March 16th—Based on the number of people riding bikes this past weekend, there is little doubt people will be riding out the Coronavirus, maybe more than ever. Perhaps small group adventures and family outings will be the new normal, while the future of all events of more than 50 people are basically on hold for the next few weeks.
As far as cycling events, USA Cycling has suspended all sanctioned events at least through April 5th. As of now, big events like Ride the Rockies, Elephant Rock, and The Triple Bypass plan to happen. No doubt things can change quickly so be sure to check respective websites for updates.
At the retail scene, Michael Bowers, owner of Campus Cycles said with a grin, “We are doing our best to uphold Governor Polis’ advice to go out and ride bikes.” Over the weekend Campus cycles saw an uptick in business, both in bike sales and service. Bowers said, “we have sold a fair number of e-bikes and kid bikes along with a some higher end road bikes and a couple of gravel bikes. I think when the mountain trails dry out a bit more we will see more mountain bikes sold as well.”
In Boulder, Full Cycle is not only dealing with an increase in cycling business, but is having to deal with the mandate of not serving food and drinks to customer inside the store’s bar area. Shop owner Russ Chandler said,”we have had a busy few days, as people seem to have a since of urgency to get ready to ride bikes more, especially with the ski areas closing. But, we have a double whammy to deal with as part of our business is no longer being able serve food to patrons in the shop. While at the same time we need to gear up for the riding season, we have to juggle staff and I am trying all I can to keep everyone employed.”
A news release from Full Cycle says, “Within the bike shop, we are limiting the numbers of customers present to 5. Others will be asked to wait in the Tune Up or outside, until someone exits. We are rescheduling all bike fits at this time, as well. We encourage you to shop online at fullcyclebikes.com. For in store visits, we will offer gloves for any test rides and encourage you to bring your own helmets for test rides. Full Cycle will remain on winter hours in the shop. Until further notice, the hours are from 10am to 6pm Monday through Saturday, and 10am to 5pm Sunday.”
When asked about what Campus Cycles is doing to provide utmost safety, Bowers said they are wiping each bike down that was taken for a test ride and of course wiping down things like credit card machines and such. Campus Cycles has not restricted customer access yet as as they don’t generally have the traffic like Full Cycle experiences with their Tune Up Tap Room, beer, coffee and food offerings.
Josh Kravetz of Adventure Fit recently announced he is bringing back the Gold Rush Bike Rally on September 27th in Gold Hill, West of Boulder. With the current state of unknowns, his company highly encourages participants to purchase the Fanshield insurance option (less than $5) at registration which will cover your registration in case of illness, work-related issues, family concerns, etc. This is an option for participants of events but know it doesn’t cover costs if the event is cancelled due to the virus. However, you are able to file a claim if you can’t participate in an event that happens due to your own illness.
While cycling events and races stand by for the start of the season, Kravetz is hoping by September that folks will be ready for a new adventure by bringing back the Gold Rush Bike Rally on September 27th.
This years rally is different from previous years with all three courses starting in Gold Hill where there will be block party at the end. Kravetz has labeled this, “The greatest Gravel Bike Hootenanny in all the land.”
The Gold Rush Bike Rally will benefit the Gold Hill School, the longest continually-operating school in Colorado (since 1873). Gold Hill School offers personalized, hands-on education that allows students to grow and learn through differentiated instruction in a supportive learning atmosphere. Having two teachers for 25 students allows this kind of learning environment to flourish.