From the Daily Camera
The Denver Post’s Pedal the Plains event will stay close to the Denver metro area for its sixth edition, winding through Weld and Morgan counties for three days as part of an effort to highlight communities in the Eastern Plains.
Starting in the town of Kersey on Sept. 15, the tour will cover 177 miles, stopping in Keenesburg and Brush before returning to Kersey on Sept. 17.
Day 1 will cover 50 miles from Kersey to Keenesburg, Day 2 will travel from Keenesburg to Brush, and Day 3 will begin in Brush and end in Kersey. On Day 2, riders can choose instead to participate in a one-day 114.5-mile century ride between Keenesburg and Brush, which gains 1,547 feet of elevation.
All three towns are firsttime hosts.
“This is one of many efforts we’re trying to do to give amplification to that (rural) voice and to really let people in Kersey and Keenesburg and Brush know that we care and more importantly that people along the Front Range see how cool these communities are,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in an interview.
While The Post’s Ride the Rockies event is known for its rigorous climbs and long rides, Pedal the Plains is aimed at families and riders who aren’t looking for such a grueling effort. The route highlights communities’ heritage and the role agriculture plays in delivering food to communities along the Front Range.
The event started when Hickenlooper and former Denver Post publisher Dean Singleton discussed a way to highlight Colorado’s Eastern Plains, which can be overshadowed by the state’s mountain towns and resorts. The ride is organized by the Denver Post Community Foundation in conjunction with the governor’soffice. “This is one of the best things that can happen to Kersey,” said Mayor Bob Kellerhuis, whose town depends heavily on oil and gas for jobs. “It’s going to bring a lot of people who don’t know where Kersey is. They’ll find a lot of friendly people and people who will go out of their way to help them.
“We’ve had some dry years, but also some years of growth, and we’re starting to see more of that again.”
The route committee selected the three communities because of their proximity to the Front Range, banking that its closeness to the Metro area could attract larger crowds. Proceeds from the ride benefit the Community Foundation and support Colorado Future Farmers of America and Colorado 4-H. The foundation also offers grants to an organization or community initiative in each of the three towns.
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