Park Pedaling

14 Jan

Occasionally when riding my bike, I’ll take the quickest route, even if that means it’s not the prettiest. Thanks to a friend, I ventured down a new, longer path and discovered how bike paths once again connect us to more beauty than streets ever could.

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We rode our bikes south on College Avenue in Tempe and were greeted by a fantastic pedestrian bridge. Doesn’t that curvy path look curiously inviting? Making our way over the 60 freeway, a small grassy park came into view. Palmer Park is tucked away from the main roadways, providing a quaint retreat for this Tempe suburban neighborhood.

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If one park wasn’t enough, we got to explore two! Just a stones throw away was the 125-acre Kiwanis Park, an oasis of parks in downtown Tempe. It has everything: a large lake filled with ducks, fish, and paddle boats, 3 large playgrounds, curvy paths, barbecue areas, and best of all: lots of PEOPLE. Peddling through the winded trail, we were witness to a number of large recreational fields for any sport imaginable, including sloshball.

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Finally, we met up with an opening to the Western Canal Trail, a path that unites with the impressive Sun Circle Trail, a 50+ mile loop that almost encompasses the whole valley. Our portion hugged the Ken McDonald Golf Course, with the canal to our right, foliage to our left, and a funky, geometric passage overhead.

Parks offer a wonderful illustration of the community living life together. Parks simultaneously serve as a landscape for a child’s imagination or a urban recreational haven for adults, in the midst of nature. What a beautiful place for this unique partnership between important elements of our lives, co-existing and thriving, in our own backyards.

You too can grab a front row view to this display, from the seat of your bicycle!

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