The worst part of heading up I-70 for a day of skiing or snowboarding? Heading up I-70. SkiBus Colorado helps ease that pain by providing rides to Keystone and Breckenridge. Not only does it eliminate the pain in the ass that is driving — especially in bad weather — but it has the potential to remove a fleet of cars that would have been on the road if every bus rider drove themselves. Departing from Breeze Ski Rentals and Colorado Ski & Golf locations, the bus offers a round-trip ride (and peace of mind) to Keystone and Breck for just $26; it also has package deals that include tickets. Save gas — and your sanity — by riding the SkiBus.

Speed Raceway

Deep down inside, everyone has a soft spot for a fast car. And now you can have one for an hour or two, without all the responsibility: At Speed Raceway, you can step into the driver's seat of an Italian-made electric go-kart and make like Mario on a shiny European quarter-mile track. Walk in, book a party, take a lesson from a pro or join a league — they're all options at this eco-friendly attraction. Go, Speed Racer, go!

Lions and tigers and bears? More like bison and rams and falcons, oh, my. Yes, there is a menagerie of real animals on the sidelines of college and pro sports games in Colorado, but one of these animals stood — well, soared — above the rest last year. In December, just before the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, where Air Force was taking on Georgia Tech, the team's falcon mascot left the building on a wing and a prayer rather than returning to its handler. The bird is a free spirit — a quality we can all admire. The raptor was later found via a tracking device, and Air Force won the game.

If you just looked at the standings, the Mammoth would be the worst team in the National Lacrosse League. But we're not too concerned with conventional statistics. You know what we like? Penalty minutes. And defenseman Mac Allen leads the league in that category. The Mammoth will need a serious rally to salvage this season, but at least we know Allen won't go down without a fight.

Rocky, the mountain-lion mascot for the Denver Nuggets, drains backwards, half-court shots (sometimes on stilts) and crushes trampoline dunks. He once pinched then-Celtic Kendrick Perkins's ass and took several left hooks from Charles Barkley. He hits on ladies in the crowd and roughhouses with kids. Mostly, he's generally not annoying (at least to fans), which seems to be the job description of almost every other mascot.

Aqua Golf

Most driving ranges are essentially the same: long, green fairways where you can forget about the more nuanced parts of the game and smash some drives. That's great — but Aqua Golf allows you to crush balls into a lake, which is even better. Where most ranges have actual golf courses attached, Aqua Golf has mini-golf, so don't go if you're crazy serious about your game. But if you'd like a change of scenery from pretty much every driving range you've ever been to, get thee to Aqua Golf.

Winter Park Resort

Winter Park expanded its Trestle Bike Park in 2010 with eight new runs and new features all over the mountain, adding both a "Green World" novice area and insane new terrain worthy of pro events like Crankworx Colorado. For starters, try the Trestle 101 progressive lesson and guide program. If you haven't upgraded your helmet and other body armor (or your health insurance coverage) recently, the Trestle Bike Park is the perfect excuse: Prepare to eat dirt.

Winter Park Resort

The Forest Service isn't fond of smoke shacks, those hideaways constructed of wood, cardboard, tree limbs and what-have-you that lurk just beyond many ski runs in this state. But while the Forest Service isn't fond of them, skiers and boarders sure are, and for every smoke shack that comes down, another one goes up. The best is located in Topher's Trees, a patch of woods on the Mary Jane side of Winter Park that also has some of the best tree skiing in Colorado. The area is named after Christopher "Topher" Sendroy, who died in a tree well here back in 1995, when he was 26; he's commemorated by his old Head skis on that tree and a bronze memorial plaque on a nearby catwalk. But tokers give thanks to Topher as the namesake of the best smoke shack in Colorado. A new makeshift hut replaced the old makeshift hut this season, but the spirit remains the same.

While the D-Nuggs dumping Melo is beginning to look a lot better than it was supposed to, the best move for our money came from a team that isn't exactly known for making fan-happy decisions. Over the winter, the Colorado Rockies extended the contracts of its two heaviest hitters since the Blake Street Bombers, and not just by a little bit: Troy Tulowitzski got an additional $134 million, making him a Rockie until 2020, while Carlos Gonzalez reaped a seven-year, $80 million deal. Neither move can be overemphasized. A tip of a CR-emblazoned cap to GM Dan O'Dowd.

Pepsi Center

The drawn-out drama leading up to the February trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks had several downsides. Among them: the loss of Lala Vazquez, Anthony's wife and one of Denver's only VH1 reality-TV stars, and the even more heartbreaking loss of Chauncey Billups, who was ripped away in the deal. But the upsides include Knick-turned-Nugget Wilson Chandler, a young 6'8" forward with "Unstoppable" tattooed across his upper back and the game to match. Chandler started his time in Denver with a bang, scoring sixteen points in his first game to help beat the Celtics, and he's continued to provide a spark, a sense of humor and a lot of points off the bench and in a starting role. If he can sustain that kind of basket-filling, Nuggets fans will soon forget all about that flashy golden boy whose name rhymes with "Jell-O."

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