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Talk of the town

Fall is a refreshing time. Summer vacations wind down, classes resume, temperatures drop, sports teams take the field, fall festivals grab our attention, and residents increasingly venture out to garden, exercise and enjoy the beautiful weather.

The change in seasons also provides an optimal time to refocus priorities and set new goals.

One of my goals as mayor is to make Boulder City even more pedestrian, bicycle, fitness and outdoor-enthusiast friendly. To do that, improving our trail connectivity is a top priority.

We already have some amazing trails. Our Bootleg Canyon trail system and River Mountain Loop trail are just two examples. And our historic district is more walkable than ever with the recent addition of the museum’s self-guided walking tour. We even have a few bike and pedestrian paths along Georgia Avenue and Veteran’s Memorial Parkway.

But most of these trails are isolated. And they could almost all use some serious upgrades to make them more inviting and interconnected.

The Boulder City Parkway Complete Street project is a big step in the right direction. The objectives are to make the entire U.S. Highway 93 corridor from Railroad Pass to Buchanan Boulevard to Pacifica Way (all eventually to be renamed Boulder City Parkway) more pleasant and user-friendly, not only drivers but also transit riders and especially pedestrians and cyclists.

The recently announced funding of the Nevada State Railroad Museum’s visitor center expansion also substantially increases our chances ofseeing a linear park developed behind the Nevada Highway businesses that occupy a good portion of that stretch.

All of this is still very much in the planning and preliminary design phases, but I’m excited about the prospects.

Speaking of goal-setting and the great outdoors, I want to issue a challenge to each of you. Set some fitness goals of your own. Then work to achieve them. Don’t compare yourself to others or worry about their fitness level. Just focus on yourself, and start wherever you are.

Don’t set impossible goals that you have no hope of achieving. But set them high enough that they’ll stretch your current limits. Any activity will do, but it’s best to choose one that you enjoy.

Two physical activities that I enjoy are biking and basketball. Biking because I can do it with my wife. And basketball because it’s a sport I’ve loved since I was a toddler. So those are the activities I’m focusing my fitness goals on this fall: (1) bike an average of at least 40 miles per week until Thanksgiving; and (2) average at least two basketball workouts with my 15-year-old son over the same period.

So now my goals are set in stone, and you should hold me to them.

I’d also like to issue a specific challenge to all of our high school and junior high basketball players, and really to anyone of any age who’s a basketball junkie like me. Between now and the start of the basketball season (early December), make 10,000 shots! If you do, I’ll reward you with some nice public recognition, a pizza party and more.

It won’t be easy. Even if you’re a 50 percent shooter, you’ll be putting up 20,000 shots (over 300 per day if you use every one of the 65 weekdays between now and December). And if you’re only a 40 percent or 30 percent shooter, you can expect to shoot thousands more. But I guarantee that when you’re done, your shooting percentage will be substantially higher than when you started.

Just chart your progress (date and number of makes), then submit it. I’ll also throw in bonus prizes for anyone who makes at least 3,000 free throws, as well as for each extra thousand that you add to your 10,000 made shots.

Don’t forget to do this with a friend. In fact, in case you haven’t already figured it out, working out with a buddy is almost always more motivating and enjoyable than exercising on your own. So get out there and have fun together.

Happy exercising, everyone!

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