Tour de Vineyards bike trek in Palisade celebrates 20 years | PostIndependent.com

Tour de Vineyards bike trek in Palisade celebrates 20 years

Caitlin Row
crow@gjfreepress.com

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday, September 20

4:30-7:30 p.m. — Packet Pickup/Registration

Palisade High School (exit #42, south .8 mile to Hwy 6, west .4 mile to Palisade High School)

Saturday, September 21

7-8 a.m. — Late Registration/Packet Pickup at Peach Bowl Park (I-70, exit #42, south on Elberta to 5th)

7-8 a.m. — Begin your 25-mile bike tour by the areas wineries, vineyards and fruit orchards. All participants must begin the ride no later than 8 a.m. to avoid WineFest traffic, which becomes heavy later in the morning. An aid station is located halfway at Carlson Vineyards.

9:30-11:30 a.m. — Refreshments and prize drawings at Peach Bowl Park. The Colorado Mountain Winefest, presented by First National Bank of the Rockies, “Festival in the Park” opens its doors at 10:30 a.m. with wine tasting, food booths, and great jazz entertainment until 5:30 p.m. at Riverbend Park.

11:30 a.m. — Course closes and support ends

12:30 p.m. — Food Service ends and pool closes

SOURCE: Tour de Vineyards Website

Tour de Vineyards returns to Palisade’s Colorado Mountain Winefest weekend for its 20th year. Set for Saturday, Sept. 21, organizers expect close to 900 participating cyclists to be touring the valley by bike before heading over to the main wine event at Riverbend Park.

“Ninety-seven percent (of participants) were from outside the valley last year,” Tour de Vineyards event manager Mike Heaston said. “We expect that same percentage this year. … There’s no cap to the event” and it’s “a social activity.”

The leisurely bike tour starts between 7 and 8 a.m. at Peach Bowl Park in Palisade at Fifth and Elberta streets (and it ends there, too). Tour de Vineyards travels a 25-mile course past vineyards and Palisade’s orchard country. Same-day, on-site registration is $55 per person and everyone must provide their own bikes and gear.

According to the Tour de Vineyards website, the event “is considered an easier ride with one big hill and the rest of the course being rolling to flat. … The ride does not stop at each winery as they are busy preparing for that day’s ‘Festival in the Park.’ An aid station is available at Carlson Vineyards (approximately half-way through the course), which features famous ‘Palisade Peaches’ from Talbott Farms.”

Heaston also noted that this cycling event is “not designed for people to drink and ride.” And when cyclists finish the course, they’ll be served a light brunch, provided free showers, and then they may ride a shuttle bus over to the wine festival.

“Just make a day of it,” Heaston added. “Besides the ride, you have the best wine festival in the state to go to afterwards.”

Currently, 14 states — including Colorado ­— are represented in pre-registration numbers.

“We have many bike events, but this one is tied solidly to the Colorado Wine Country experience,” Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau spokeswoman Mistalynn Meyeraan said. “It complements one of the largest events of the summer, Colorado Mountain Winefest, which attracts even more people to visit during the height of summer tourism season making this weekend very robust for tourism. Tour de Vineyards provides a positive economic impact to the entire valley.”

For more information about Tour de Vineyards (including registration directions), visit http://www.emgcolorado.com/tourdevineyards.


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