Bicycle Colorado

Tour of the Moon—past and present

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Madeline and Scott on Rimrock Rd
Madeline and Scott in the Monument

I had the opportunity to participate in the ICON Tour of the Moon bicycle event this month, the fourth year of the event and fourth time I’ve ridden.

The directors of Tour of the Moon have chosen Bicycle Colorado as a primary beneficiary, making a major donation to improving Colorado bicycling each year, which makes me appreciate the ride all the more. Thank you to all our event members for their support and a big shout-out to Tour of the Moon.

Beautiful vistas and a rich history

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Independence Rock CO Natl Monument
Independence Rock

We have so many great rides in Colorado and this is one of the gems, plus a personal favorite.

In 1984, I was one of fifty cyclists who rolled into Grand Junction to spend two and a half weeks riding in the iconic Colorado National Monument as cast members and extras in the movie American Flyers. I have been in awe ever since, and I never tire of the beautiful vistas and amazing geology of this national treasure.

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Dennis - Sue Lloyd - Bill Nagel pace line
My riding companions

The ride through the monument along Rim Rock Drive became known as the tour of the moon during the early eighties when the Coors Classic bike race held a stage on this route. Many of the views are lunar-like, thus the name.

Along the ride, I shared some of the stories from watching the Coors Classic tour of the moon stage and from days filming American Flyers in the monument, which is always enjoyable.

I also stopped at most of the overlooks and just marveled at the amazing views. And I encouraged my fellow riders at every opportunity to look over at the monument from the road along the base and just to the north. These views are almost as stunning as the views from above.

Bicycling, the perfect way to experience the world

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Madeline and Katie in CO Natl Monument
Madeline and Katie

One of my favorite aspects of the event is hearing the comments and reactions of individuals who are experiencing the monument for the first time. I spoke with more than a dozen first-time riders who had the most wonderful day of riding, including two of my colleagues here at Bicycle Colorado, Katie and Madeline.

The beauty and wonder of the monument, along with the ride organizers’ excellent job producing and supporting the event, made it a fabulous day for them.

Traveling along the 100 kilometer (62 mile) route, I reflected on something I often think about, how bicycling is the very best way to enjoy the sights and sounds of the beauty all around. It’s fast enough (in comparison to walking) that you can cover a number of miles but slow enough (in comparison to a car) to really enjoy the views, experience the surroundings and hear the sounds of nature around you.

There is nothing better for me than traveling by bicycle to truly experience and enjoy the many places I visit. And it’s extra special when I’m visiting one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever ridden and reflecting on the many stories, past and present, that accompany the Tour of the Moon.

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Aging in Oak casks - some previously used for aging bourbon-other liqour
The day after, in Palisade: Merlot aging in Bourbon oak barrels

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Jonny Love making wine - regular mixing of the fermenting crushed grapes
Palisade: My friend Jonny, making wine
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Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.

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Bicycle Colorado
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Calendars have arrived! First shipment goes out tomorrow. Get one for YOUR Denver city officials at… https://t.co/WApt7aFOF1

  • Thanks to everyone who came out wanting to do their part to make our streets safer at last night’s Bicycle-Friendly Driver course in Lakewood! We did hear feedback that our cookies were too small—we heard you, we’ll try and do better 😂.
  • Now that’s just mean. No bike (or bicyclist!) deserves this!
  • Beautiful day for a bike commute. #bicyclecolorado