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February 04, 2012 - Inaugural "Ride The Rockies" Route Announcement Party

What: Announcement of the route for Ride The Rockies 2012 (scheduled for June 9-15), with contests, prizes, live auctions and entertainment

Where: Blake Street Tavern

When: Saturday, February 4, 2012

Time: 6-9 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $30 online/$40 door

Beneficiary: The Denver Post Community Foundation

EMCEE: Ron Kiefel, seven-time Tour de France cyclist, Olympic bronze medalist and Bicycling Hall of Fame member

Executive Director: Chandler Smith

Music: Something Underground

Of note: 2012 Ride The Rockies host communities: Gunnison, Hotchkiss, Carbondale, Leadville, Granby, Estes Park and Fort Collins

Sponsors: Suncor Energy, Odell Brewery, Deep Rock Water...Presenting sponsor Wells Fargo heads a number of sponsors for Ride The Rockies

Menu: Complimentary hors d'oeuvres, Odell Brewing Company beer and cash bar

Attire: "Cycling tuxedo" (favorite RTR jersey and finest jacket or jewels)

Information: http://www.ridetherockies.com

Event Coordinator: Elizabeth Norris, RTR Community Relations Manager

Blacktie Photos by: Lisa Perry


 Celebrity Tricycle Race competitors (l to r): RTR Tour Director Chandler Smith, 9News sports anchor Susie Wargin, U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame member Ron Kiefel, and cycle champ (two and three wheels) Magen Long
Celebrity Tricycle Race competitors (l to r): RTR Tour Director Chandler Smith, 9News sports anchor Susie Wargin, U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame member Ron Kiefel, and cycle champ (two and three wheels) Magen Long

On Friday, Feb. 3, a major storm closed down Denver schools and businesses with more than a foot of snow. The first-ever Ride The Rockies Route Announcement Party was scheduled the next day. Was there ever a thought of canceling? No way. Did people show up? You bet. Around 175 RTR veterans, sponsors and supporters packed the Blake Street Tavern to get the scoop on this year’s tour, down some beers  and try for prizes from a Trek bike to coveted, guaranteed spots in the 2012 tour. Many wore time-honored bike jerseys from past Rides—one from the inaugural event—that sparked a slew of anecdotes. Laughs were contagious, hugs were continual...and that was just the pre-party. Imagine 2,000 cyclists during the six-day tour.

Despite the obvious camaraderie of veteran riders, even newcomers felt welcomed and part of the RTR spirit. Local favorites Something Underground rocked the stage throughout the evening, and a hilarious Celebrity Tricycle Race saw USA cyclist Magen Long showing her talent for three wheels as she took the crown competing against Bicycle Hall of Famer Ron Kiefel, RTR Director Chandler Smith and 9News sports anchor Susie Wargin. Guests had the opportunity to guess all the community stops on this year’s ride in a pre-announcement contest—winners received a guaranteed spot in the annual event. Community representatives were on hand from all seven 2012 host cities: Gunnison, Hotchkiss, Carbondale, Leadville, Granby, Estes Park and Fort Collins. Other lucky partygoers won entertainment packages and a Trek bicycle from onsite drawings, and a live auction raised money for The Denver Post Community Foundation.
 
Lottery applications for Ride The Rockies are accepted from Feb. 5-24, 2012, with 3,500 expected to register for 2,000 spots. The 27th annual non-competitive tour features five scenic mountain passes (McClure, Independence, Fremont, Ute and Milner), plus two national parks, one century option, a trek along Trail Ridge Road and a total of 24,937 vertical feet and 442 miles over the course of six days. The fully-supported ride incorporates a King of the Mountain Stage co-branded by the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

All of the proceeds from Ride The Rockies benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation, with funds raised returned directly to the greater Denver metropolitan area. Additionally, a $5,000 grant is awarded to each host community. For more information, go to http://denverpostcommunity.com. For details about this year’s bike tour, visit www.RidetheRockies.com. 

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