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Hickenlooper, Singleton announce route for this summer’s Pedal the Plains bicycle tour

Author: Ernest Luning - April 17, 2017 - Updated: April 17, 2017

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Cyclists cross the finish line at the 2016 Pedal the Plains. (Courtesy Pedal the Plains)
Cyclists cross the finish line at the 2016 Pedal the Plains. (Courtesy Pedal the Plains)

Kersey and Keenesburg and Brush, oh my!

The sixth annual Pedal the Plains bicycle tour will give riders a chance to get close to lions, tigers and bears — along with other wild animals — housed at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, one of several features along the 177-mile route, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Post Chairman Dean Singleton announced Monday.

The full three-day tour is set for Sept. 15-17, travels from Kersey to Keenesburg to Brush and then back to Kersey. There’s also a Century PLUS ride covering 114 miles in a single day from Keenesberg to Brush on Sept. 16 and an easy Family Fun Ride the same day around the town of Brush. Registration for the rides is open.

“There’s no better way to connect with our rural communities than by taking time out to ride a bike through them,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “This tour is the perfect way to bring an economic boost to three of our stellar rural communities while wrapping up the summer’s riding season.”

The governor’s office and the Denver Post Community Foundation have co-sponsored the three-day bicycle ride annually since 2012.

“Our sister tour, Ride The Rockies, gives cyclists plenty of alpine challenges in western Colorado, but Pedal The Plains provides a unique opportunity for riders of all ages and experience levels to enjoy the friendly atmosphere and sun-drenched terrain of Colorado’s plains,” said Tour Director Renee Wheelock in a statement. “We are particularly pleased to have Kersey, Keenesburg and Brush as first-time host communities. Our riders are in for a treat.”

It’s more than a bicycle tour, organizers say, with live music, beer gardens, locally sourced food and educational exhibits along the way. “Swap your Lycra for Levis and bike cleats for boots,” organizers say, “cuz’ when the wheels stop rollin’, the party gets goin’ out on the Eastern Plains.”

Pedal the Plains is intended to celebrate the agricultural roots and frontier heritage of Colorado’s eastern plains. Viaero Wireless is the tour’s presenting sponsor, and other sponsors include Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy, CO Bank, Western Dairy Association, Suncor Energy, 9 News, KBCO, Walmart, Swire Coca-Cola and Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

— ernest@coloradostatesman.com

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.