I've stumbled across an excellent reason to play hooky from work on Friday: Entry to the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
is free for Colorado residents from 9-5 p.m.
While you're there, mosey around one of the many nature trails, stop by the 19th-century, one-room schoolhouse, and check out the working beehives.
Be sure to throw your bike on the back of the car and head over to Waterton Canyon
before or after your trip to the gardens for a ride up to Strontia Springs Dam---13 miles round trip. Pack a picnic; there are plenty of shady tables at which to stop, snack, and take in the scenery.