One cycle tour down, one to go for Glenwood | PostIndependent.com

One cycle tour down, one to go for Glenwood

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – As one bicycle tour ends in Glenwood Springs on Friday, another one is soon to begin.

More than 2,000 cyclists with the Ride the Rockies bicycle tour will roll into town from Aspen on the last leg of the six-day, 380-mile ride through the Rocky Mountains, just in time for the Strawberry Days Festival to be in full swing.

Then, without missing a beat, the Bicycle Tour of Colorado (BTC) will be setting up camp over at Sopris Elementary in South Glenwood Springs to kick off its seven-day, 500-plus mile tour of a similar route through Colorado’s high country.

The tour, the longest in the ride’s history, will take cyclists through six of Colorado’s scenic towns including Hotchkiss, Grand Junction, Montrose, Crested Butte, Buena Vista and Glenwood Springs. The tour winds up back in Glenwood Springs on June 27.

Glenwood Springs has been a stop for six of the 14 BTC routes since its beginning in 1995, including the first three years of the tour.

The last leg of the tour, which is also the longest, challenges riders to tackle 107 miles from Buena Vista all the way to Glenwood Springs.

Kate Collins, vice president of tourism marketing for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, said this is one of the busiest months of June she can remember since she’s worked at the chamber with all the festivities and events happening in Glenwood this year.

But busy is good.

“What’s great about it is that this year we can’t expect it to be business as usual,” Collins said. “We’ve been rewarded with high occupancy in June, July and August in the past, and this is not a foregone conclusion this year.”

Collins added that the chamber is actively maintaining market share and that events like the bike tours help tremendously.

Last year’s BTC had 1,700 cyclists, and organizers expect closer to 2,000 this year, according to Collins. Cyclists will camp at Sopris Elementary and the old Glenwood Rodeo Grounds near Glenwood’s southern stretch.

Riders are expected to be checking in all day Saturday, and will most likely be up and peddling out of town by about 8 a.m. Sunday morning.

Pastor of the Glenwood Mennonite Church Lauren Martin, who is riding in the tour, is also excited to offer a blessing of the bikes ceremony prior to the kickoff.

“It’s going to be a variety of clergy and chaplains participating,” Martin said.

The blessing will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Glenwood Park basketball courts, just down the road from Sopris Elementary.

jgardner@postindependent.com


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