Ear to the ground:

“Shouldn’t he get a restraining order – she’s called a thousand times?”
– Discussing the dark side of Adele.

Ride on!

Durango Clean Commute Week rolls out in style today with a tribute to one of the community’s forefathers of multi-modal transportation, Paul Wilbert.

A longtime resident and landscape architect, Wilbert was a member of the Multi Modal and Transit Advisory boards for more than a decade. He passed away suddenly in March at the age of 60.

However, his memory will ride on with what is being hailed as the first annual Paul Wilbert Memorial Passeggiata, which takes off today from Buckley Park at 5 p.m.

According to friends and family, Wilbert, an avid bike tourer and traveler, was a big fan of regular passeggiattas, or “bike strolls,” down Main Avenue. The Durango version is based on the Italian custom whereby townspeople take to the streets after the heat of the day to enjoy the summer evening.

Participants are asked to meet at Buckley Park with their bikes at 4:45 p.m. The passeggiata will depart at 5 p.m., riding through downtown before ending up at the Powerhouse Science Center for the Love Your Commute Party. 

The party runs from 5-7 p.m. and includes prizes and the ever-popular Pedal vs. Metal Challenge, a race against the clock on an errand run through town, at 5:30 p.m. Participants will return to the Powerhouse by 6 p.m. for an awards ceremony.

Then, at 6:30 p.m., friends and family of Wilbert will plant a black locust tree along the Animas River Trail in his honor.

Spinning back in time

And speaking of leisurely bike strolls, this summer, Mesa Verde National Park is offering a passeggiatta of its own to Wetherill Mesa. The 9-mile 4.5 hour ranger-guided tour “on the quieter side of Mesa Verde” includes about 5 miles of biking followed by 4 miles of hiking. The payoff is expansive canyon views, spectacular overlooks of off-the-beaten path cliff dwellings, and a tour of the remote Long House ruin. Participants will also be treated to views of Nordenskiold #12 and Double House. The trip concludes after the Long House tour, but participants are free to continue exploring Wetherill Mesa on their own, or bike back to the parking lot with the ranger.

The guided Wetherill tour will be offered Wednesdays and Sundays through Sept. 4.  Tickets cost $18 and group size is limited to 15. And the tour is BYOB – bring your own bike.

A variety of other guided hikes and tours will also be offered this summer. For more info, go to www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm. To sign up, go to www.recreation.gov.