Area hosts bike races |

Area hosts bike races

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Young as most may be, members of Two Rivers Cycling Club have spent far too much time ascending the passes between the Western Slope and the Front Range.

Unfortunately, most of those trips to the Front Range have been in an automobile. That just happens to be where the most competitive racing opportunities lie.

This weekend it’ll be their turn to host, as the Western Slope Omnium racing weekend hits the Glenwood Springs area.

It starts with a road race on Saturday and wraps with a criterium in downtown Glenwood Springs on Sunday.

“It’s really cool,” said 11-year-old Two Rivers cycler Max Sommers. “We don’t have to drive. We can actually enjoy the comfort of our own bed instead of traveling.”

Clearly, the Two Rivers kids are soaking up the chance to not only stay local but to race in front of a hometown crowd rather than in places like Boulder and Denver.

“It’ll be nice for them to be able to race in front of their friends,” said Bill Sommers, an adult member of Two Rivers and one of the Omnium’s organizers (he’s also Max’s dad). “Maybe we can get some kids out there to watch who might give cycling a go. We can bring kids in so they can see what it’s like.”

What those kids will experience is a road race that kicks off at the West Glenwood Canyon Trailhead and routes through the rolling hills along the Colorado River and a criterium that’ll send cyclists zooming through the streets of downtown Glenwood Springs.

“We had to make a weekend out of it,” the elder Sommers said, “to draw people from the Front Range.”

So far, that objective is being met. As of late last week, the road race had about 70 competitors registered and the crit had nearly 40 signed on. Sommers anticipates some 150 to 200 competitors invading the Glenwood Springs area this weekend.

All age divisions will be in play, from the 8- and 9-year-old class to 65-plus.

And that’s right in line with the host club – Two Rivers Cycling. Formerly known as Brown and Wills Racing and Western Colorado Cycling, Two Rivers Cycling is open to both adult and youth riders – some highly competitive and others just getting into racing.

The family-oriented club, which has been seeing 20-plus riders on its twice-weekly group rides, is always on the prowl for new members of all ages and ability levels. Its junior and adult members ride side by side, with the adults jointly manning the coaching and coordinating duties.

Two Rivers circles the state in the spring and summer time to compete in various races.

It’s a sporting opportunity like no other, said Two Rivers cycler James Otis, who has two daughters on the team.

“A lot of kids out there are looking for something like this. My kids tried soccer, but they just didn’t have the patience for it. They were out there picking dandelions. This is for kids attracted to an individual sport. They can go out there and do it at their level.”

The hope is a home race will increase awareness and participation in the local club, the only of its kind on the Western Slope.

Chances are that’ll happen.

“Definitely,” said Ryan Lake, a 15-year-old Two Rivers cyclist. “We’re definitely looking for anybody who wants to ride. This will attract more people.”

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