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Tour De Wyoming pedals through Craig

Ben Bulkeley
Steamboat Springs residents Steve Kelton and Pam Duckworth are taking part in the Tour de Wyoming. The tour will pass through Steamboat Springs on Monday night en route to Baggs, Wyo., as part of the six-day tour of Wyoming and northern Colorado.
John F. Russell

At a glance

Amber Travsky, Tour De Wyoming director, said the Tour and its 350 bikers will travel Tuesday through Craig on their way to Baggs.

Because sections of Colorado Highway 13 do not have shoulders, the riders may cross into the road. Travsky urged motorists to be aware of the Tour as it makes its way through northern Moffat County.

For more information, log on to http://www.cyclewyoming....

— When the Tour de Wyoming bike ride started, there were 47 bikers pedalling through one state.

Now, 13 years later, some 350 riders will cover 366 miles through two states.

On July 12, the Tour will leave Laramie, Wyo., before returning to the same spot six days later.

The Tour will weave through Routt and Moffat counties on Tuesday, before continuing up Colorado Highway 13 into Baggs, Wyo.

The Tour, which changes routes from year to year, will make its first journey through Colorado next week.

Having a bike trek that is supposed to feature Wyoming cross state lines wasn’t a mistake, said Amber Travsky, Tour director.

“I got maybe a little grief, having a part of the Tour de Wyoming in Colorado,” she said.

Travsky said after Wyoming, this state has the most riders in the tour, which makes the turn southward easier.

“I bike so much, it’s nice to have new roads,” she said. “I’ve never biked from Steamboat to Craig to Baggs.”

Going through Craig to get to Baggs has other advantages, including more diverse views and a safer path to travel, Travsky added.

“We want to bike the Sierra Madre, and I want to get to Battle Pass because it’s the only pass I haven’t biked in Wyoming,” she said. “That route is gorgeous to bike, and there’s hardly any traffic. The only question is, ‘How do you get to it?'”

Had the course come from the north, the Tour would have had to place 350 riders on Interstate 80, Travsky said.

“Coming from the south has the added attraction of starting and ending in Laramie, where I am from,” she said. “About 60 of the riders call Laramie home, too. So, it’s really handy.”

In total, there will be almost 380 people on the road, and the tour can’t fit anymore, Travsky said.

“Not at this point – we filled up in March in the first nine minutes,” she said. “It just fills up really fast. We might have to go to a lottery next year.

“We still want people to come out and watch, and get enthused for next year.”

Along with the 350 bikers, there will be more than 25 volunteers stationed along the road to give bikers water and food.

“The one thing that makes this ride unique is that it is 100 percent volunteers,” she said. “There are no paid employees. It’s all driven by volunteers, including myself.”

Travsky said no extra volunteers would be needed for the ride by the time it hits Craig

“But, it’s always a treat if some enterprising person wanted to have a lemonade stand along the way,” she said.

The Wyoming Governor’s council on physical education and sports initially organized the Tour, but after three years of state financial backing, organizers realized they didn’t need the state’s money.

The ride pays for itself through rider fees, Travsky said.

A new organization, Cycle Wyoming, now runs the Tour.

“It was created to promote safe cycling throughout the state,” Travsky said. “The Tour de Wyoming is the major fundraiser.”

About 173 miles of the Tour are uphill, which makes this year’s ride the most difficult, Travsky said.

“I’ve driven the whole course, and I know this whole route will be the toughest ever,” she said. “Normally, we don’t go into the mountains this much, but we’ll have four mountain passes this time.”

With an average biker age of 50, it’s the Tour’s most ambitious trek, Travsky said.

“It surprises people when they see that most people in the group are between 40 and 60 years old,” she said. “But it’s not just a bunch of old fogies – the youngest rider is 8 years old.”


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