25 April 2013

2013 USA Pro Challenge route maps and descriptions

Route maps, stage profiles, and stage descriptions released today

Come back to Colorado - please!

The details for the 2013 race were officially released today. Even though the race organizer are suing it's old sponsor Exergy Development Group for 2.5 million for failure to pay promised funds in 2012, the race is still on for 2013.

Most of us who live here in Colorado could have guessed the exact routes of this year's race once the host cities were announced months ago. Yet I was uncertain about the route of Stage 2 from Aspen to Breckenridge and Stage 6 from Loveland to Fort Collins. They had several choices. For Stage 2, I am surprised to see the route go south from Aspen through Buena Vista and over Hoosier Pass into Breckenridge. For Stage 6, I am happy to see the race climb to Estes Park from Loveland, right next to our shining star of tourism - Rocky Mountain National Park.

We are staying in the north central part of the state this year, and both Loveland and Fort Collins are new territory. The best news is that the Individual Time Trial will return to Vail to climb Vail Pass, and that the warm and welcoming town of Steamboat Springs is back on the map. Now we know all the cities, roads and climbs that will be included in this year's tour. Here they are - the maps for the seven stages of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Monday, August 19th to Sunday, August 25th, 2013
Seven Stages
Official website: http://www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com/
Complete route description: http://usaprocyclingchallenge.com/2013-route 

Monday, Aug. 19 - Stage 1: Aspen/Snowmass Circuit
Tuesday, Aug. 20 - Stage 2: Aspen/Snowmass - Breckenridge
Wednesday, Aug. 21 - Stage 3: Breckenridge - Steamboat Springs
Thursday, Aug. 22 - Stage 4: Steamboat Springs - Beaver Creek
Friday, Aug. 23 - Stage 5: Vail Time Trial
Saturday, Aug. 24 - Stage 6: Loveland - Fort Collins
Sunday, Aug. 25 - Stage 7: Denver Circuit

Overview of location of host cities: Look at all those mountains!

Location of Host Cities in the State of Colorado for the 2013 USA Pro Challenge. Map created by Pedal Dancer®
Location of Colorado in the U.S.A.
The Colorado State Flag

USA Pro Challenge - route details, route maps and route profiles for 2013
[click any image below to enlarge, or click the links for more information]

Details:  Stage 1: Aspen Circuit Race – Monday, Aug. 19

Miles: 21.6 (34.7km) per lap, 66 miles total
Stage 1 Route Map
Stage 1 Route Profile

Details:  Stage 2:  Aspen to Breckenridge – Tuesday, Aug. 20

Miles: 126.1 (202.9km)
Stage 2 Route Map
Stage 2 Route Profile
Details:  Stage 3:  Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs – Wednesday, Aug. 21

Miles: 106.1 (170.8km)
Stage 3 Route Map
Stage 3 Route Profile

Details:  Stage 4:  Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek – Thursday, Aug. 22

Miles: 102.9 (165.6km)
Stage 4 Route Map
Stage 4 Route Profile

Details:  Stage 5:  Vail Individual Time Trial – Friday, Aug. 23

Miles: 10 (16.1km)
Stage 5 Route Map
Stage 5 Route Profile
Details:  Stage 6:  Loveland to Ft. Collins – Saturday, Aug. 24

Miles: 115.2 (185.4km)
Stage 6 Route Map
Stage 6 Route Profile

Details:  Stage 7:  Denver Circuit Race – Sunday, Aug. 25

Miles: 9.4 (15.1km)
Stage 7 Route Map
Stage 7 Route Profile

We can thank the 2013 race Sponsors (Partners)

For more information (and photos from last years race) please visit the Pedal Dancer guide page: USA PRO CHALLENGE.  This page will be continuously updated throughout the coming months. 

23 April 2013

Do you ride Deer Creek Canyon?

A popular climb for most Denver cyclists

For those Colorado cyclists who ride Deer Creek Canyon most weekends (when it is not snowing, which I believe still happens occasionally), there will be a community discussion for cyclists and community members - tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 24 from 6 to 8:30 p.m - to discuss cycling in the canyon.

Community meeting about cycling in Deer Creek Canyon

This is a canyon with a troubled history, but a glorious ride on a bicycle. Discussion is good and we never want what happened to Dirk Friel last year in Boulder to continue to escalate in Deer Creek Canyon until someone is injured seriously. Which almost happened last November to Byron Nix, who was hit, but is okay. Read and see more: Pickup hits cyclist on popular Littleton riding route; driver blames cyclists.

I reason that if the local neighbors who drive this canyon meet some of us face to face they will realize we are mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers. We go to work every day and have families, not the kinds of people who deserve to be injured by a vehicle.

It is also time for us to hear how scary it can be for a driver to navigate around cyclists spread out across a winding mountain road. And to remember this is also the neighborhood which cultivates the wonderful volunteers who supply one of the best rest stops for cyclists in the area. I say safety first, combined with a healthy dose of consideration.

I felt it was time to show up as part of the community of cyclists, to put a face and voice behind the lycra and helmet. Both BikeJeffco and Team Evergreen have been involved in these meetings since last year.

Come if you can

Join County Commissioner Donald Rosier, your neighbors and some people who like to ride bicycles in the area for an open house to discuss issues raised by both motorists and cyclists on roads in the Deer Creek Canyon area. The open house will be held Wednesday, April 24 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Sampson Community Club, 16150 W. Sampson Road in Littleton. The Board of County Commissioners is looking for some realistic solutions to some real problems, and they need your input.

16150 W. Sampson Rd, Littleton, Colorado - this is located off Deer Creek Canyon Rd between South Valley and the High Grade turnoff.

Anyone who can guess where this location (below) is should consider attending this meeting:
The High Grade Rd rest stop area, supplied for cyclists with food and drink by local volunteers. Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Related posts by Pedal Dancer - about the ride up Deer Creek Canyon and High Grade Road: 50,000 Views - the joy of the destination

Follow-up 04/25/2013:


This is the one word that would summarize the meeting last night about cycling in Deer Creek Canyon. As is typical with many meetings, there was a lot of filler words and wishes without much real education or solutions. Mostly there was a ton of empty complaints, frustration and hate by the neighbors who live along this popular cycling route.

So much hate that even the speakers (a local County Commissioner and Police Lieutenant) tilted their speech to appeal to the neighborhood view only. I don't blame them. It was ugly and counterproductive until the end of the meeting when those who truly wanted action still lingered.

Some ideas were good: Better signage, more rest stops with portable toilets, metering traffic, cyclist education/community reach, special designation of the road, having the cyclists register and wear a badge of sorts that they have read the local laws, greater enforcement of traffic laws.

Some ideas were ridiculous (although change happens): closing the road to all cyclists (motorcycles and car touring clubs are also a problem), creating a toll road (on a public maintained road), forcing all cyclists to register for a license to be displayed like cars, building a bike path up the hill (way too expensive, plus road cyclists cycle on the road, not on paths. This would also require land from locals).

I have always considered my role on a bicycle to be that of a good ambassador for the sport. If I miff-off a driver in a car with my behavior, he/she could take it out on the next cyclist they see. If you wear a team kit, represent your team with honor. If you wear a helmet, it means you take your own safety seriously. This is important, an angry citizen in a vehicle is a frightening harmful combination. Every time they are hauled into court and charged - I applaud. 

Immediate changes

There are a few things we can do now as cyclists:
  • Please do not liter your bar and gu wrappers on the road (considered littering).
  • Please do not ride double-file in the road (considered obstructing traffic on a winding road). 
  • Please briefly pull to the right and let a descending car pass you, then continue descending (considered considerate, something we all wish every RV would do on our local mountain roads).
  • Please do not stop in the center of the road for any reason, pull completely off the road to wait for your friends.
  • Absolutely pull over and stop your bike along the side of the road when a local emergency vehicle is attempting to respond to an emergency (as a vehicle is required) .
  • Absolutely stop at all Stop signs (as a vehicle is required).
  • Absolutely obey the speed limit (as a vehicle is required).
  • Absolutely do not urinate along the road at any points other than those with designated porta potties, the entire canyon is private property (considered both trespassing on private land, and indecent exposure in public).
This last point, plus the "arrogance" of certain cyclists on the road is what most annoys the neighbors of this community. They are angry, there is no denying that fact. I believe there is a collection of cyclists that are ruining this canyon for the rest of us. It honestly makes me scared to cycle in this area. And that is what I most fear: loss of my freedom. So please participate and behave like a good citizen even while on a bike. Let them be the haters, not us. 

So also please:
  • Wear a GoPro on your helmet to video tape potential problems in high risk areas
  • Keep your cell phone handy to snap a picture of the license plate of any harassing drivers
  • Please keep the local police number on your cell phone and report any incidents immediately to build a history against specific harmful drivers. 
  • Our collective goal as cyclists should be to keep ourselves and the next cyclist up or down the road near us - safe. 
I should also speak up to say that I used to ride that canyon almost weekly. I have been unsafely buzzed by cars, almost ran off the road, shouted at, thrown at, and I have never broken the law in the canyon. I do not deserve to be treated that way. I always ride as far right as possible and usually solo. This is a public road. Mean bad drivers are mean bad people, period.

Can't we all just get along
Location of Deer Creek Canyon in Jefferson County, near Denver, Colorado
A great Climb on a bicycle
With sometimes unfriendly citizens
But a beautiful mountain location
And what should be a nice ride on a public road
Follow-up 4/30/13: A terribly one-side article in the Columbine Courier, Cyclists, residents discuss road safety in Deer Creek Canyon, By Daniel Laverty.

Follow-up 05/14/13: There will be another "community" meeting and cyclists can go (that is a different phrase choice than "welcome"). Attend if you can to lend your voice - Bike Jeffco meeting, Tuesday, May 14, 7:00pm to 9:00pm, at the Jeffco Government Center, 605 Johnson Road, Golden, Colorado.

Follow-up 05/21/13: An article about riding in Jefferson County in today's Denver Post newspaper; Tension between bikes, cars, motorcycles high in Jefferson County, By Jordan Steffen

When will cyclists get their side of the truth out there? Sure bikes annoy, but cars kill, and people are always at the center of the problem - on both sides.

I personally think Deer Creek locals are spreading publicity as if this is a widespread problem in other areas. I have not experienced near the hatred from other neighborhoods in Colorado. The only other problem I have encountered is on the connecting road to Carter Lake in Boulder county where cyclists must merge onto a county road for 1/4-1/2 mile. Larimer County has had it's problems as well. Most of Colorado's citizens can be quite courteous. Deer Creek resident's are spreading the word that animosity against cyclists is justified.

As long as I am a smart and considerate cyclist,  I only ever have problems on Deer Creek Canyon Rd, which sadly is pretty consistent.

Update 06/06/13: Article in The Denver Post: Tension mounts as 881 cyclists, 1,412 motorists share Deer Creek Canyon.

Update 06/10/13: Restrooms and water near Deer Creek Canyon click image to enlarge
Restrooms, rest stop, porta potties in the area of Deer Creek Canyon

Chatfield reservoir is nearby with plenty of facilities both flush and porta potties. There is also a restroom near a hiking trailhead on the way up the canyon, on the right side of the road. Definitely use one or the other before starting your climb. The rest stop up High Grade Rd (labeled Pleasant Park Road on this map) is the source for water on the climb (seasonal; bring dollars to contribute to the water in the honor system coolers mentioned above). There is also water at fountains in the reservoir (seasonal). 

22 April 2013


Hello, I have not forgotten about you and your cycling passions. I have been extremely occupied with a big 'ol project at work. After many many hours sitting at a computer (my real job), I feel the need to get up and move, and see the sky. Which for the most part has had snow falling from it in recent months here in Denver. But that's not the point, the point is sorry for being absent. I will return.

I gotta return because THE Giro is coming up in 2 weeks, and THE Amgen Tour of California begins in 3 weeks. And those two races are BIG BIG BIG.

Meanwhile I managed to update the  TOUR OF CALIFORNIA guide page (a priority), the USA PRO CHALLENGE guide page, and to keep the 2013 Colorado Cycling Event & Race Calendar up-to-date with some new additions.

Ok, keep riding, back soon ......

02 April 2013

Beauty is a long tradition

Beauty vs. Sexuality

Yes what Peter Sagan did on the podium of the Tour of Flanders last week was wrong. Peter Sagan was offensive, not because he was young or without discretion but because he behaved badly. Behavior is rooted in belief, and I believe his behavior showed how he views women. Peter Sagan was wrong and should have apologized to the woman in public, just as he insulted her in public. 

So why is anyone questioning whether Podium Girls have a place in cycling?

The Podium Girl's behavior was not wrong. Why are we blaming them? It is as if people believe that if the podium girls were not present, Peter Sagan would not have been tempted. Do you see how fundamentally wrong this thinking is? They did not ask to be treated that way simply by being beautiful and agreeing to present awards.

We have long admired beauty in our society. Much because it is a rare thing. Most of us are not beautiful. So why not admire what god and evolution has made wonderfully. I like beauty in all things manmade - art, music, food, buildings, and people. That is correct, beautiful people are a joy to look at. I like my movie stars and models good looking because that is what they have to offer. They may not have everything, but they got that. 

Is it wrong to display beauty? Is it wrong for a good looking man to get a particular job, for a good-looking athlete to get better endorsements, for a beautiful women to be a presenter of cycling trophies? It is their gift and they have made their job from it. Deciding to do their job does not mean that they allow other people to sexually or verbally objectify or humiliate them without their consent. Sexual degradation is a result of seeing a person as a lesser creature.

Peter Sagan was not reacting to the Podium Girl as a beautiful presenter. Peter Sagan was reacting to that poor woman as less than. If he saw her as an equal he would have asked, "pardon me, may I please squeeze your bum in front of millions of people?" Does that sound like something he would have done - no. He didn't even consider her. Being in the spotlight of sports is a bit like being President, it is short term, I wish they would hold their act together and be civil. Yet we are repeatedly shown a jerk is a jerk.

We cannot be naive to the inequalities of women around the world. I am of the Title 9 generation of American women. At the very tail end of the Baby Boomers, one of the many who barely began to reap the benefits of what the women before me made possible with their feminist revolution. It hasn't been that long since woman have been granted semi-equal rights in the United States. Many other countries are far, far behind our short progress.

Events like this are saddening because I realize how much further we have to go. I may not follow women's cycling as I do men's cycling, but that does not mean I am unaware of the inequality of pay and support women's cycling suffers under. When incidents like this happen, we must speak up, simply to voice an opinion, to acknowledged it was wrong, offensive, and a change is demanded.

Banishing beautiful Podium Girls and hiding women away so that these offenses do not happen is not the answer. Changing economics, mindset and behavior is the answer. 

What is most evident in this story, is that Peter Sagan has been brought up to believe that it is okay to demean half the population of this planet. In 2013, this remains a great social problem across the world. Equality.

Beauty is not the problem.

My blog has been inundated this week with visitors to these posts: I'm calling this a trend (from 2010), The fans want Podium Girls? (2012), and Podium Girls 2012 USA Pro Challenge (2012). I have mixed feelings about the future of Podium girls, but I am always fearful when the behavior of how women dress or act, or their mere presence, is seen as the problem. I am also wondering if Peter Sagan will be surprised when women forgo autographs and photos and go straight for groping him in public without permission, won't that be LOL funny enough for Facebook and Photoshop.