Weather hasn’t been friendly to cyclists
As if the brutal winter weather wasn’t bad enough for area cyclists, now it’s turned into a not-very-kind spring as well. While the hard core are getting in the miles by keeping cold-weather apparel handy, the rides so far have been sporadic for those who cycle mainly on weekends and when the weather is pleasant.
It makes the decision by the sponsoring Great Divide Ski, Bike & Hike shop officials to delay their annual St. Patrick’s Day ride a month this year look like a smart move. The event will take place, weather permitting, at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Refractories West building at the industrial park.
For most, this is a low-key, 38-mile early-season training jaunt to the Transportation Test Center and back. But the advantage of an out-and-back course is that cyclists can choose their distance by turning around wherever they would like depending on training level, the weather that day, etc.
This is a social ride with no entry fee, and participants will have the opportunity to demo the newest Specialized and Trek bike models.
Two Pueblo natives have changed teams this year as they continue to test the professional ranks. Carla Flores, a four-time masters national road champion for her age division (50 this year), is riding for the Excel Sports Cycing Team in the women’s elite division. And Danny Pate, native of the Steel City but now a resident of Colorado Springs, has switched to the Slipstream-Chipotle pro team after riding for TIAA-CREF last year. A pro since 2000 and now 28 years old, Pate had two great criterium rides in France already this year but suffered a crash on a cobblestone section of the U.S. Open Cycling Championships held last Saturday in winter-like conditions in Virginia.
Officials of the Red Canyon Century are gearing up for another big event on June 9 in Canon City, and riders have the option of a 25- or 50-mile loop in addition to the 104-mile full meal. Among the many amenities is lunch afterward at The Winery at the Holy Cross Abbey, where the ride starts and finishes.
Off-road cyclists have the chance to race April 22 at the South Shore canyons south of Lake Pueblo, starting near the dam. Separate 15-mile courses for beginners and expert cyclists will begin at 9 a.m. The event is sponsored by the Southern Colorado Trail Builders.
The eighth annual CSU-Pueblo X-Challenge has an expanded format that will have participants tackle a low ropes course at the university, mountain bike on the River Trail system to City Park, run an orienteering course in City Park and bike to Lake Pueblo where they will navigate a kayak in the Pueblo Reservoir. This is for 2- and 4-person teams.
Over the next month, runners will have a kaleidoscope of racing opportunities ranging from several attempts at the 5K distance to a 10+-mile trail run (the annual Matt & Ben’s Trail Mix) later this month as the schedule below indicates. The Trail Mix on April 29 is run on the dirt trails to the north and west above the Nature Center. This is part of the Southern Colorado Runners’ Prediction Series, and it is a no-frills but challenging adventure. There will be no aid stations on the course, so runners are urged to bring their own water/hydration for the jaunt.
Note that the Spank Blasing 5K on April 21 is part of a two-race series that includes the Cinco de Mayo 10K on May 6. Runners can also run just one of them, if they prefer. Note that Blossom Day race on May 5 in Canon City will be run on the newly expanded river trail system and will include both a 5-mile run and a 5K run/walk.
Next month is the 29th annual Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day, a popular experience for runners of all ability levels. The basic entry with a T-shirt and lunch, including a drink, is $35 this year. With a long-sleeved shirt (the best design) it’s $40, or runners can go for a short-sleeved technical shirt package for $45. Boulder will have 72 waves this year beginning at 7 a.m. New this year is that runners will get split times for each mile.
Being who they are, some runners look for difficult challenges, the tougher the better. Hence, the Chaffee County Running Club’s second annual A Run Through Time marathon and half-marathon drew 190 competitors, 181 of whom finished the grueling trek from downtown Salida to the ghost town of Turret and back (halfway up for the half-marathoners). This marathon has an altitude climb of 3,800 feet and the half a rise of 2,000 feet. The 90 marathon finishers included four from areas just east of Pueblo – Art Long, 37, of Florence in 4:44:52; Susan Gebhart, 52, of Penrose in 5:12:31; David Law, 36, of Florence in 6:24:34; and Daniel Riggs, 43, of Canon City in 6:56:37. The race had affordable entry fees, and participants received a wicking synthetic long-sleeved T-shirt.
• Saturday – Panther Run, 5K run and kids fun run, 10 a.m, City Park (568-2941).
• April 21 – Spank Blasing 5K run and walk, CSU-Pueblo campus (549-2013).
• April 28 – CSU-Pueblo X-Challenge, adventure race, 8 a.m., CSU-P campus (549-2619).
• April 29 – Ben & Matt’s Trail Mix (Prediction Series race), 10+M, 9 a.m., Pueblo Nature Center (547-8182).
• April 29 – That Dam Run, 10K, 8 a.m., John Martin Reservoir in Hasty (719-456-0452).
• May 5 – Blossom Day Run, 5K run/walk & 5M run, downtown Canon City, (719-269-8790).
• May 6 – Cinco de Mayo Run, 5K & 10K run and 1.5M fun walk, 7:30 a.m. (564-7659).
• May 13 – Yappy Dog Run (Prediction Series race), 8.6M, 8 a.m., South Mesa Elementary School, 23701 Preston Road, (543-6982).
• May 20 – Survival Run, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., Mineral Palace Park (947-2682).
• June 2 – Run for Rio, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., Rye High School (947-3682).
Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at email@example.com