DENVER — Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 — Several hundred cyclists will hit the road Friday on State Highway 96 and experience the charm, heritage and hospitality of Southeastern Colorado during the 2nd Annual Pedal The Plains Bicycle Tour. The tour features Colorado’s southeastern plains with stops in Eads, Lamar and La Junta. While many areas of the state have been impacted by flooding, the southeastern plains and communities are ready to welcome the bicycle riders.
“Coloradans in many areas of our state have been impacted by flooding in the past week,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “In the face of adversity, we've also seen the power of cooperation and unity as people work together to deal with this crisis. We hope to carry this spirit of community during Pedal The Plains. This ride is one opportunity for Coloradans to get to know their neighbors and to celebrate family, rural heritage and our wonderful state.”
This year’s event includes three ride offerings: a three-day tour, a century ride and a family fun ride, making Pedal The Plains accessible, fun and challenging for any level of cyclist. On top of being a gorgeous and exciting ride, cyclists will learn a thing or two about Colorado’s vibrant history and rural heritage along the way.
The three-day ride traverses 174 total miles and makes overnight visits in Lamar and La Junta. Each host community gives riders educational opportunities, entertainment and local flavor. In partnership with Colorado Creative Industries, each host community has also commissioned local artists, arts council members, tourism professionals and representatives from local government to create legacy public art projects to be displayed during Pedal the Plains.
Interactive aid stations along the route include family farms and ranches, Bent’s Old Fort, a wildlife experience with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Fort Lyon where the governor will host a ribbon-cutting to officially open the repurposed facility.
The Denver Post Community Foundation, which has managed the world-class cycling event Ride The Rockies for 28 successful years, brings its expertise to Pedal The Plains as the organizer for this uniquely Colorado event.
“The 2012 inaugural Pedal The Plains was a great success in terms of number of registrants, community involvement and economic impact,” said Dean Singleton, publisher of The Denver Post. “Last year, Pedal The Plains brought more than $250,000 to the region we visited, and donated $7,500 to local charities on the Eastern Plains.”
Sponsorship for Pedal The Plains is led by Fort Morgan-based Viaero Wireless. The rural wireless provider has acted as Pedal The Plains Presenting Sponsor for two years running.
“We are so glad to participate in year two of Pedal The Plains, and have the chance to give back to these wonderful communities in the Eastern Plains,” said Viaero Wireless President Frank DiRico. “We can’t wait to hit the road and bring our wireless 4G access to riders, attendees and partners for this cycling tour, which is as unique as Colorado itself.”
“Pedal The Plains has something for everyone—whether you’re a history buff, fitness guru or you just want to have a weekend of family fun, there is much to enjoy,” says Chandler Smith, Tour Director. Cyclists range from age 10 to 83 years old and will travel from 21 different states, as well as Canada to participate.
Online registration for the 2013 Pedal The Plains is closed, but riders can still participate by registering onsite at the Kiowa County Fairgrounds in Eads on Sept. 20. Walk-ons are welcome. Details on the route and schedules are available online at www.pedaltheplains.com.
Proceeds from Pedal The Plains benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation in support of the Colorado FFA Foundation and Colorado 4-H.