Charity Bike Ride Proposed From Ridgway to Red Mountain Pass
by Beverly Corbell
Jun 03, 2009 | 1258 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OURAY – Ridgway resident Debbie Wheeler asked the Ouray City Council Monday night to allow a fundraising bike ride to come through Ouray on Aug. 30, the day after the Mt. Sneffels Foundation’s Half Marathon Run/Walk on Aug. 29.

Wheeler said the bike ride would benefit the Red Mountain Pass Group, a not-for-profit with the goal to promote non-motorized use of the pass and resolve conflicts with motorized users.

The money raised would be used for service and education about using the trails around Red Mountain Pass. Volunteers of the group have been helping the U.S. Forest Service with educating the public, she said, and since the effort began in the past year or so, there have been no conflicts between motorized and non-motorized users, she said.

“A couple of years ago, it was fists flying and fur flying,” she said.

Wheeler said she’s meeting with the Ridgway Town Council on June 10 and would like to have agreements with both municipalities soon so she can go to the Colorado Department of Transportation for their approval. She said the request to CDOT will also ask for partial closure of U.S. Hwy. 550 through Ouray for 2 ½ to 3 hours, she said.

Wheeler also asked the council to allow aid stations for the bicyclists at the Ironton pulloff and on top of Red Mountain. Help would also be needed from the Ouray Sheriff’s Office, she said.

The race would draw about 200 riders, Wheeler said, and she already has the support of city resources director Rick Noll.

“We need to get written letters of approval from both cities, the Board of County Commissioners and the chambers of commerce,” Wheeler said. (The BOCC did approve a letter of approval at their meeting on June 1.)

Wheeler said she is also meeting with the Mt. Sneffels Foundation on June 13.

“We would like to get it to CDOT in July,” she said. “But it might not happen this year.”

Councilmember Sandy Stuller directed city staff to analyze the request and get back to the council.

“I agree,” said Mayor Bob Risch. “We need more background.”

In other business, the council:

• Approved on second reading revised trash regulations, a process that began after the city voted for home rule status last month.

• Approved a new liquor license application for Le Papillon Restaurant.

• Renewed a liquor license for Roscoe Fox LLC.

• Discussed problems with a broken pipe that brings half of the hot water used to heat the Ouray Hot Springs Pool that comes from Canyon Creek Gorge. City manager Patrick Rondinelli said he was “very concerned” about the broken pipe, but repairs will be difficult and several options were being weighed, including pumping water from the hot spring on a temporary basis while the city considers short-term and long-term repair.

• Heard a request from resident Rob McNair that the city consider granting the use of sandwich boards to for-profit businesses. Rondinelli said city code only allows for nonprofit sandwich boards, but suggested McNair write a letter to the council to put the request on the council agenda, as well as explaining why he wants the change.

• Approved a request to waive the outdoor display of merchandise permit for the Ouray Chamber Resort Association.

• Heard a report from council member Betty Wolfe that the Ouray Housing authority’s final draft action plan will be presented to the pubic at the end of June. Risch said a questionnaire for public input is online at at the town of Ridgway Web site at

• Adopted new fine structures for traffic and other codes as suggested by Police Chief Leo Rasmusson that would set fines at a minimum $100 and maximum $1,000. The new local codes were allowed since the voters approved home rule status.
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