An indoor retail oasis in the middle of the city, the Cherry Creek Shopping Center has banked on its elite status since opening in 1990. But if you're not shopping, buy a latte and grab a seat — there are several living rooms' worth of cushy furniture and a giant flat-screen TV in front of Abercrombie & Fitch — because you could sit for hours watching people. Who's there? Everyone from early-morning Silver Sneakers Club mall walkers and the lady with her dog in a stroller to international shoppers, teenagers, well-heeled fashionistas, and solo moms with a cell phone in one hand and a pocketbook in the other.

Parks usually make for good people-watching, but Washington Park, which pops off with free entertainment year-round, is the cream of the crop. You'll find moms pushing strollers the size of ATVs and dads on rollerblades with ski poles; bar-based running clubs in the afternoons and lane-weaving cruiser-bike fanatics; overzealous triathlon types on racing bikes; tanned-and-toned sorority gals; school groups; and, of course, people who look like their dogs. It's a melting pot of eye-catching splendor.

Situated at a lower elevation than many of Colorado's other favorite snowshoeing trails, Lost Lake, in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, is also fairly simple to get to and includes a variety of trails for a variety of skill sets. The path starts either at the Hessie Trailhead or about a mile before it, depending on conditions, and gets more and more beautiful as you walk. The last part of the trail is steeper as it approaches the lake, but the view will leave you breathless before the exertion does.

Best Place to Train for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Woodward at Copper

The International Olympic Committee has decreed that the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next year will host the ski halfpipe and ski and snowboard slopestyle events for the first time. And the road to Sochi for every aspiring Team USA shredder will run through Copper Mountain, host of the United States Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA) U.S. Grand Prix, an Olympic qualifier. Most will also be ducking into Woodward at Copper, a world-class indoor/outdoor training facility now run by former Olympic gymnast Phoebe Mills, to work on the technical rail tricks and aerial awareness it's going to take to win medals. Woodward's programs are also kid-friendly and beginner-friendly; to start building up to some double and triple corks of your own, spring for the $59.99 "One Hit Wonder" intro session on the trampolines, foam pits and Snowflex training slopes in the Barn before progressing to day sessions and week-long camps (including summer-camp options for both kids and adults).

Kenneth Faried grew up with two loving mothers who married in their home state of New Jersey in 2007. And in January, Faried spoke out in favor of Colorado couples being able to do the same. "Nobody can tell me I can't have two mothers, because I really do," the six-foot-eight-inch basketball player says on a video in which he is sandwiched on a couch between both women. Faried says that while he supports civil unions, he'd rather see full marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. Well played, Manimal.

Nate Kreckman hasn't always received the attention he's deserved for being one of the most entertaining sports-radio personalities in Denver. Likewise, partner Charles Johnson has occasionally been dismissed as a walking, talking advertisement for University of Colorado athletics. But their partnership is finally earning notice, and not just locally, but beyond: Their interview with ex-CU tight end Nick Kasa, in which he revealed inappropriate questions about sexuality put to him during the NFL combine, generated headlines nationwide. Still, perhaps the main reason to tune in is because of their easy camaraderie. They seem to genuinely enjoy spending time ribbing each other while they gab about sports — and fortunately, the rest of us are invited to take part.

The Loops bike ride is always on. Hosted by musician, graphic designer and cycling enthusiast Broox Pulford, the weekly cruise for fixies is open to anyone interested in a fun, all-levels group ride. Loops meets up at Crema Coffee House every Tuesday night around 7 p.m. before taking off on a pre-determined route of streets and paths picked by Pulford. And rain, sleet or snow won't stop this party, as the focus is on getting to know the city in any kind of climate. Costumes are not required, and road safety rules definitely apply for any Loops participant — but breaks are encouraged for riders to get acquainted with each other and for comfort on longer rides.

Deshorn Brown is a rookie and the season is young, so only time will tell if he lives up to his potential. But he's certainly off to a quick start, showing himself to be fast, smart and exciting, with a nose for the net: Early on, he's led the team in most offensive categories, including shots and shots on goal. He wasn't supposed to get this much playing time so soon, but why would anyone want him to remain on the sidelines? Plus, the chemistry he appears to be developing with fellow rookie Dillon Powers bodes well for a fruitful future.

We know, we know: CarGo's stats fell off in a significant way between 2011 and 2012, when his batting average went from an extraordinary .333 to a pedestrian .259. But whether or not his production reduction had to do with pressure he put on himself after signing a huge contract, he's still the most complete player on the Rockies' roster, with the sort of upside boasted by few current players. That's why we expect him to bounce back in a big way this season — and if he brings a few of his teammates with him, maybe the Rox won't continue to be a National League bottom-feeder in 2013.

Beth "Fiona Grapple" Bandimere is a blocker for the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls' Sugar Kill Gang and team captain of the 5280 Fight Club all-star squad, and already has a national roller derby championship title to show for herself. Her nom de derby channels mid-'90s malcontent Fiona Apple, rather obviously, but also captures the full spirit of fighting for every inch on the track, which Ms. Grapple, a bludgeon of a blocker, embodies as well as anybody. This year, however, thanks to the reductive reality-TV shorthand of CBS's The Amazing Race, Bandimere and her 5280 Fight Club teammate Mona "Triple Shot Misto" Egender came to be known as the "Roller Derby Moms," a pair of clean-cut competitors, each with three kids, who held their own on the show.

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