Anybody visiting Telluride will get to see legendary pro cyclists such as Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck ride to town in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge this Monday, August 20th. But for those who want to get a little closer to the action, there’s a new parallel biking event, Scout the Ride, happening on the same day. Starting at 8 a.m., Scout the Ride participants get a chance to ride the Highway 145 portion of the Pro Cycling Course and to see the professionals up close as they cycle over Lizard Head Pass. John Humphries, who put the event together and who owns Lizard Head Cycling Guides, says Scout the Ride is a cyclist’s dream, a chance to bike the same course as the pros with aid stations and a fun barbeque.
Humphries, who’s donating a portion of the event proceeds to the San Miguel Bike Alliance, got the idea for Scout the Ride soon after he heard the Colorado Pro Cycling Tour was running a stage from Durango to Telluride.
“Essentially Highway 145 is closed to vehicles in the morning,” says Humphries, an avid cyclist, “but the professional racers aren’t expected until around 1 p.m. This gives cyclists of all abilities the opportunity to ride the highway and to greet the pros at the top without fear of road traffic.”
Scout the Ride participants have several race options. They can ride to the top of Lizard Head pass from Telluride (15 miles/ estimated 1 hour, 15 minutes); ride to Rico (28 miles/estimated 2 hours); or they can ride all the way to Stoner (50 miles/ estimated 3 hours). Racers who want to see the pro peloton are advised to turn around from Stoner by 11:30 in order to be on the top of Lizard Head in time.
Once on top of Lizard Head Pass, the party really starts with live music, beer, and a free barbeque lunch. Racers will also receive gift bags stuffed with water bottles, t-shirts, and other event goodies. There are also complimentary pre-race pastries served at Paragon in Telluride at 7:30 a.m. But the best reward is the chance to see pros up close and in action as they pedal over the pass and zoom down to Telluride.
Scout the Ride costs $25 for individuals and $35 for couples and families. Families and friends of riders are invited. Please try to carpool as the number of cars allowed on Highway 145 is limited. Entries are limited to only 75 cyclists. (Thirty-nine remained as of July 25.)
To learn more about this exciting event, listen here to John Humphries.