Brace yourself Hotchkiss, because you’re hosting 2,000 bikes and their riders for the 27th annual Ride The Rockies bicycle tour. It was announced today that Hotchkiss has been selected as one of seven communities to host this year’s tour, scheduled June 9-15, 2012.
“This year we wanted to combine six iconic Colorado rides into one rare and beautiful week of cycling,” said Chandler Smith, Tour Director of Ride The Rockies. “We knew we needed Hotchkiss to make our vision a reality.”
Starting in Gunnison on June 10, cyclists will pedal over five legendary mountain passes, through two national parks, and ride the highest continuous byway in the United States. Ride The Rockies will travel to Hotchkiss, Carbondale, Leadville, Granby, Estes Park, and finish in Fort Collins at Odell Brewing Company for the tour end finale on June 15. This will be the 2nd time in the 27-year history of Ride The Rockies that Hotchkiss has been chosen as an overnight host town.
“We are excited to return to Hotchkiss after a three-year hiatus. The community has been a delight to work with and cyclists are sure to enjoy the second stage trek over McClure Pass,” says Chandler Smith, Tour Director.
While the tour route changes each year, the benefits and responsibilities of the host communities remain the same. Benefits include publicity generated, positive economic impact, fund-raising opportunities and a grant provided to an eligible non-profit agency in each host town by The Denver Post Community Foundation. In 2011, cyclists spent an average of $250,000 in a 24-hour time period in each town. Many cyclists also plan to return as tourists. Host communities support the tour by providing lodging, community meals and entertainment for the cyclists.
Over 4,000 applications are expected for the 2,000 spots available for this year’s ride. Riders on past Ride The Rockies have represented all 50 states and 18 foreign countries. Ride The Rockies is a non-competitive event open to cyclists of all ages, and riders are encouraged to ride at their own pace.
For information on Ride The Rockies activities in Hotchkiss, contact Nathan Sponseller, Hotchkiss Community Chamber of Commerce, (970) 872-5031.