There are a number of ways to get from Denver to Littleton on bicycle. The most and least enjoyable combo-deal is to take the South Platte River Trail to the Bear Creek Trail to Kipling.
Let’s start with the most part of the equation. Leave early in the a.m. while the temps are mild and the sun gives a gentle nightlight glow. Pedal alongside the Platte River for 2 hours. Oh, Platte River! Pass parks aplenty, downtown Englewood, stop-and-go cars on I-25.
And then, once you get to Denver’s Municipal Animal Shelter, you’ll pass “Sun Spot,” a 25-foot-tall metal dog sculpture covered with over 90,000 shiny stainless steel dog tags. It’s an amazing, Godzilla-like, glittery dog.
Head west on Bear Creek. Lose the trail several times as it crosses busy intersections. Run out of water as the sun bursts through the cloud cover. Wish for trees to magically line your spotlit path.
And now onto the least part of the equation.
- Head south on Kipling, a treeless rollercoaster of a yellow brick road alongside a busy multilane street that burrows into suburban Littleton, land of 100,000 people divided into 4.2-person familial groups all living in identical homes.
- Debate your choice to ride your one-speed cruiser instead of one of your geared bikes. Stop at a gas station to buy some water.
- Tell a heavyset woman in a Hufflepuff tee shirt that, no, she was not in fact the former owner of your cruiser bike and that, no, you did not steal said bike from her two years earlier.
- Wait for her to pay for $27 in lottery tickets and a pack of smokes so you can purchase your bottle of water, then enjoy the woman’s company as she follows you outside.
“Now I think of it, my bike was pink, not orange,” the woman says as she gives your bike a once over, then lights up.
“Roger that,” you say as you climb back on your bike and try to come to terms with the fact that you’ll be riding on Kipling until the second coming of Christ.
Turn into the subdivision where your friend lives. Score! You made it! Almost. As it turns out, the subdivision contains 47 indistinguishable streets all called South Miller — South Miller Court, South Miller Road, South Miller Street, South Miller Drive, South Miller Circle, South South Miller, South Miller Miller … As you pedal the hot, hilly streets, you find yourself wishing a weird, monster-like, glittery dog could lead you to your destination.
Oh, weird, monster-like, glittery dog.