They’re here: Thousands of cyclists roll in to town | SkyHiNews.com

They’re here: Thousands of cyclists roll in to town

Tonya Bina
tbina@skyhidailynews.com

Participants in Ride the Rockies bicycle tour pass through Byers Canyon on Thursday. Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News

Flocks of bicyclists are due to converge in Grand County during the coming week, an opportune time to ring in the message “Share the Road.”

About 2,000 cyclists as part of the 26th annual Denver Post Ride the Rockies Bicycle Tour will be making their way from Steamboat Springs to Granby by way of U.S. Highway 40 on Thursday and will be departing Granby the following morning.

The bicyclists are expected to start arriving in Granby around noon and leave Granby on Friday starting from 5 a.m. until about 11 a.m. That afternoon, the towns of Fraser and Winter Park can expect to welcome the mass arrival of road cyclists.

Friday’s route will start from Granby on U.S. Highway 40 to Tabernash, where cyclists will be turning right on County Road 5. They will then reconnect with U.S. 40 just outside of Fraser and continue toward Berthoud Pass and on to Georgetown.

“There will be some delay in and out of towns,” said Granby events organizer Laurie Finley.

Motorists are asked to plan their days accordingly.

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The cycling action continues with the Triple DHip events in Granby during the weekend, followed by another long-distance cycling event arriving in Grand County on Monday, June 20.

The Bicycle Tour of Colorado promises at least 1,100 cyclists in its 17th annual event. Having been awarded the Trail Ridge Road bid this year, The Tour will travel from Estes Park through Rocky Mountain National Park, continuing on Highway 34 into Granby on Monday. Finley expects about a noon arrival for Bicycle Tour cyclists.

The tour will then depart the morning of the next day, Tuesday, June 21, toward Kremmling on U.S. Highway 40. From there, the tour continues to Rabbit Ears Pass to the destination of Steamboat Springs.

Road shoulders have been swept by CDOT in preparation for the road cycling bonanza, the Granby chamber has arranged to have a beer garden, live music and vendors in Polhamus Park on June 16 and June 20 to welcome the cycling guests, and Granby business owners have decorated bicycles to display outside storefronts.

But the question remains: Are fellow motorists ready?

Cyclists from all over the world join in these rides, according to Betsy Jacobsen, Bicycle and Pedestrian Unit Manager at the Colorado Department of Transportation, and such rides provide “a huge economic stimulus for us,” she said.

The two rides coming to Granby are also providing charity dollars for Horizons Specialized Services and for The Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation.

But unfriendly motorist etiquette could sour anyone’s cycling experience, Jacobsen continued, discouraging participants from a future return visit.

Jacobsen reviewed the rules of the road, and the principle message in CDOT’s “Share the Road, Colorado” campaign.

By state law, “a bicycle is a vehicle,” she said. “We all need to share the roadway and be courteous of each other. When we can be kind to bicyclists on the road, we’re helping our state overall.”

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