Here are the final top 5 cycling stories of 2011, see the first 5 top Colorado Cycling stories
5 - Road Rage near Golden caught on film This is something I think nearly every cyclist has dreamed of. In this case the idiots did not know that Paul was packing, that is 2 HD cameras on both front and back of his bike. This video did end in a prosecution. Others pointed out the slippery slop of personal liberties. Will make for an interesting next 10 years.
4 - ACA integrates into USAC. If you are not a racer than this event was not so historical but for the competitive racer it was a very religious debate and this complex history of Colorado racing made it even more hotly debate as some remembered the "evil" past while others looked for a brighter future. Regardless of which church you belong to, the integration has taken place and 2012 will be a spotlight year for not just the ACA but Colorado racing. I suspect this will be back in the top 10 next year as well but will it be good or bad... will have to wait and see.
3 - Fatalities and accidents, some wish to forget
Not all top stories are pleasent, 2011 had some sad ones, an active cyclist was hit and killed on Lefthand Canyon and another cyclist killed in Westminster and it was on his birthday (more to come on this story in a week or 2, stay tuned). Hwy 36 was the scene of a terrible 3 cyclist accident. All this helps us remember why we fight for cyclists safety both from transportation infrastructure and motorists awareness. It was not the first time the driver of the dump truck in Lefthand Canyon case has had a run-in with cyclists.
Photo Credit: Larry Grossman
2 - Valmont Bike Park Opens. For some it was more a moment of "finally" but on June 11, 2011 the Valmont Bike Park did finally open after years of red tape, planning, fighting and building. Since than it has been the host of the Awesome Boulder Cup and a few other events. However it got off to a rocky start with an excessive amount of injuries so much so that the medical community had renamed the park to the "Boneyard". Some say it was expected, and over time Darwin's theory once again presented itself and accidents have fallen. If you haven't been to the new Valmont Bike Park then what are you waiting for, it is awesome, but when you do go be sure to bring your head and put a helmet on it. Safety first!
1 - Explosive popularity of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. It even caught us by surprise. Remember when the Red Zinger attempted a return to glory twice?! I figured this race would do better but OMG this thing simply BLEW UP. I had co-workers camping out on top of Independence pass and the stories they gave of the crowds sounded like he was in Europe. What happened? Was their something in the water, was baseball really that lame this year. Either way, crowds at every stage were way bigger than expected and the final stage up Lookout and into Denver on a near record temp day were out of this world big. Economist are reporting a huge success but some will debate the success of the race. One thing is for sure, no one will probably doubt the excitement of the race in 2012.