Kids races, bike polo planned before Wednesday's race finish in Steamboat Springs

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— Spectators hunkering down to secure their spot at the finish line will be treated to some unique entertainment before the USA Pro Challenge racers sprint into downtown Wednesday.

The Kids Strider Bike Cup will be from 1 to 2 p.m. at the finish line. That will be followed by a bike polo exhibition from 2 to 4 p.m.

Representatives from the South Dakota-based Strider company will be in Steamboat Springs to run the competition for kids. Strider builds no-pedal bikes that help transition kids to bikes with pedals.

The company will have some bikes available for children to use. Kids with Strider bikes should bring their own. Races will be organized for children 3 and younger and those who are 4 or 5 years old.

If you go

Wednesday in downtown Steamboat Springs:

1 to 2 p.m. Kids Strider Bike Cup

2 to 4 p.m. Polo exhibition

4:45 p.m. USA Pro Challenge Stage 3 finish

5 to 7 p.m. Loose Change performs

Getting around

Daily road closure information during the event will be available by calling 511 or by visiting www.cotrip.org.

Share your experience

■ Share a photo or race-day story by emailing share@SteamboatToday.com or clicking here.

■ Tweet with the hashtags #ProChallenge and #SteamboatPC for tweets about the USA Pro Challenge and the Bike Town USA Stages.

Once the kids are worn out from racing, the focus will shift to local adults competing in bike polo. The sport uses bikes instead of horses and should make for some solid entertainment as the racers make their way over Rabbit Ears Pass into downtown Steamboat.

Steamboat resident Jason Peasley is organizing the exhibition. He said he came up with the idea during a USA Pro Challenge planning meeting.

“I threw out bike polo, and they said, 'That sounds fun. Make it happen,'” Peasley said.

Bike polo by no means is an organized sport in Steamboat, though it has grown in popularity in more urban areas and some mountain towns. In Colorado, there are bike polo clubs in Fort Collins, Boulder, Carbondale, Durango and Telluride. In Steamboat, it still is more of a rogue sport with groups of friends casually getting together and playing.

Peasley was able to round up four teams of players. The plan for Wednesday is to hold a three-on-three tournament.

“It should make for some pretty entertaining spectating,” Peasley said.

The USA Pro Challenge cyclists are expected to cross the finish line at about 4:45 p.m. The awards ceremony will be held soon afterward followed by a performance from the band Loose Change from 5 to 7 p.m.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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