When visitors step inside Thunder Alley Bowling Center, they only need to listen to know where the owners came up with the name. Bowling balls hurtle down 36 lanes and smatter pins, resulting in an uproar of cheering bowlers and a symphony of rented shoes shuffling across the slick floor. As points tally overhead on a series of screens, bowlers can root for their friends or refuel with burgers, salads, and wings at the Strike Zone Snack Bar. Elsewhere, a pro shop caters to athletes’ equipment needs, and on Fridays and Saturdays, blacklights transform the alley into a glow-in-the-dark wonderland for cosmic bowl. The lanes also come equipped with removable bumpers to accommodate younger bowlers and bowling balls with astigmatism.
Nestled in the cool shadows of Cheyenne Mountain, Cheyenne Shadows Golf Club’s 18-hole course invites clubbers with its scenic layout cleaved through high-desert terrain. Drives knife through the air with a little extra gusto, as the dry desert air—at an elevation of 6,224-feet above sea level—and golf angels conspire to add length to shots. The club’s verdant expanse also encompasses a multifaceted learning center, including a driving range with grass hitting areas, a short-game green flanked by a practice bunker, a putting green, and a three-hole children’s course. The casual dining room of Mulligan’s Grill awaits to quench hunger pangs with a menu of burgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and salads.
Resident American IndyCar Series champion Greg Gorden schools speed freaks on high-velocity driving techniques before passing the wheel for some friendly, hands-on competition on the Pikes Peak International Speedway. Gorden begins the 2.5-hour training with classroom instruction where he explains driving basics such as how the car works, how to properly navigate the track, and what to do if the steering wheel begins to self-replicate. Students ensconce themselves in program-provided driving suits and helmets before heading out to the track for two racing sessions in a Formula 2000 car. After the first six laps, newly minted acceleration apprentices can bombard instructors with tactical questions before climbing back behind the wheel for six additional laps to determine who earns bragging rights and who gets stuck singing the cars to sleep after the race is over.
Eschewing traditional race rules and methods, Dirty Dashers must overcome a slew of mud-slicked obstacles, including mucky climbing hills, crawling pipes, slip 'n slides, and bear hugs from Pigpen. Organizers encourage runners to sign up with friends to foster a fun-loving environment, and along the way, racers fuel up at optional beer- or root-beer-chugging stations. Further demonstrating its commitment to outdoor high jinks, each event's registration fees, donations, water-balloon sales, and shoe donations benefit local charities, such as NM[X]—an arts and athletics youth organization—and the Seattle-based Redeeming Soles charity, which dispenses gently used footwear to those in need.
The drivers and instructors at Speedway will provide a half day of blurry instruction, starting with a classroom orientation that will cover the basics of Formula 2000 racing. After the class, drivers will be ready to tackle two on-track driving sessions, which include feedback and constructive criticism from the experienced teaching staff at Speedway Driver School. Fun for long-aspiring drivers or racecar bed enthusiasts looking to ride in the real thing, Speedway Driver School offers the chance for drivers to temporarily ditch their increasingly jealous 1958 Plymouth Fury for the welcoming arms of a sympathetic road rocket. The school is also a subsidiary of Speedway Driver Search, a reality show that helps transform timid racecar handlers into megastars.