OURAY COUNTY – The dust has barely settled in the wake of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and Ouray County is gearing up for its own peloton lungbuster.
In fact, it is the first-ever Log Hill Lungbuster Challenge coming up Sunday, Sept. 16. Bicyclists of all ages, sizes and tire preferences should start training now for this fun time trial and fundraiser for the Ouray County Historical Society.
This will be a new kind of fundraiser for the OCHS, one that capitalizes on the growing number of outdoor enthusiasts who both visit and live in southwest Colorado.
The competition’s route starts at the Old Schoolhouse Emporium on West Sherman St. in Ridgway, then follows a 15-mile course west out of town along Hwy 62 and CR 24A. At CR 1, bikers follow the road’s steep, serpentine ascent up the Log hill escarpment, ride around various subdivisions of Log Hill, and finish at the Divide Ranch and Country Club.
OCHS President Kevin Chismire observed that many other nonprofit organizations in the area sponsor successful athletic events, such as the Mt. Sneffels Half-Marathon and Marathon, Imogene Pass Run, and the Mt. Sneffels Half-Loop Nordic ski race.
“Missing from all these fabulous events is a bicycling event,” said Chismire, an avid cyclist. “Both mountain bicycling [fat tire] and road bicycling [skinny tire] are becoming increasingly popular in our region. The OCHS felt it was time to have a biking event that would include both road and mountain cyclists.”
The Log Hill Lungbuster Challenge will be in the form of a time trial, in which contestants start at intervals of about one minute apart. Each rider races against the clock. Best time awards will be given in both the Road Bike and Mountain Bike categories, plus sub-categories for gender and age groups.
Although Chismire acknowledged that this new fundraising concept could “take us a little out of our comfort zone,” he predicts it will be an enjoyable competition that attracts cyclists from throughout Ouray County and beyond. Of course, those who are not up to busting their lungs are welcome to participate as spectators and volunteers.
The race’s $40 registration fee will benefit the OCHS. For further information and to register for this event visit www.loghilllungbusterchallenge.com or phone the OCHS at 970/325-4576.