Ride the Rockies Next Week
by Samantha Wright
Jun 02, 2013 | 1513 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Town of Telluride is ramping up to welcome 2,000-plus cyclists, plus an entourage of up to 1,500 supporters, for the lead stage of the 28th Annual Ride the Rockies Colorado Bicycle Tour June 8-9.

“We are honored to have been selected as this year’s start town and thrilled to welcome the cyclists to our community,” said Kiera Skinner with the Telluride Tourism Board, who is on the local committee helping to organize the town’s efforts to host the event.

While some tour participants are expected to show up in Telluride on Friday night, June 7, the bulk of them will be arriving on Saturday, Skinner said.

RTR headquarters and a registration booth will be located at the Telluride High School, and about 1,000 of the cyclists will be camping on school grounds on Saturday night. The remainder will be staying with local lodgers in the community. “A number of properties are already sold out,” Skinner said.

The main event on Saturday is a “Best of Telluride” street party on Colorado Avenue between Aspen and Fir Streets from 1-9 p.m. “It’s scheduled to accommodate cyclists arriving throughout the day,” Skinner explained.

The event is free and open to the public and all are welcome to come partake in the festivities. “We are really encouraging local families to enjoy as well,” Skinner said. There will be live music acts and DJs, kids activities, food vendors and a beer garden. Favorite local band The Great Funktier takes to the stage from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Family-friendly events at the street party include a kid’s tricycle race, photo ops for cyclists with a professional photographer, and various games and prizes throughout day.

Various local nonprofit organizations ranging from the Telluride Youth Lacrosse Association to EcoAction Partners will be helping out in various ways throughout the weekend as a means of fundraising for their organizations.

Sunday morning, June 9, there will be an opening ceremony at RTR headquarters at the high school, after which cyclists will depart Telluride and pedal over Lizard Head Pass toward Cortez, their next destination. Over the week, they will also travel to Durango, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa, Salida, Cañon City and finish in Colorado Springs on June 15. This will be the fourth time in the 28-year history of Ride The Rockies that Telluride has been chosen as an overnight host town.

The Telluride Tourism Board is doing its best to woo cyclists to Telluride early and make a long weekend out of the event.

“We will also reach out to cyclists after the event to invite them back to Telluride,” Skinner said.

There will be no road closures associated with the Ride the Rockies in Telluride, since cyclists will be leaving on their own schedulest throughout the morning.

Telluride has hosted Ride the Rockies four times in the event’s 28-year history, most recently in 2008. The tour route changes each year. Host communities typically enjoy a positive economic impact from the event. According to a statement from Ride the Rockies, cyclists in 2012 spent an average of $250,000 in a 24-hour time period in each host town. Many cyclists also return to host communities as tourists.
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