Steamboat Springs Although Bike to Work Week officially concluded Friday, the streets will remain the bikers' domain with the return of nearly 2,000 road cyclists this afternoon.
After 345 miles and seven mountain passes in six days, participants in the 13th annual Bicycle Tour of Colorado complete their final leg today. They will depart Kremmling in the morning for a final 73 miles up 9,527-foot Gore Pass and down to Colorado Highway 131, through Oak Creek and back into Steamboat Springs, where the race left June 23.
This is the third time the BTOC has visited Steamboat, but the first time in the history of the tour - one race director Kent Powell referred to as "a little, hardcore tour" - that the 418-mile Alpine loop will start and finish in Steamboat.
Matt Windt, special events director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, said that tour organizers are planning a barbecue from noon to 4 p.m. at Steamboat Springs High School, when the bulk of riders should be arriving.
The BTOC is not one of the chamber's featured "Steamboat in the Summertime" events, but Windt said the chamber helped the tour in terms of service support and coordinating with local agencies.
"We got a lot of support from the city and the school district was great to work with," Windt said, reminding drivers to be mindful of the influx of bike traffic and businesses to be aware of the "extra jolt" in visitation.
The event is a tour and not a race, so participants will be arriving at their own pace throughout the afternoon. The BTOC brought riders this year from 47 states for a tour with nightly stops along the way in Walden, Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Leadville and Kremmling, with a layover day, Wednesday in Copper Mountain.
Local participants included Chris Diamond, Steve Southworth, Carol Milligan, George Krawzoff, Jack Dysart, Bob Weiss and Bill Stuart.