Cruising into year two |

Cruising into year two

April E. Clark
Arts and entertainment contributor
Greg Wetzel and his pal Knobby are ready to cruise.
Courtesy The Smiths Design |

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — For the casual Cruise-a-Thong triathlete, comfort is key.

“There will be more comfort stations this year, and we will also have options for the bike route,” said organizer Katy Joy, of Glenwood Springs. “The comfort stations this year are Jimmy Johns, Carbondale Soda Company, XS Energy and the Roaring Fork Conservancy. Sweet Adventures is also participating in offering 50 cent ice cream cones.”

Joy said the catch to the ice cream cone portion of the event is that the only form of payment is in two quarters.

“Participants have to find a way to transport these two quarters to the ice cream shop, which is part of the fun,” she said. “Carbondale Soda Company will also be having a Guess the Soda Flavor game as people stop by their comfort station. Those who guess correctly will be entered into a drawing for a prize.”

In its second year, the three-part noncompetitive outdoor sporting event on Saturday, July 19, features a leisurely cruiser bike ride, a walk in flip-flops (often called thongs) on the Rio Grande Trail, and a tube float down the Roaring Fork River.

Another addition to Cruise-a-Thong is two options for the bike route.

“They can either stay on the bike path [and Midland sidewalk] all the way around the course or they can divert into town,” Joy said. “This gives people an option to take a shorter or longer route.”

Cruise-a-Thong begins at 11 a.m. at Veltus Park, 901 Midland Ave. An after-party starts around 1:30 p.m., as participants finish the course, with music from DJ Ryan White, food and drinks, Geeks Who Drink trivia, prizes, the Not your Average Awards ceremony, and a hula-hoop contest.

“Lots of fun,” Joy said. “During the after party there will be adult beverages from Palisade Brewing Company, BBQ from Slow Groovin BBQ from Marble and Lucky Dogs hot dogs. We’ll also host an awards ceremony for the most average race time, which wins a cruiser bike from Sunlight Bike and Ski; the median and mode race times, best costume, etc.”

Race entry is $35 per adult, and children 12 and younger are free. Participants can register at until 5 p.m. today. After, they may register Saturday morning starting at 9 a.m.

Joy said more than 20 teams have registered for Saturday’s Cruise-a-Thong, more than doubling last year’s participation. Creative team names include ThirstyThursday Supper Club, The Knights Who Say Ni, Taurus Swagger, Beerded Ladies, Crossbow Ninjas, and Migrating Coconuts. People don’t have to be on a team to participate, Joy said.

“There are a lot of people who are not with teams who are ‘racing’ individually,” she said.

Property Shop co-owner and realtor Janelle Rhoton and her fiancé, Gus Lundin, are joining the Cruise-a-Thong spirit again, after participating in last summer’s inaugural event. Their team is named Pirate Booty.

“Don’t miss the fun. The camaraderie of Glenwood’s most spirited community members gathering together to giggle, dance, walk, cruise and float all in costume makes my heart sing,” Rhoton said. “Glenwood is the most perfect place to have the Cruise-a-Thong, simply because we have the liveliest group of fun-loving, outdoor folks appreciating one another on some of the utmost supreme trails and float sections around the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers.”

Cruise-a-Thong started in Pagosa Springs and is focused on Glenwood’s river and recreation community to promote environmental awareness and improvements. Last year’s proceeds from the fundraising event supported Houses 4 Higher Education (H4HE), which paired Glenwood Springs High School students to construct outdoor furniture featured along the river and throughout the city.

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