Two Weld County towns to be host communities for this year’s Pedal The Plains bicycle tour
April 17, 2017
Pedal The Plains 2017
Pedal The Plains is a partnership between the Denver Post Community Foundation and the Office of Gov. Hickenlooper, according to a news release. The bike ride celebrates the agricultural roots and frontier heritage of the Eastern Plains of Colorado. The ride is an opportunity for cyclists to learn about farming, ranching and other local industries while experiencing the culture, history and landscape of Eastern Plains communities, the release stated.
Registration is now open online at http://www.pedaltheplains.com, and walk-on registration will be available for all of the tour’s ride offerings.
Highlights of the 2017 tour include:
» The Wild Animal Sanctuary
» Auer Bird Valley Hunting Preserve
» Ch2E Tire Recycling Center
» Cooksey Farms
» Roggen Farmers Elevator Association
» Roggen Telephone Company
» Bijou’s Canals and Reservoir
» 70 Ranch
» Chapin Dairy Farm
Source: Pedal The Plains news release
Colorado's Pedal The Plains bicycle tour is making its way to Weld County this September.
The sixth annual Pedal The Plains Bicycle Tour will be Sept. 15-17. It boasts a 177-mile route over three days and features two Weld County communities as host towns. The route, announced Monday, will take riders from Kersey to Keenesburg to Brush before swinging riders back to Kersey for its conclusion. It is the first time all host towns are participating in the bike tour.
Pedal The Plains is held each year to celebrate Colorado's agricultural roots, and the state's frontier heritage on the Eastern Plains. When participants aren't pedaling through the plains, they can enjoy locally sourced food, beer gardens, live entertainment and the welcoming community spirit of rural Colorado, according to a news release.
Riders also will bike through the towns of Hudson, Wiggins, Fort Morgan, Snyder, Stoneham, Weldona and Orchard.
According to tour director Renee Wheelock, the ride gets about 1,000 riders each year, but coordinators expect more — about 1,200 — this year because of the ride's location near the Front Range. Christian Morgan, town administrator for Kersey, said that number might even get up to 1,500.
"We are very fortunate to be selected as the host city for this event," Morgan said. "Pedal The Plains has been going for several years now and each year it gets more and more interest. This year we're hoping that it's one of the best and biggest years ever."
Pedal The Plains also provides economic benefits and opportunities for host communities through lodging, restaurants and retail businesses, as well as entertainment, community meals, home stays and transportation, according to the news release.
Wheelock said on average, between all three communities, the economic impact of the bike ride is about $130,000. Coordinators are expecting that number — or a higher one — this year because they're expecting a larger overall turnout.
Morgan said Pedal The Plains will do more for the town than bring in money, though. He said it could expose participants to the small town of Kersey and showcase the town's growing recreation and business opportunities.
"There's a lot of opportunity in Kersey going forward, whether you're a small business owner or a person looking for a great place to raise a family," he said. "They can discover Kersey in a whole new way."
Proceeds from the ride benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation in support of the Colorado FFA Foundation and Colorado 4-H, according to the release. In addition, Pedal The Plains will award a separate grant to each of the three host communities for an organization or community initiative of their choice.
In its inaugural year, the route included the communities of Yuma, Wray and Burlington, Wheelock said. Last year, she said the route consisted of mostly southeastern counties. Each year coordinators try to incorporate new towns that haven't been involved in the bike race before, she said.
The event also is not as demanding as the six-day Ride the Rockies tour in the mountains, the release stated.
Options are available for the three-day tour, including a 6-mile family fun ride in Brush or a century one-day ride from Keenesburg to Brush. Lodging accommodations range from tents to RVs to private home stays. This year's registration includes entry into the Wild Animal Sanctuary, which will host the last education stop on day one.
"There's no better way to connect with our rural communities than by taking time out to ride a bike through them," said Gov. John Hickenlooper in a news release. "This tour is the perfect way to bring an economic boost to three of our stellar rural communities while wrapping up the summer's riding season."