Colorado Cycling History

John Wilcockson accepts board position at US Cycling Monument

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From Red Kite Prayer by John Wilkerson

The story began in the early-1970s when a 19-year-old Mo Siegel founded a small herbal tea company, Celestial Seasonings, to supply local health food stores. Siegel and his hippie friends, who handpicked herbs and wild berries for their teas, were environmentalists, and after their nascent business passed a million dollars in sales, Siegel decided he wanted to generate awareness of cycling’s environmental benefits (and also publicize the company’s best-selling tea, Red Zinger), by organizing a bike race.

The Red Zinger Classic started out as a modest two-day, three-stage event, with a short time trial, a hilly road race through Colorado’s Front Range, and a criterium in North Boulder Park. It had a tiny budget of $50,000 but heaps of enthusiasm from Siegel’s Boulder employees and local volunteers. The inaugural edition, in 1975, was the one that attracted Phinney to the sport. It did the same two years later for Michael Aisner, a journalism student at the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus, who was moonlighting as a DJ for a Denver radio station and stumbled into a career as a promoter. It happened like this….

Read the full history at Red Kite Prayer

20th Anniversary of Andy Hampsten's Alpe d'Huez victory

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While this year the Tour de France will not be heading up the grand l'Alpe d'Huez but we can still celebrate America's first victory up that climb 20 years ago which was done by Boulder cyclist, Andy Hampsten. Andy became the first American to win the prestige Tour de France stage up Alpe d'Huez. Some have tried to celebrate Andy's performance in the past with the painting of Flagstaff, aka l'alpe d'Flag but city officials killed it quickly.


Boulder/Denver Cycling History Project

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How extensive is your Boulder/Denver History knowledge? Can you help presearve history and fill in all missing gaps you know of. With the comments I'll rebuild the page. Should be fun. I'll also gladly take photos to post, send them to kris at 303cycling . com

See other past Boulder History Articles


Boulder Velo Racing Team cira late 80's?

North Boulder Park Criterium

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Description: North Boulder Criterium is a Colorado cycling iconic race. For many years this race served as finishing race in the Red Zinger Bike Race. While this doesn't the the award for oldest race in Colorado, City Park in Denver has that, this one probably has the most exposure and attendance than any other race. Starting in 1974 this race has see a lot of great racing though the course of the first to decades was larger than the one used today [Anyone know the official old course?].

Chicken Farm races from the 80's

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Before 8spd. was invented the Boulder Cycling Club and Team Monger were putting on very informal races Sterling Circle on east Valmont.

Apparently the developers had built the roads but no or few buildings were in place so every Tuesday riders would show up to race in 1 race... men, women, beginners to pros. The BVC (Boulder Velo Club) even had no permits, no cops (approval) and no officials... just riders, their bikes and their passion to compete. The only requirement for the BVC event was that you joined the Boulder Velo Club which was $12... that is one fee for the entire year! Since the race was not an official race riders didn't have race numbers so scoring was "blue helmet guy, green bike, etc. The course was a 1/3 mile loop on what is now called Sterling Circle. The format was a 40 lap points race, sprinting every 4th lap for 3 deep points. Racing started in April with 20 lap races (due to sunlight) season ended with an omnium, which consisted of a points race, a miss-n-out, a one-lap flying start TT, and a scratch race. The BVC event was started by Harry Buss and Dave Finamore.

The Team Monger event was a permitted race under USCF/BRAC and was only open to Cat 4 and juniors since its purpose was to act as a learning crit series for beginners. This development was owned by the Eggleston who just so happen to have a son at CU and was the roommate of the guy who made the Team Monger race happen. This relationship made it easy to get the permission to race there.

Regardless of which race you did the course had three hazards: Two concrete drainage "troughs" and the sharp turn at the north end. The trough at the southeast corner had a two-inch gap between the concrete and the asphalt, which was fixed free of charge one day by one of the racers, who was a concrete contractor. The real hazard was hitting the inside curb, which I don't think ever happened.

"Some years we'd run the points race series too long and had to cut the omnium short for lack of daylight. Everyone looked forward to the omnium and we'd get a big turnout."

Remember when.... Cyclocross in the 80's

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Thanks to one our readers for this story, which will be the beginning of an ongoing series of cycling back the day in Colorado.

Remember one of the first cyclocross series to ever be held in the Boulder area? Chris Grealish put it on in the late 80's. Was David Towle playing MC Hammer on the speakers?

Thanks to Kevin Jordan for this story!

Way back in the late eighties Chris Grealish introduced cyclocross to Boulder. He put on a five or six race series in a small field just south of Colorado Blvd and across from the now US West site. They were building some condos out there and had broken ground which meant small dirt piles and a couple of ditches and such, perfect for a small cross venue. I had no idea what a cyclocross race was but I heard it involved riding your mountain bike through some kind of obstacle course or something. My bike was a 1988 Specialized Rockhopper complete with a rack on the back, a rigid fork and toe straps. I didn't’t realize I would have to actually carry the bike or I may have taken the rack off. That might have gotten it down to 38 pounds or so.

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