While cycling is indeed a big part of life in Telluride, local cyclists hope to foster an even stronger commitment to the sport through upcoming Bike Week events. This year’s Bike Week (Mon-Fri., June 23-27) highlights a slew of bike friendly programs, including group rides and for-fun races throughout the week, trail maintenance outings, Official Bike to Work Day on Wednesday and that night’s Bike Movie showing, and the ever-popular Marshal’s Bike Auction on Friday. Bike Week, in its sixth year, offers an opportunity for locals to reconnect with their inner cyclist, says Bike Week organizer Daniel Murray of Telluride’s Paragon Racing Team.
The intent of Bike Week, Murray says, is simple: “Ride your bike to the places you can, drive when you have to. Around town and to work are easily attainable goals,” he says. Locals who take it one step further, like Juju who commutes from Norwood and Jeb Berrier and Becky Reimann who ride from Ophir, help inspire a community-wide movement towards using person-powered instead of petroleum-powered means to get from here to there.
The events of Bike Week 2008 are “geared to be fun and celebrate our common appreciation for the bike,” Murray says. Wednesday night’s movie is the only event that isn’t free-of-cost, but any proceeds collected there go straight back into offering the mostly free programs of Bike Week for the community.
This year’s Bike Week coincides with the Bicycle Tour of Colorado coming to town on Tuesday, June 24 for a two-day rest stop. Telluride is stop number four along a seven-day, 403-mile ride that loops through Southwestern Colorado. In its 14th year, the tour consists of 1,000-1,500 riders plus 500 support staff.
The Bicycle Tour of Colorado visit follows closely on the heels of last weekend’s visit from another famous long-distance Colorado road ride, Ride the Rockies. Nearly 2,500 riders cruised into town on Monday June 16, camping out at the High School and resting their hard-used legs on bar stools and restaurant benches throughout town and Mountain Village.
Both of these well-known rides’ stops in Telluride herald a recognition for Telluride as a bike-friendly community. According to a recent Colorado Department of Transportation study, there are nearly 700,000 tourists that come to Colorado ski resorts to bike in the summer, accounting for just over 50 percent of all summer visitors to ski areas around the state. The study estimates that those visitors bring in between $56-$76 million dollars annually.
Bike Week Schedule of Events:
6/23 - Junior Ride at 5:30 p.m., meet at Paragon on Main St. Ages 9 and up.
6/24 – Lizard Head Pass Hill Climb at 6 p.m., meet at Ophir turn-off. Prizes to be awarded.
6/25 – Official Colorado Bike to Work Day plus Bike Film Night 7:30 pm at the Sheridan Opera House, tickets $10 includes raffle ticket and beer from New Belgium Brewing Co.
6/26 – Trail Maintenance at 5:30 p.m., meet at the first switchback on Mill Creek Road/start of Eider Creek trail.
6/27 – Marshall’s Bike Auction at 3:00 p.m., located at 235 E. Pacific Ave. and Adventure Mountain Bike Ride and Barbeque at 6:00 p.m., meet at Paragon on Main St.
For more information about Telluride Bike Week, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Telluride Tourism Board at 970/369.1177 x303 or HYPERLINK "http://www.VisitTelluride.com" www.VisitTelluride.com