Ride the Rockies to bring 2,000 cyclists to town

Colorado Springs is one of seven communities to host this year’s Ride The Rockies Tour, scheduled June 9-15.

About 2,000 riders are expected to participate in the statewide bike ride, which begins June 9 in Telluride and ends June 15 in Colorado Springs at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

This is the third time in the 28-year history of Ride The Rockies that Colorado Springs has been chosen as a host community. The city hosted the grand finish in 1996 and 1999.

“After thirteen years, we were long overdue for a return to Colorado Springs,” said tour director Chandler Smith. “The Cheyenne Mountain Resort will make a beautiful backdrop for our finish line festivities in the city.”

The event, presented by Wells Fargo, includes a 513-mile route that stops in Cortez, Durango, Pagosa, Alamosa, Salida and Canon City. Organizers say cyclists spend about $250,000 in each city.

“We look forward to touring Southwest Colorado where cyclists will be treated to seven inspiring days on their bike,” Smith said. “Climbs over Lizard Head and Wolf Creek Pass as well as a trek over the Royal Gorge Bridge will give cyclists a real sense of accomplishment

Starting in Telluride, cyclists will pedal over three legendary mountain passes and over the highest suspension bridge in the U.S. to complete the seven-day trek.

“Colorado is becoming known worldwide as a premier cycling destination and Ride The Rockies is a big part of the reason,” said Nathan Christian, Wells Fargo’s regional president for Colorado. “This signature tour showcases our fabulous mountains, boosts our economy, and provides much-needed funding for local charities.”

Cheyenne Mountain Resort has a huge opportunity to benefit financially from being the ending location, said Doug Price, Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau president and CEO.

“This event is more than a race, it’s a ride across our great state that has a wonderful following due to its 28 year history,” Price said. “Because this is a Denver Post event, we’ll see fantastic media coverage within the state including the paper, 9 News, social media and beyond. The ride is also unique because it provides a $5,000 grant to a deserving local non-profit. This is a new and fun way for people to experience Colorado as well as great opportunity to generate an economic impact through lodging, activities, food and beverage sales.”

More than 4,000 applications are expected for the 2,000 spots available for this year’s ride. Riders on past Ride The Rockies have represented all 50 states and 18 foreign countries. Ride The Rockies is a non-competitive event open to cyclists of all ages, and riders are encouraged to ride at their own pace.

Denver Post Community Foundation will award grants in each host community during the tour. The grants are designated for local nonprofit agencies with programs serving children, youth, recreation and literacy efforts. Since 2001,  about $480,000 in grants have been awarded in the host communities.

“Ride The Rockies’ host communities are so hospitable and gracious,”  Smith said. “Our grant program is a rather simple, but very genuine way of saying thanks.”

For more information or to request a grant application, contact Elizabeth Norris, Community Relations Manager, at (303) 954-6703 or enorris@denverpost.com, or visit www.ridetherockies.com.Registration is open to any cyclist.