The Ride the Rockies bicycle tour will come through Ca?n City and Colorado Springs despite two major wildfires, though on a different route than originally planned.
The event, in its 26th year, takes 2,000 cyclists on a six- or seven-day tour of the state. This year's route started in Telluride. Riders arrived in Salida on Thursday and were supposed to take U.S. Highway 50 to Ca?n City on Friday. With the highway still closed Thursday due to the Royal Gorge fire, organizers announced a new route.
Riders will leave Highway 50 in Cotopaxi and go south on County Road 1A to Colorado Highway 69, along the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. In Westcliffe, riders will go east on Colorado Highway 96 through the Wet Mountains and north on Colorado Highway 67. They will head west on Colorado Highway 115 in Florence and enter Ca?n City, ending at Ca?n City Middle School.
"The alternate route allows us to continue on to Ca?n City as planned with hopes of providing an uplifting experience for the community during this unfortunate time," ride director Chandler Smith said, adding that cyclists concerned about smoke from the blaze have the option of being shuttled along the route.
Saturday's route will remain the same, with riders coming up Colorado Highway 115 to Colorado Springs, a 46-mile ride that ends at Cheyenne Mountain Resort, where a finish line celebration is planned.