Paracycling races Friday and Saturday
Adaptive cycling races highlighted during Pro Cycling Challenge
August 26, 2011
Steamboat Springs — The head of a local nonprofit organization hopes a series of paracycling events this weekend will increase the exposure of Steamboat Springs as an adaptive sports destination.
Before the USA Pro Cycling Challenge pedals into Steamboat this afternoon, the U.S. Paracycling Challenge will start at 12:15 p.m. at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue. The 4.07-mile time trial will take place on downtown streets and will feature about 40 athletes, many of whom are training for the 2012 London Olympics. A similar race took place during the Pro Cycling Challenge stop in Crested Butte on Tuesday.
Today’s course will take the hand-cyclists fro the Stage 4 finish line at Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street east on U.S. 40 to Mount Werner Road and back.
"It brings a lot of exposure to adaptive sports in our community," said Julie Taulman, executive director of Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports, or STARS. "We'd like to see Steamboat known for more than just able-bodied Olympians. We'd like to see para-Olympians."
On Saturday, two rides for able-bodied and adaptive cyclists will raise funds for STARS, which was founded in 2006 with a focus on adaptive skiing. This past ski season, STARS served more than 300 clients with more than 1,000 skier days. STARS has grown to offer biking, kayaking, hiking, fishing and waterskiing programs.
People still can sign up for Saturday's charity rides. Between 100 and 150 people are expected to participate. The five-mile All-Abilities ride costs $25 and will start at noon at Meadows Parking Lot. The 26-mile Challenge Ride starts at 11:45 a.m. in the Meadows Parking Lot and costs $50. People who raise $500 and have the money turned in by this morning will be given a STARS jersey and VIP access to Friday's Pro Cycling Challenge finish.
Able-bodied people on standard bikes likely are going to make up the majority of participants in Saturday's charity rides, Taulman said. People interested in participating can visit the STARS tent at Fiday's Pro Cycling Challenge finish downtown or during Saturday's start. People also can register until Saturday morning at http://www.steamboatstars.com.
The 5-mile ride will include a few Steamboat youths, including Taulman's 9-year-old son, Kyle, who uses an adaptive bike.
The ride starts at the Meadows Parking Lot, goes up Mount Werner Circle, takes a right on Eagleridge Drive to Walton Creek Road and meets up with the Yampa River Core Trail for a finish at Little Toots Park, where an after-party takes place from 2 to 5 p.m.
"It's primarily bike path the whole way," Taulman said.
The 26-mile ride is for more experienced cyclists, and many of the paracycling pros racing Fiday are expected to participate, Taulman said.
That ride also will leave from the Meadows Parking Lot but will then head out to Lake Catamount along Colo. Highway 131. On the way back to Little Toots Park the ride will take a detour to the historic red schoolhouse in Hilton Gulch. People who want to ride in the 26-mile Challenge Ride and spectate during the Pro Cycling Challenge on Saturday can meet up with the charity riders along the course.
— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com
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