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Getting to Work

I registered for Pandora (internet radio) in the Bay Area, where I grew up.  Every so often, they’ll play a commercial for California’s ‘Spare the Air’ program, which encourages residents to leave their car at home and take alternative transportation when the local Air Quality Index reaches unhealthy levels.  This index was developed by the EPA and establishes a minimum threshold for when ground level ozone pollution, commonly known as smog, reaches unhealthy levels.  Their commercials pose a series of alternative commuting scenarios (carpooling, public transportation), asking ‘What is the favorite part of YOUR commute?‘
 
Those commercials and that world seem like a whole other lifetime ago.  These days, the favorite part of my commute is waking with the sun and taking an 11-mile ride to work that many consider one of the best in Colorado.  On the weekdays, it’s complete solitude as the blood sings in your ears and your muscles work in concert to bring you, your bike and your belongings from 8,000 feet to just over 9,500.  On the weekends, the camaraderie of shared experience makes for a euphoric bonhomie among riders.  I’ve come to enjoy each in their turn.  As our time here in Aspen comes to an end, I’m coming to realize that the days of meeting horses or passing waterfalls on my morning commute are also coming to a close.  Whatever my next commute has in store for me, whether car, bike or public transportation, I know that I’ll find the silver lining eventually.  It just may take a little longer than it did here in Aspen.
 
Rounding the bend on Maroon Creek Road
 
Owl Creek Trail and a curious onlooker
 
Rio Grande Trail, on the way back to ACES from Snowmass Village