The perfect cruiser for a slow summer ride
When I think of biking in Aspen, I think Maroon Bells, Smuggler or Independence Pass. I think of sweaty, smelly Spandex-clad men and women cranking up to Ashcroft. But maybe it’s time to sit back, slow down and just cruise.Summertime calls for relaxation, and beach cruisers take it to the next level. Be it a genuine Schwinn original or a sparkling new Felt Baron, the cruiser is designed to help you take a load off – no more hunching over on a hard plastic seat. One ride on the Felt Baron, and I was hooked. The Baron is a true beauty, finished with a stunning cherry-red paint job. Atop this 1940s-throwback beach cruiser, there is no room for tension. It sits you upright, enabling you to relax your shoulders and go for a joy ride.The sleek Baron has all the vital features of a stylish ride: a cushy seat, “Easy Rider”-style handlebars, back-pedal brake and, of course, the captivating paint job. The fat, 20-inch tires and one-gear speed slow you down, so don’t ask the Baron to get you anywhere on time. This bike is way too laid-back to hurry. The Baron is $475 worth of decadent aesthetics. It wants no part of speed and has no interest in climbing hills. Pushing the Baron’s hefty 45 pounds up Mill Street will leave even an experienced biker’s quads burning.The Baron is a snob. New, shiny and suave, it doesn’t want to stick its nose into any dirt or mud. This bike is meant for the beach and has no interest in the mountains. But on a Baron you can chill out for a minute or an afternoon, enjoy a comfortable seat, and take in the sunshine. The Felt Baron is available at Aspen Velo, 465 N. Mill St., 925-1495.
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The city of Aspen’s office building is exempt from paying encroachment fees, yet private developers have to now pay $9 a square foot, per month, starting in 2020.