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.