of-town guests out of the house: Put 'em on a bike and let 'em go. They'll be in good hands at Blazing Saddles, which is centrally located and close to the bike paths and offers an entire stable of new, state-of-the-art wheeled steeds, from trusty, serviceable mountain bikes to high-tech, full-suspension Stumpjumpers for hardened trail riders. Once your friends have chosen a mount, they can pick one of five planned itineraries, from an easy cycle along the Platte to Confluence Park to the much tougher and higher White Ranch ride; the outfit's Computrak system, a computerized map that's mounted right on the handlebars, will keep them from getting lost even as it recommends restaurants and attractions along the way. Ah. Now you can have the house to yourselves.
Lynn Dexter and Patrick Gibbons are living proof that two heads -- and pairs of legs -- are better than one: Bike enthusiasts who decided the only way to ride together effectively was to go tandem, the couple opened their shop in reaction to the blank looks they were getting from folks selling what they call "half" bikes at other places. Tandem Cycle Works, one of the largest shops of its kind in the country, not only sells bicycles built for two exclusively, but also offers free adjustments on all bikes sold there, as well as a motherlode of friendly advice for tandem novices. It's double the fun.

Lynn Dexter and Patrick Gibbons are living proof that two heads -- and pairs of legs -- are better than one: Bike enthusiasts who decided the only way to ride together effectively was to go tandem, the couple opened their shop in reaction to the blank looks they were getting from folks selling what they call "half" bikes at other places. Tandem Cycle Works, one of the largest shops of its kind in the country, not only sells bicycles built for two exclusively, but also offers free adjustments on all bikes sold there, as well as a motherlode of friendly advice for tandem novices. It's double the fun.

Reginald Joules has transformed the trauma of learning how to ride a bike into a source of excitement, pride and joy. Joules, a management scientist, first came up with his system in 1984, when he had to teach the sport to his five- and seven-year-old children. In 1996, after he taught a group of kids to ride, one mother suggested that he market his ideas -- and Pedal Magic was born. Joules teaches his patented method in a $20 video, and says it only takes two to five minutes and eliminates the need for training wheels. And adults who never learned to ride -- that's approximately one out of every nine grownups -- can practice the techniques in the basement or garage so others won't see their humiliating attempts. But here's a warning: Students weighing more than 200 pounds should complete the remedial lessons first.

Reginald Joules has transformed the trauma of learning how to ride a bike into a source of excitement, pride and joy. Joules, a management scientist, first came up with his system in 1984, when he had to teach the sport to his five- and seven-year-old children. In 1996, after he taught a group of kids to ride, one mother suggested that he market his ideas -- and Pedal Magic was born. Joules teaches his patented method in a $20 video, and says it only takes two to five minutes and eliminates the need for training wheels. And adults who never learned to ride -- that's approximately one out of every nine grownups -- can practice the techniques in the basement or garage so others won't see their humiliating attempts. But here's a warning: Students weighing more than 200 pounds should complete the remedial lessons first.

The hills west of Denver are crisscrossed with trails aplenty, but they aren't all wonderful. Some are poorly maintained (or mangled by mountain-bike tracks); others are too exposed to the harsh summer sun, which at 8,000 feet can fry you before you've hit the two-mile mark. Alderfer Three Sisters, on the west side of Evergreen, offers the best of all worlds: scenic vistas (Mt. Evans looms to the west), nicely maintained trails, steep climbs and thrilling roller-coaster cruises, and protective groves of pine and aspen that are close-enough-together to save your hide, but open enough so that the trails are among the first in the area to dry after a drenching rain.
The hills west of Denver are crisscrossed with trails aplenty, but they aren't all wonderful. Some are poorly maintained (or mangled by mountain-bike tracks); others are too exposed to the harsh summer sun, which at 8,000 feet can fry you before you've hit the two-mile mark. Alderfer Three Sisters, on the west side of Evergreen, offers the best of all worlds: scenic vistas (Mt. Evans looms to the west), nicely maintained trails, steep climbs and thrilling roller-coaster cruises, and protective groves of pine and aspen that are close-enough-together to save your hide, but open enough so that the trails are among the first in the area to dry after a drenching rain.
Sometimes it's nice to run a race in which the running plays second fiddle and you can just trot along and enjoy the sights -- like the Bolder Boulder would be if there weren't 40,000 other people trying to do the same thing. So instead go north, to the Colorado Run (September 2 this year), a five- or ten-kilometer run through Old Town Fort Collins. The route is crammed with entertainment, like the Jewels of the Nile belly dancers and Scottish bagpipers. Many observers simply blast music from their front lawns. The race ends at the oval at Colorado State University, so as you near the finish you feel like you're entering the Olympic Stadium. There, you can forget your pain by watching the Frisbee-jumping dogs and the live band. Best of all is the recovery food: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream hosts a booth.

Sometimes it's nice to run a race in which the running plays second fiddle and you can just trot along and enjoy the sights -- like the Bolder Boulder would be if there weren't 40,000 other people trying to do the same thing. So instead go north, to the Colorado Run (September 2 this year), a five- or ten-kilometer run through Old Town Fort Collins. The route is crammed with entertainment, like the Jewels of the Nile belly dancers and Scottish bagpipers. Many observers simply blast music from their front lawns. The race ends at the oval at Colorado State University, so as you near the finish you feel like you're entering the Olympic Stadium. There, you can forget your pain by watching the Frisbee-jumping dogs and the live band. Best of all is the recovery food: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream hosts a booth.

This is not advanced human kinetics here. The easiest way to run an extremely fast race is to make sure you are always heading downhill -- not a sheer drop, but a nice, steady decline in elevation. And the nicest place to do that in the Denver area, by far, is the Evergreen Town Race, this year to be held on Sunday, August 6. Both the five-kilometer and ten-kilometer courses wind -- downhill, natch -- along the highly scenic Upper Bear Creek Road, past some of the most sumptuous mountain mansions you are ever likely to lay eyes on. Of course, they'll all be a blur because of the high velocity with which you will be passing them.

Readers' choice: Bolder Boulder

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