Featured Stories

  • Jefferson County PASSED 4-foot Bike Lanes

    11/24/15 UPDATE: By Bill Plock

    Jefferson County Board of Commissioners just approved the new road template!!! It calls for 4 foot bike shoulders on new or redesigned roads that are part of the master Jeffco bike plan already in place. HUGE win for cyclists and those who feel cycling is a vital part of our community. Advocacy, emails and phone calls DO work and seemed to play a significant role in the heated discussion with commissioners. Commissioner Rosier abstained from voting and commissioners Tighe and Szabo voted in favor. In testimony and comments, it is clear that policy makers, rightly or wrongly, thrive on data that supports their beliefs. Costs for improved bike infrastructure weighs on the impact of more roads for more cars. It seems easy to view the overall small marginal cost of adding shoulders or bike infrastructure as a no-brainer, but the commissioners constantly questioned the need versus adding more roads in general. We must continue to show the value of cycling as a vital part of a thriving community. One argument against approving the measure was what if the same money was used to improve parking and infrastructure for an aging population that doesn't ride and needs easier access to facilities and businesses? We are all fighting for what we love, what we feel is important and there is only so much money available. Education, enthusiasm, empathy and enlightened thinking while understanding the needs of all constituents are paramount. What a civics lesson learned today and so grateful cyclists (and motorists) will have safer roads in the future......

    Message from Dave Evans - Chair, Bike Jeffco

    The Jefferson Board of County Commissioners will meet on Tuesday November 24th to vote on the adoption, or rejection, of a proposed upgrade to the County road template to include four feet wide bicycle lanes. This template will be used for the design of all new collector and arterial roads in the County.

    It’s adoption would obviously be a major boon for cyclists in the County, making safe many roads currently deemed unsuitable for riding.

    Unfortunately, two of our three County Commissioners are not convinced of this.

    In order to convince them, Bike Jeffco needs your help.

    If you have not already done so, please email the Commissioners to show your support.

    Things to emphasize:

    -Safety Bicycle lanes on roadways provide cyclists and motorists with a simple visual indicator of where each vehicle should be on the roadway.
    -Economic vitality: Attracting local and visiting cyclists to our county is good for the bottom line. They ride here and they spend money here.
    -Consistency with county policy: The proposed changes are consistent with several policies in the county's adopted Comprehensive Plan and Bicycle Master Plan. Failure to adopt the changes would directly conflict with adopted policy.
    -Public health: A rising percentage of Jefferson County adults are obese, placing a growing financial burden on the county and Colorado. To reduce this burden, Jeffco should join the growing number of communities providing residents and visitors with safe public spaces to ride for both recreation and commuting.

    Remember to include your name and address at the end of the message.

    Another way you could help is to attend the meeting at 8:00am on Tuesday November 24th at the Jefferson County Admin Building, 100 Jefferson County Pkwy. Golden. At this time, we don’t yet know if the Board will take public testimony. Everyone who attends will receive a bicycle pin to show their support.

    Please forward this information to all your friends and associates.

    Thanks so much for your support.

  • The Amy D Foundation: Amazing Raffle, Amazing Cause

    By Cheri Felix

    Every once in awhile we find a cause that fuels us. That propels us to do good. Makes us do well by others.

    It is beyond apparent that Amy Dombroski* made people feel something. Feel enough that now that she is gone people want to do good both in her name and in the spirit of who she was. "The Amy D. Foundation encourages and supports young women through cycling, inspiring the celebration of healthy challenges and empowering the confident pursuit of lofty dreams."

    Read the FAQ's below about this amazing raffle. But it's more than a raffle. It's an opportunity to win big no matter where you fall in the results. No matter if you even race. And even if your raffle ticket doesn't get chosen (but what if it did?!?!?) we all win. Because when we come together as a community we all win.
    Read the info below and then Go buy some raffle tickets!

    If you win the beer a day at Ruebens please invite me for a turn on the stool.

    "There is scenery and terrain change and fresh air...cyclocross is for everyone, from the working mum to a Belgian professional." -Amy D.

    *Amy Dombroski was tragically killed in a bike vs. truck accident October 10, 2013 - read the full story HERE.

    303: What is the Boulder Experience Raffle?
    Lance - WOL: It's a raffle of two packages from a variety of sponsors, benefiting the AmyD Foundation. The total estimated value of the grand prize is $4,000 and the runner-up prize is $3,000. While it's centered on the cyclocross community since it's the season, we welcome participation from anyone who loves to ride a bike and supports the mission of the AmyD Foundation. The winners will be announced at the Rocky Mountain Regional Championships on Dec 5th. Raffle tickets cost $10 and there's no purchase limit. You do not have to be on site to win the raffle. Ed McMahon won't show up to your door with a big check, but we'll make sure the winners are called, tweeted, skyped, linkedin, foursqaured, and instagram messaged.

    303: How did this come about?
    Lance - WOL: In the beginning of the season we started working with our amazing sponsors like Shimano and Giant Bicycles on prizes for the CYCLO-X Series. At the same time we kept hearing about the direct impact the AmyD Foundation was having in the women's cycling community. I've worked with Dan Dombroski on small things like expo space for the US OPEN etc., so we had a working relationship. It was around that same time I thought there had to be a better use for our sponsor prizes than just CYCLO-X. I made a quick call to Dan and he loved the idea, so we're proud to bring to the community a benefit that has been so well supported. We've always said what makes Colorado special is the local support among racers, races, and sponsors. This was a prime example how everyone we called for support was excited to jump on board. We asked Rueben for a couple dinner certificates and he came up with the free beer/day for a YEAR. I'd like to give a special thank you to WOL Staff Member/Ninox Team Racer - Barry Lee for his community relations work on this project.

    303: How can people purchase raffle tickets?
    Lance - WOL: There are three different ways someone can participate: 1) When pre-registering for either CYCLO-X Louisville or the Rocky Mountain Regional Cyclocross Championships, an athlete can buy a raffle ticket on the merchandise screen; 2) We'll be selling raffle tickets on site this Saturday and Dec 5th to racers and spectators; 3) You can click this link and buy 1 or 50 raffle tickets.

    303: Does Without Limits and AmyD Foundation hope to make this an annual fundraiser?
    Lance - WOL: Absolutely! Once we put together the final prize list we had to hold off an additional two weeks as new sponsors like Feedback Sports wanted to get involved. New supporters are still coming in, so we're hoping that each season we can continue to build upon the prizes. Currently the estimated value of the grand prize is $4,000, but think of the funds we could generate for the AmyD Foundation when the winning package is a $10,000 value!

  • Bird's Eye View Project: Endurance for Veterans

    This amazing story is brought to 303 by Colorado's Shelby Katz - mountain biker, triathlete, past 303 Contributor, bike thief slayer, and general excellent citizen. Shelby is one of the original members of the Bird's Eye View Project (BEVP) Team, and will be traveling to Alaska in 2017 to help with the stunts. She also handles the legal work for BEVP, and does work for Sons of the Flag. Among the many charity benefactors of the project is the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, who are also part of the BEVP Team. The project will be hosting a high altitude training session in Colorado in February for the entire team, all the jumpers, boarders and medical/evac. Following the story below is a video overview and trailer for the documentary to be released in 2017.

    By Shelby Katz

    Understanding the mind of an endurance athlete can be challenging. Living in Boulder, you would think I would have that insight already. I do not, but have no doubt, I am in awe of it. Being able to run for 100 miles (or more), or climbing every 14’er in Colorado without a break, to me, is crazy, but to that athlete, it gives them joy, accomplishment, the ability to say, yes, I can. Whatever the motivation, insight into an endurance athlete is not all that easy to figure out, but with Ryan Parrott, AKA the Birdman, it’s a bit easier because his motivation is on others in need.

    What does it take to make a commitment to train for an event that is life challenging, life threatening, life exhilarating, life affirming, and requires not only 100% commitment, but on average 30-40 (sometimes more) hours per week of training? This is what Ryan Parrot is doing right now. But he’s not doing it for himself and he’s not doing it for his career, nor for adulation or kudos. He is doing to help raise awareness and money for our veterans and first responders. Those in need.

    To him, being able to offer himself for the benefit of others has been in the forefront of his life’s mission since September 11, 2001.

    Let me take a step back. Who is Ryan Parrott? On September 11, 2001, Ryan was like any other American high school student. He wasn’t scholastically motivated and while he loved his athletics, the classroom setting was not for him. On 9/11, for him, as well as many others, everything changed. After the fall of the World Trade Center towers, he walked out of his typing class and into the Navy recruitment office in his Detroit, Michigan hometown. While they wouldn’t allow him to join right then and there, he was able to ultimately join, and ultimately, he applied for and was accepted into BUDS training (Basic Underwater Demolition), class 245, as a Navy Seal.

    After three tours, including one where an IED blew up the Humvee he and his men were in, Ryan came home and decided his future would be about continuing to serve others. He started Sons of the Flag (www.sonsoftheflag.org), an organization designed to help provide medical care and financial support to military, first responders and civilian burn survivors by providing innovating research and access to medical care. When Ryan talks about SOTF, you can hear the love in his heart and the fire in his voice. The term fire is not lost on me, but there is no other way to describe this man’s dedication. But he wanted to do more, reach more people.

    The idea for Birds Eye View Project (www.birdseyeviewproject.org) came to him years ago, an idea written on a napkin. He was going to perform extreme endurance sports, including base jumping, snowboarding, and sky diving, and use that as a conduit to raise money for others in need. The idea was shelved as SOTF started to grow, but sometime last year during an event that had him rappelling out of a massive TV at the Cowboy’s stadium with a dog, that Ryan learned the power of social media. The stunt garnered over 1 million views before the day was over. Through this event, Ryan learned that the power of videos of extreme endurance sports could garner paid viewership, which would then be used to provide financial support for various non-profit organizations. Thus BEVP came alive again.

    The BEVP is an 18 month adventure series and documentary chronicling the epic extreme sports journey of Ryan and will bring funding and awareness to various veteran and first responder charities. In May, 2017, after two years of intense endurance training, Ryan will execute a first ever stunt in the high altitude peaks of the rugged wilderness (this part is still top secret). Through web series, which will launch in January 2016, the BEVP will release a once a month “webisode” following Ryan around the world on an extreme sports adventure that will include an up-close and personal look at the extreme needs of veterans and first responders. These small charities are doing amazing things, but few people really know about them. These webisodes will focus on who they are and get their message out to the masses, without any cost to them.

    So how does one train for extreme endurance sports. According to Ryan, it takes something more important than the ego to continue on a daily basis. He says it’s hard, and there are days he wants to sleep in, but when he looks at the overall benefit to the small charities he wants others to learn about and support, he knows that the extreme effort is worth it. Having grown up with a fast-twitch, Ryan had to cultivate his slow twitch, or endurance muscle memory. BUDS training definitely helped with this. He says his mind would play mental games, but ultimately he told himself that he voluntarily chose this curriculum, so he chanted “shut up and keep going”, recognizing you will break, over and over again, but you then get back up and you keep going. “If there is someone on my left or right who is continuing, [he] can continue too. Training for endurance is the same, regardless of the sport, whether it’s cycling, triathlon, snow-boarding, or marathons, it’s all about mental toughness.”

    While Ryan was a Navy Seal, he had never base jumped before, so training had to start immediately. This included making his heart strong and then focusing on things like lung capacity and altitude training. Nutrition was incredibly important as well. For the BEVP, he has cut out sugars, no alcohol, and eating more protein. He maintains a clean and healthy diet. According to Ryan, this then supports his mental ability to focus, which is paramount when base jumping. Ryan says it’s important to also stay real, recognizing that “a cupcake every now and then is not going to break the training bank”. Ryan also started daily meditation as a way to clear his head so he can focus on the now and forget about the “then."

    His dedication to training is imperative because knows what’s at stake. What’s at stake is his life and the life of those on his team who are preparing to be with him on this mission. So he takes the training seriously and continues daily to work towards his fitness. The monthly videos offered on the website will go through his daily training regime, it will focus on his ups and downs (because as Ryan knows, “sometimes there are more downs than ups and [he] wants people to understand that endurance training is about both and it can become all too real all too quickly”), the evolution of his training, and each video will have a story.

    Ultimately this endurance training will lead to an event that no one has ever tried before. While this author has the details as she is luckily blessed to be part of this extraordinary team, she’s not sharing because the excitement and fun of watching these webisodes will leave you breathless each time… the final event will have you out of your chairs and on your toes… I wouldn’t want to ruin that surprise!

    For more insight into the Birdman, to learn more about the charities, to donate and to become part of the cause, please visit www.birdseyeviewproject.org.

    Check out the promotional video:

  • 303 Turns a Page, Announces Shift in Leadership

    Thompson steps down, Willett takes helm

    Founder of 303cycling.com enters semi-retirement; 303Triathlon editor takes over company management

    BOULDER, Colo. (November 11, 2015)

    The 303 news entities, 303cycling.com and 303Triathlon.com, announce a change in ownership and management of the websites dedicated to cycling and multisport news for the state of Colorado.

    Kris Thompson, who founded the cycling news business in 2007, will be stepping down, and Dana Willett, who has partnered with Kris and built the Triathlon site over the last three years, will take over as Editor-in-Chief for both sites, along with 303cycling partner David Kutcipal, who will act as contributing editor and IT specialist.

    Thompson says:

    Eight years ago I had the dream to unify the online cycling community by sharing news and information from many various outlets and consolidate it in one spot - calling it 303cycling.com. In those eight years I have met some amazing voices in Colorado cycling; we are truly fortunate for the community we have! With the growth of 303 also comes the mechanics of keeping the ship running and the site up to date. I truly love Colorado cycling and 303 but more attention is needed to continue this growth. Dana and the passionate folks at 303Triathlon, along with my long time 303cycling partner David Kutcipal, will continue to innovate to meet the ever changing landscape of 303. I’m not going away, I’m just going to shift my work back to where it all started and that is sharing news and perspective on Colorado cycling. See you out on the trails and roads!

    Willett says:

    Nothing is changing about the mission of 303. Our philosophy - founded by Kris - has always been about community. That is the sole reason for our success. This changing of the guards simply allows Kris to step back, recharge, and continue to provide vision for our entity. And while it might be my name on the line (literally and figuratively) on any given news day, it is the team of partners, staff, contributors and ambassadors that really keep our efforts going. This is an opportunity to reinforce our mission, unite our team, become more responsive to our partners, and continue to serve the Colorado community of cyclists and multisport athletes.

    Key players on the 303 team, in addition to Kris, Dana and David, include Cheri Felix - writer, Bill Plock - sales & business development, Jennifer Findley - managing editor, Nicole Odell - writer, in addition to alliances with 5280 Elite Video and BikeState38. Also, many, many contributors, ambassadors and partners. Please visit 303cycling.com and 303Triathlon.com for the latest Colorado news and information on all our team members.

  • Tensions high between BRAC, Race Directors, Promoters, Athletes

    If you're unaware of the high tension between the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado (BRAC) and state race directors and promoters, here is a brief summary of what has transpired in the last five days.

    On November 5th, BRAC's President, Doug Gordon, published a lengthy Presidential Blog on the BRAC site, that opened with:

    We have a little issue here with some folks not truly understanding, or looking, at the broader scope of the current racing scene in Colorado. Race Directors are complaining, still, about how there are too many categories and that we need to get rid of them. I also hear complaints about the fees that are charged by BRAC to Race Directors who feel the value isn’t there. . . The complaint about too many categories also dovetails into their complaint that BRAC is micromanaging the RD’s and forcing them to comply with a burdensome schedule that is unreasonable.

    Gordon goes on to discuss Cup Status, protecting smaller race categories, definitions of the Club Council, the BRAC organization, the Board of Directors, and the profitability factor for Race Directors. He says, "In essence, BRAC has to somehow get the square peg of the RD’s needs reconciled with the round hole of the Racer’s needs."

    One option explored in Gordon's blog is reducing BRAC to a "bare bones" entity, which (according to him) would greatly affect the overall calendar, procurement of insurance, the point system, Cup status, posting of results, swag and race entry fees.

    He then goes on to cite specific examples of action BRAC has taken regarding these topics, including establishment of a Cup Policy, Road Cup policy, consistent Cup standards, BRAC staff adjustments, and posting of financials.

    And then there's the rub - the key issue that seems to have acted as a catalyst spurring this long blog post:

    I’m insulted by some RD’s who have taken to secret meetings to look at changing things. Yes, that’s what happened. A Race Director or two organized a secret meeting to discuss their issues and formulate a change. I love this idea; it just would have been nice to be invited to be a part of the discussion because for the past 12 months we’ve been working on things (which should be painfully clear at this point), and doing so with open doors and open minds. To ignore my direct request to be a part of the discussions not only as the President of BRAC but also as a Race Director myself was disheartening to say the least . . . And on top of that, I am aware that a certain Race Director has actually contacted USAC in the hopes of creating their own Local Association that would allow them to compete directly with BRAC. Is this the future of grassroots cycling that we all want?

    (The BRAC meeting minutes from 10/22/15 label this group "BRAC Breakaway Race Directors," and references "interest of some race directors in forming their own LA.")

    On Friday, November 6th, 303cycling received an unsigned letter via email addressed to "Colorado racers, promoters and clubs," with a request to post the letter as a story. It is a response to Gordon's blog post on the BRAC site. The submission did not meet our guidelines*, and we worked over the next three days and through multiple emails attempting to rectify that situation.

    Yesterday, November 9th, YourGroupRide published the open, unsigned letter, and its contents became public. The YGR story was introduced, "By now you've probably read the email and blog post (or most of it) from BRAC with regards to racer and race promoter concerns over some BRAC policies especially; fees, race day schedules, cup requirements and general lack of value. . ."

    The subsequent letter responding to Gordon's blog states it was authored by, "90% of your cross season and about 70% of road (and growing)."

    The letter begins with the intention of the group: "We have had a meeting and multiple discussions about the current situation of racing in Colorado. Our major concern is the cost to produce a race as well as the improvement in the quality of the race day experience for participants."

    It then goes on to break down BRAC and USAC fees, surcharges, and administrative costs. The question is raised, "(W)hile we have no issues with the staff at all, our issue is why do we need $100,000 in staff payroll costs while the rest of the country does not?"

    What follows is a detailed breakdown of multiple states' annual revenues, payrolls, current membership numbers (Arizona, Texas, New York, Northern California/Northern Nevada, Florida, and New England). BRAC's annual payroll of $105,527 stands in stark contrast to other areas whose payroll numbers range from $0 to $37,000 per year.

    The letter touches briefly on race categories, stating, "To meet standards of BRAC BAR/BAT status a promoter has to work within the confines of limited time which forces the reduction of race length for some categories, the elimination of some categories and an adverse combination of fields. BRACs myopic focus on BAR/BAT forces a lack of creativity at the grassroots level of race promotion."

    In conclusion, the anonymous authors state:

    (E)ssentially in our review we have determined only two benefits from BRAC: the promoter meetings to hash out the schedule and the [sic] Yvonne's expertise in administration.
    BRAC has vowed in the past to make organizational changes. The only significant change that has been made is an increase in salaries. Rather than jumping ahead of a discussion to put forth an attack on our group of promoters, BRAC should reflect on what changes can be made to resolve the discrepancies and to look to the members to ask what they want to see.

    Read BRAC President Doug Gordon's blog post HERE.
    Read the unsigned response letter HERE.

    Story, Article, Letter, & Opinion Submission Guidelines for 303cycling & 303Triathlon:
    -All submissions should be approximately 750 words or less. (If your story is longer, please edit and summarize; if desired, provide link to full story housed on a blog site or other url.)
    -All submissions must include author's full name. (If the article is written on behalf of a group or organization, the official name of that group must be included, plus a link to an active website or mailing address for the organization.)
    -It is recommended at least two photos be included with each submission. Photos must be original with no copyrights, must be less than 1mb in size, and submitted in .jpg or .png format.
    -303 reserves the right to delete slanderous or distasteful comments at the discretion of the editor. Additionally, 303 reserves the right to disable the comments section on any story.
    -If a controversial subject is or topic is covered, 303 reserves the right to allow equal coverage for opposing views.