No Pro Tour? No problemo!
By Mike Depot
The USA Pro Challenge has been a boon for bicyclists in Colorado. Along with the success of B-Cycles bike sharing along the Front Range and Gov. Hickenlooper’s proposed 100 million dollar investment in bicycle infrastructure, the Pro Challenge generated an excitement for bicycling we haven’t seen since Lance’s run of Tour de France doping wins. Then comes the news this week that organizers are pulling the plug on this year’s race to properly line up sponsors to guarantee sustainable growth and the future of the Pro Challenge in Colorado.
Whatevs! So no going down the Capital this year to watch the pros dazzle us with displays of speed and agility, no scouting out a spot on Independence Pass to watch these kit-matching warriors defy altitude and steep grades. No Bueno. Or so it seems.
There’s a vacuum here, you see. The energy is still there, waiting to be used and all it needs is either a bit of prodding or an avenue of release. The following is a list of alternative bicycle activities that will help fill the void created by the demise of this year’s Pro Challenge:
- Dress like a clown and ride to Boulder via the new U.S. 36 Bikeway: Krusty or Bobo don’t got nothin’ on you as you traverse the recently opened bikeway that takes you safely into the confines of what some people call the Berkeley of the Rockies. There’s no bigger challenge than pedaling with unnecessarily large shoes, while your clown pants repeatedly get caught in your drivetrain and white greasy make-up smears into your eyeball leaving you blind and desperate. Once you go clown racing you never go back.
- Create your own “Tour” in the “Denver Pro Ice Cream Tour” race: Little Man, High Point Creamery, Sweet Action, Liks, Bonnie Brae – there’s a hit list of ice cream parlours awaiting you as you race to burn off the calories only to put them right back on. King of Scoops, Fastest Ice Cream Headache, and the coveted Dairy Stained Yellow Jersey are all up for grabs in this exciting sugary event that will leave you bonking and heaving by the side of road!
- Wait atop Lookout Mountain on any Sunday morning: As your fellow bike enthusiast chugs up Lookout, you’ll be there along the “racecourse” to throw water down their back while screaming “Allez, poupou! Allez!” directly into their panting face. What’s great about this is, really, any Sunday is a great day to dress up like a red devil, furry chicken or obscene sumo wrestler and yell at complete strangers whose heart rates are completely maxed out.
- Make “Bike to Work Day” “Race to Free Swag Day”: Instead of encouraging Denverites to bike to work more often, why not instead make May 20th the day you and your friends race station to station snatching up as many free snacks and cheap plastic bottles as possible. The person who collects the most banana halves and cinnamon raisin bagels will earn a trophy made of key chains.
- Create a Critical Mass event whose main goal is Spandex promotion: Critical Mass is great and all – we want bicycles to be seen as a presence in Denver – but an opportunity to promote spandex as a viable fashion options is equally as important. Imagine a world where every man, woman, child and chihuahua is sporting some tight and grabby poly-blended shorts. No, really, imagine it.
- Reenact bike scene from Great Muppet Caper movie: Summer is a fine time to dress up like a giant puppet and go for a bike ride. Find some English 3-speed bicycles, a Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear costume and learn how to balance one foot on your saddle. Kermit knows it’s not easy being green but it’s also not easy losing your favorite bike race for a year.
Let’s stay weird in 2017 but hope all this ice cream eating, costume fun, spandex wearin’ good time happens while watching the Pros scream by five feet away at 40 mph!
(Disclaimer: Photo not was taken by or owned by Bikes Together)