YMCA Adventure

Rock climbing on the indoor wall of the new YMCA is something I've been doing more and more of lately.  The bummer, is that the new YMCA is not located where anyone in Pueblo or Pueblo West can use alternative  transportation to get there.  Route 8 of Pueblo Transit runs to the YMCA complex, but not on Sundays or after 5:30pm. Riding on Highway 50 or Pueblo Boulevard are alright and have a decent shoulder, but the high volume of buzzing cars makes the ride not overly relaxing.
   I've taken the route that drops onto the Arkasas River Trail then over the Wildhorse Creek bridge up to 18th Street, then wiggle through the side streets up to 24th Street and pop out on Pueblo Boulevard, but I was looking for something that didn't end up on a busy road.  I had heard there was a way to cut through the range land between 24th and the YMCA, avoiding all major thoroughfares, so we decided to make an adventure out of it. 
 So, technically, yes, there is a way to get to the YMCA without riding on a busy street, BUT, in order to do that you have to ride a few fairly technical sections of motorcycle path, (or walk your bike), cross 2 barbed-wire fences, and wade through Wildhorse Creek.  It was fun to do for explorative purposes, and possibly illegal, but not something I would want to do on a daily commute to the YMCA...or actually ever again.
An extension of the Wildhorse Creek Trail, that currently ends at 18th Street, would be a perfect trail that would connect most of Pueblo to the YMCA.  The YMCA is full of young kids and teenagers doing all sorts of activities from basketball to rock climbing to Wii fit to ping-pong, but what kind of example does it set if the only way they ever arrive at the YMCA is by having mom or dad drop them off in a car?  Their website states that their goal is to connect with the community, but apparently that "community" needs to be an auto-centric one. So write them a letter, maybe they'll help fund the extension of Wildhorse Creek trail if they are really concerned about connecting community.  The same fellow, Don Banner,  that led the campaign to place the YMCA in the middle of nowhere, is the same fellow leading the campaign to put a nuclear power plant just outside of Pueblo. 



3 comments:

  1. Commenting more than I ever imagined, but your blog is interesting. I did write a letter to the Y over a year ago as part of their requirement in order to get a reduced rate for poor people like me. I mentioned the poor location as opposed to the old central location. It does seem at odds with their mission, if they are encouraging driving and making bike commuting impossible. It became a long process at a busy time. They wanted me to come in and do more and more to get the pass, and I just gave up (all the driving to and fro did not help). I later requested another form, but I never got it. With the millions they got from the city, they could easily partner with the city to make some sort of simple and primitive trail.
    I keep forgetting to tell you. At last year’s health expo I brought up the same thing at their booth, and someone gave me a name of some guy working there that has actually found an alternate route. So you may want to ask around next time you are there.

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  2. Your comments are greatly appreciated, thanks!
    Yes, the "community" YMCA is in a ridiculous location. BUT, now that it's built, the only other option is to make it somewhat accessible with trails, frequent and nightime bus routes, etc. If you figure out the trail how to get there, let me know! There is also talk of getting a large group together and just creating a guerrilla-style trail along Wildhorse Creek. With enough people, it may only take a couple of weeks to dig/build one.

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  3. Thanks!
    I had a great talk with Vance of Vances bike world a while back and he showed me his refined trail blazing apparatus that he attaches to his mtn bike to make trails out at the reservoir. He said he has made trails in six hours! It is a heavy sled/ plough thing that he drags behind. You might want to talk to him.

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