Touring cyclists enjoy Carbondale |

Touring cyclists enjoy Carbondale

Christopher Mullen / Post Independent
Christopher Mullen |

CARBONDALE — When some 1,500 cyclists rode into town on Monday, they were hot, sweaty and ready to relax, according to Andrea Stewart, director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce.

And they got what they needed, she said, leaving the impression that the Bicycle Tour of Colorado may well come through this town again.

“It went well,” Stewart said on Tuesday. “We didn’t know what to expect, and it was smaller than Ride the Rockies [another bicycling tour of the state that stopped here a year ago]. I think they had about 1,500 riders, but I didn’t have a counter.”

The tour, which involves a seven-day loop around the state, starting and ending in Cañon City, got to Carbondale on Monday after getting an early launch from Buena Vista on the other side of Independence Pass.

“They were tired and thirsty when they got into town,” Stewart recalled.

Most of the riders camped out on the grounds of Roaring Fork High School, while some camped at the Gateway Park, a town-owned RV park at the intersection of Colorado Highways 82 and 133.

In addition, Stewart said, riders occupied rooms in local lodges.

Stewart noted that the Ride the Rockies tour will not be stopping in Carbondale this year, because the organizers traditionally avoid putting the same towns on the ride’s schedule two years in a row.

Stewart said she had hopes that the Bicycle Tour of Colorado organizers would be able to tell her if the tour will be back next year, or later.

“They did enjoy it, from what I could gather from the organizers,” she said of the cyclists’ stay in Carbondale. “They felt very welcomed in Carbondale.”

She said many riders had been here before and knew what to expect, while others were impressed enough after this visit to express interest in returning here later this summer or in the fall.

But when she approached the organizers about their plans for 2014, she said with a laugh, “I couldn’t get anything out of them.”

She said the organizers themselves indicated they wouldn’t know more until they had all been “debriefed” after the end of the Tour, on June 29.

Carbondale was the second stop on the 438-mile tour, which started on June 22 in Cañon City with stops scheduled in Buena Vista, Carbondale, Paonia, Crested Butte (where the riders will have a day off), Salida and back to Cañon City.

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