13 December 2011

Someone needs to say it


I didn't like the name, either. I thought it should be Tour of Colorado. I have, tongue in cheek, called it that anyway, even though it's not the official name.

Then I learned when the 2012 route was leaked and subsequently officially announced five days early, the name Tour of Colorado already belongs to someone else, and the name isn't for sale.

So USA Pro Cycling Challenge it is, and man, what a route 2012 will be!!!

However, not all are pleased with the new route. Heck, some even wish the cyclists would take their two-wheelers and go elsewhere. Some even express rude joy their town was not selected.

snobs

Leeches? (Look up the word before you use the wrong one, please.) Freeloaders? Really? Is this how you feel about recreational tours like Ride the Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado, too? What about softball tournaments and rodeos and annual conventions? Is this attitude really the way you want Colorado to be remembered on a global scale???

The event includes more than pro-cyclists, who are by no means leeches or freeloaders. This event includes more than managers, directors, trainers, coaches, families and sometimes even sponsors. In each town (and in surrounding towns), hotel rooms are already booked up. Restaurants will be full. After pedaling up and over a mountain pass, believe me, cyclists, pro and fans alike, are going to be very hungry.

Gas will be pumping. Grocery stores will have to stock up. Coffee and water will be premium everywhere along the route. Little kids will set up lemonade stands. Teenagers and college kids will sell granola bars and pop tailgate-style. Young entrepreneurs will make a summer's worth of wages in one week. Volunteers will be plentiful in each of the host cities. Local souvenirs are going to sell like crazy. Fans will drive, bike and even hire tour guides and/or tour vans/buses to watch. Some will rent bikes. Many will wear outrageous costumes. Reporters and photographers from about 165 countries (plus all over the US) will be here the whole week. Some athletes will train here, and that will require more of the above.

Cyclists, professional and recreational, have cars, and some even have houses. They work. They pay for insurance. They pay taxes. They have families. Likely the only real difference between people such as above and cyclists is a cyclist's couch isn't as worn.

The truth comes out.

This is what it's all about. Fans, old and young alike, will plan their entire summer vacation around this event.

One seemingly bitter comment (which thankfully I can't find now) expressed, "I've never been a big fan of cycling, and now that you've skipped my town, I'm not going to support this at all."

The Tour de France doesn't stay in Paris. It doesn't even stay just in France anymore. The Giro doesn't stay in Rome. A new route is offered every year, and that's what makes each bicycle tour magical. Participants (and viewers, when televised coverage actually works) get to see more than just one place. They see places they might not see any other way. The whole world opens up when hidden getaways are shared.

I, for one, am VERY thankful to live in a place that couldn't be fully explored even with a three-week bicycle tour. I've lived here since 1988, and I still haven't seen everything on my list.

couch potato

How fun would that be?!? What if the Tour de France stayed within a hundred miles of Paris? What if the Tour of California stayed within a hundred miles of... LA? San Francisco? Whichever town put up the most money to host it?

I meet a lot of people who've never been more than an hour outside of Denver. They have no clue what they are missing. And that's fine, because I enjoy the best of the state without crowds.

Dream on.

Would be nice. So would Colorado National Monument (Tour of the Moon), Grand Mesa, Trail Ridge Road and Mount Evans. But I don't think they will happen.

Only two people like this?!?

Well, yes...

Independence Pass

Bottom line to anti-cyclists:
Take your vacation and ride a bike up this mountain. Then summon the energy to smile when you reach the top.

7 comments :

  1. Well stated Snowcatcher! As for the comments from my home town, I'm embarrassed and angered.

    The cycling heritage of the valley includes popularity at the turn of the 20th century, the numerous years hosting the Coors Classic (Tour of the Moon) and the current mountain biking boom.

    Perhaps I should don my Eastwood suit and summon up some old fashioned revenge!

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  2. I grew up in a town which still to this day hosts the "National Old Time Fiddle Contest", the 3rd full week of June. You can find out more about it here, http://www.fiddlecontest.com/, anyway, such an event has both goos and bad about it. Many people I knew left town that week, because to them the bad out weighed the good. For the City the good must out weight the bad because it is still going. You will never change the "half empty" because "half empty" is all they are willing to see. Love you!

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  3. Oh no, pedal pushing freeloaders, ????? Really! you just have to take a moment to pause and think, what is wrong with some people? Funny we have pedal pushers often ride by our house all the time...my oldest just rode one late this summer and tossed his water bottle in our drive (for Mom!)...of course I picked it up, snapped a photo of it and posted it on Facebook(it was from the year before edition water bottle, he collects them all)he didn't know they'd ride by our house so he tossed it to say he was by! Our town always opens up our streets, and patrol for safety, and local eateries make a big deal.... ;)

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  4. Often, the folks who have the luxury of time to spend making rude comments on Facebook (or anywhere else) generally aren't found far from their couches/desks/arm chairs on any day of the week. The folks who might otherwise be inclined to jump in with a happy shout-out are likely out cycling, climbing, running and otherwise enjoying the outdoors.

    The good ones do outweigh the bad (perhaps not pound for pound, again, the sedentary lifestyle of trolls and all...) and the ride will go on.

    We've got bike-haters aplenty in this neck of the woods- but for the most part, they're miserable human beings who hate everything that ISN'T thumb-throttle | two-stroke | fuel-guzzling | overrated | obnoxious.

    In the end, the best revenge is to simply live longer, stronger, better and wiser. You will, I will. Therefore... we win.

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  5. Here, here! I LOVE the cycling events around Park City. I LOVE the NORBA events, too.

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  6. Ha! My eye caught "leaches" right away and I thought "Typical. Can't even spell properly."

    Oh dear. I realize that cycling is not to everyone's taste, but how can you not enjoy something like this? And your points about the benefits to local economies are very well taken.

    Lucky you to have such a great state to ride in, and such an awesome event to follow. Let the nay-sayers and critics whine all they like. The rest of us will be found on the road where we can't hear them.

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  7. Your blog is so engaging! A great post... and I love your "bottom line"!

    Isn't it funny how so many people who live in our state never head west? I don't understand it but it sure helps keep the beautiful places quiet!

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