Ride a road bike at a decent clip from Buena Vista to downtown Salida, and you’ll cover the mostly flat/slightly downhill 30 miles in about an hour and a half. To your left will be the San Isabel National Forest. To your right, Mt. Princeton and Mt. Antero. There will be a few slight uphill climbs, which will make you realize how much more difficult the reverse trip would be. You’ll see cows, and llamas, and alpacas. Prairie dogs will dart away from the road as you whisk by. A red-tail hawk will call at smaller birds. You’ll notice the way things smell more than you would in a car, or even standing still. Manure, pine, sage, possible rain moving in. You’ll see the things on the side of the road: a single Twizzler. A paintbrush. Think about how tiny you are, and how lucky to be here, on this road; and about how huge the sky and snow-capped peaks are. Think about how a bike works: how efficient and productive it is. Think about power and energy, and how it seems like you could ride forever. But when you do stop, it will feel good. Order a local beer and a sandwich and watch kayakers play. Be part of this place.