Colorado’s Coolest Bike Race Is Also a Music Festival
Colorado's inaugural Velorama was a colorful combination of bike racing, music, and fan-friendly spectacle designed to usher in a new—and hopefully profitable—era for U.S. road racing. It had a lot of moving parts, including a four-day pro men's race, a two-day pro women's race, evening pro and amateur combined races, loads of spectator activities, and a main stage with some heavy hitting bands. Denver's burgeoning RiNo Art's District, which is undergoing a colorful metamorphosis, replacing rows of dreary warehouses with luxurious apartments, breweries, and art galleries, played host, with the higher stages taking place in the nearby mountains.
Photo: Spotted near the summit of Golden Gate Canyon, this trio was led by "Giddy-up" (center). When I asked him what his favorite thing was about the race, he replied, "You know, just giddy-up. You get out here and you giddy-up. It's what it's all about. If you ain't giddyin', you ain't up. So you gotta put them together."
Velorama was a lovefest for bikes and riders of all shapes and sizes and abilities. In a parking lot between the race course and expo area, a freestyle BMX show featuring some seriously talented riders added some rad to the festival.
Olympic cyclist Mike Friedman, founder of Pedaling Minds, shared a lesson on energy conservation at the event, having kids pedal to feel how much effort it takes to power a lightbulb.
Bob Gregorio, 61, is a mountain bike pioneer. Here he is with his trusty steed, La Caballona, Spanish for the Big Mare. "I had a dream my entire life to do a long bicycle adventure,” he says. “In 2007, I rode this bicycle from Durango to Heredia, Costa Rica. I designed it to endure many miles of unknown territory, using components I thought I could replace anywhere. I was able to complete the 4,500 mile journey in three and a half months."
We got an inside peek at team prep inside Rally Cycling's RV, where the athletes and directors laid out the plan of attack before each stage. They are the top Continental—or division three—team in North America, and recently announced they will be stepping up to Pro Continental status in 2018, which means they can compete in World Tour events like the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.
Durango, Colorado, native Sepp Kuss (pronounced "koos"), 22, is really good at scaling mountains on his road bike. He's having a breakout year on Rally Cycling, mixing it up with the world's best on some of North America's baddest climbs.
This talented trio has a reason to smile. Rob Britton (left) recently won the yellow jersey at the excruciating Tour of Utah, and Huffman (right) won two stages at this year's Tour of California. Danny Pate, a Tour de France veteran, has been a mentor for both.
A family of five spotted along the course.
Storms come and go in a flash around Colorado, especially in the mountains. At nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, this spectator rigged up some pretty respectable rain gear. Fans often ride to the summit before or after the riders come through.
This nurse made sure that the slogan of retired German superstar Jens Voigt won't be forgotten anytime soon.