As the world's only indoor velodrome and mountain bike park, Boulder Indoor Cycling has netted considerable press attention along with a member base of passionate pedalers. An open-to-the-public mezzanine level overlooks the 142-meter track, whose corners tilt at a visually confounding 45-degree angle. First-timers can veer down the course at a moderate pace while advanced bikers gun for competition-level speeds, eyeing the current lap record of 7.690 seconds set by 2006 U.S. National Track Champion Kevin Selker. The velodrome track also encircles a mountain bike playground of wood platforms meant to mirror outdoor obstacles, such as log bridges, rock piles, and sleeping gnomes that send cycles careening over uneven terrain. Professional athletes and national champions comprise BIC's elite staff of cycling coaches. Both on the track and across the park planks, their classes acclimate cyclists of all ages to several tiers of biking techniques. Children ages 2–10 years can pilot a mountain bike without ever relying on training wheels or indebted wind gods during CycleTykes sessions. Youth programs, track cycling seminars, and adult race leagues also permit members to saddle up and whiz by at their preferred pace.
The pool at Ocean First Divers is warmed to 88 degrees to wrap students in a watery safety blanket as they venture out of their element. As a classroom for swimming and scuba-diving lessons, the pool boasts a gradient bottom that deepens in slow increments from 4 to 12 feet. Though Ocean First Divers now trains scores of students in swimming and scuba each year, the dive center was originally founded to advocate for the ocean’s unique ecosystems. The organization was so successful in its mission that it has claimed PADI’s Environmental Achievement Award every year since the prize’s inception. Now, the dive center's creative conservation efforts include group trips to Key Largo, Fiji, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Galápagos Islands, where students get a firsthand look at why these one-of-a-kind ecosystems are worth protecting, and, alternatively, the detrimental environmental effects of litter left by Charles Darwin.
The Urban Assault Ride challenges cyclists to speed from obstacle course to obstacle course across their city during eco-friendly scavenger hunts that benefit local charities. Teams draft a road map to try to thwart the competition and be the first to complete the race, pausing at a series of checkpoints, where they must surmount such active roadblocks as slip 'n' slides, bike jousting, and reciting the Iliad in Pig Latin. The first team to conquer each challenge and cross the finish line is declared the victor, but all participants celebrate their efforts at a lively after-party stocked with snacks, beer, nonalcoholic drinks, and prizes.
Designed as a less taxing version of the Oyster Urban Race, this adrenaline-packed relay leads racers with brawny bods and street savvy on a covert mission to uncover mysterious challenges around the city in the fastest time possible. Contestants lace up sneakers, stretch rock-hard winter muscles, and flip on their noggins, as this race combines athletic prowess with brain-stimulating strategy. Racers will be given a passport containing five checkpoint locations where they must meet physical trials such as running, biking, climbing, and paddling while simultaneously deciphering clues and completing challenging tasks. Destinations may be located at city sites such as public parks, stadiums, amusement parks, shopping centers, fitness clubs, zoos, retail stores, dining establishments, high-rise buildings, and any other landmark a pop-culture movie-monster might invade. For the challenges, competitors may be asked to complete an obstacle course, solve puzzles, bowl, brave a rollycoaster, slip 'n' slide, tube in a river, or even chug a beer, and the course they take to arrive at the check point is completely up to them.
In the 1700s, a hot air balloon was a strange and potentially worrisome sight, especially because pilots often landed in unsuspecting civilians? backyards. To build goodwill with anyone they scared, balloon pilots carried a bottle of champagne on every flight. This tradition of the convivial champagne toast still lives on at Adventure Balloon Sports, where, after each landing, the company?s FAA-certified pilots pour a celebratory glass of bubbly for each passenger.
But before the toast, the adventure begins as flights soar skyward, showcasing Colorado?s rugged terrain and the majestic sprawl of the Rocky Mountains. No two flights are the same?after departing, pilots can only fully control the balloon?s vertical motion, meaning balloons often safely land in neighboring towns, rather than in the local hot air balloon parking lot.