By Mary Jo Coulehan
Special to The SUN
Ride the Rockies has announced its 2013 route, which includes Pagosa Springs.
A Denver Post-sponsored event, Ride the Rockies is celebrating its 28th year by touring southwest Colorado.
The route begins in Telluride, continues to Cortez, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa, Salida and Canon City, and ends in Colorado Springs.
The ride begins June 9 and ends June 15. The tour will arrive in Pagosa Springs on Tuesday, June 11, with an overnight stay
Ride the Rockies continues to grow, with close to 3,500 applications and the number of riders chosen by electronic lottery capped at 2,000. Three mountain passes on the 2013 tour, including Lizard Head, Poncha and Wolf Creek are incentive attractive features for many of the cyclists. This year’s ride will also include a trip across the Royal Gorge Bridge.
Festivities in Pagosa for the June 11 overnight stay are being coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce. Cyclist camping will take place at the Pagosa Springs High School campus with the majority of local hotel rooms also being booked on the night of June 11.
A Party in the Park will take place Tuesday afternoon and evening with a large food court hosted by Pagosa nonprofits, a beer garden and a free live concert. The festivities are offered not only to riders, but to the community as well.
Ride the Rockies will offer a $5,000 grant award to one local non-profit organization in each stayover community. Proceeds from the event benefit the Denver Post Community Foundation.
Applications for the grant and food vendor spots for nonprofits will be made available soon by the Chamber of Commerce. For more information on the ride, or to enter the lottery, visit www.ridetherockies.com.