Rally Week begins Monday, cyclists ride daily into downtown

A week of fun rides begins Monday, leading up to Friday’s USA Pro Challenge Stage 5 finish in downtown Colorado Springs.

Cyclists, time to get your ride on.

Rally Week, in celebration of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge cycling race, begins Aug. 20 with bicycle rides planned every day this week leaving from America the Beautiful park and ending at a downtown business.

All rides start at 6 p.m.

Springs Cycling Club hosts the first ride Aug. 20 and will end at Old Chicago; Kids on Bikes and Road Ride with Pro Cycling host the Aug. 21 ride and will end at CityROCK; Cruiser Joy Ride with Upadowna host is Aug. 22 and ends at McCabe’s Tavern; and Ladies’ Mountain Ride with Women’s Mountain Bike Association hosts Aug. 23 ride and ends at the Mining Exchange Hotel.

The final fun ride is at 1 p.m. Aug. 25 leaving from the America the Beautiful park and ending at Blondie’s.

“Although it’s an honor to watch world-class athletes pedal into the Springs, the events team has been working hard to leverage the influence of the race to launch a week of entertainment,” said Nikki McComsey, local ancillary events chairwoman and Kids on Bikes executive director. “Our events calendar offers something for everyone and we hope to see our community — whether you bike or not — embrace the USA Pro Challenge.”

In the second year of the USA Pro Challenge cycling race covers 12 cities in the state. The professional cyclists will race into downtown Colorado Springs Aug. 24, where the party will have already gotten started. From 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. locals can take their bikes on a spin around the downtown circuit, riding the same route that the pros will take when they arrive in downtown, at roughly 3:30 p.m.

Throughout the day there will be music, food venders, big-screen television coverage and a BMX demo. The pro cyclists will race around downtown three times for the Stage 5 finish.

In its inaugural year, the race attracted 1 million spectators. Local race organizers are expecting about 200,000 spectators to line the streets leading from Breckenridge into Colorado Springs.

Following the Stage 5 finish, the party will continue with tricycle races, drink specials, live music and a 15-minute fire works show from the garage at Cowboys Night Club.

“It’s going to be spectacular,” said Kathy Guadagnoli, who with her husband Sam sponsored the fireworks show. “We hope the downtown area fills up and all of the downtown businesses stay open.”

  • The Colorado Department of Transportation traveler information website lists all highways impacted by the race by stage, and also refers visitors to proper local websites for local road closures.
  • The race lasts from Aug. 20 to Aug. 26. Race officials are estimating that more than 1 million spectators may watch the race in person as the riders traverse nearly 700 miles of Colorado terrain. CDOT encourages fans to share their race stories, photos and experiences at www.facebook.com/coloradodot.