Follow in the footsteps of explorer Zebulon Pike as you embark on a 100-mile bicycling journey through the high plains of southeastern Colorado. Cyclists began at Hasty Lake's John Martin Reservoir State Park visitors center, near Las Animas, where Pike first spotted Pikes Peak. Rides explored the history of two of Americas Byways, The Santa Fe Trail and Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byways. We traveled past Bents Old Fort, friendly historic towns, and world famous melon fields to experience the beauty and scenic wonder Southeastern Colorado holds. After finishing the race, riders enjoyed the wildly popular Chile & Frijole Festival in downtown Pueblo with live music and dancing, local food vendors, beer gardens, and fresh roasted chilies.
The Bike with Pike Century ride was tackled by individual bike riders and teams - up to eight different riders. Prizes were given for both individual and team winners. Registration included commemorative T-shirt and rider packet complete with freebie coupons. Participants ended their journey at Pike Plaza at the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk -- where Pike camped before attempting to tackle the mountain that now bears his name. With the finish line located in the heart of downtown Pueblo, riders enjoyed the wildly popular 12th Annual Chile and Frijoles Festival. Hosted by the Santa Fe Trail and Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byways, proceeds from this bicycling event benefited both of these non-profit organizations that promote scenic conservation, historic preservation, heritage tourism and rural economic development. The ride was a Commemoration of Pikes Peak Exploration, and a living history ride from Lamar to Pueblo.
Our first ride included 67 riders and 32 volunteers. Commemorative shirts are available at the Byway visitors center in Pueblo. Some of the riders comments included " The history was a wonderful addition to a perfect ride" "The rest stops were outstanding." "Volunteers were all so nice and support vehicles were always there when we needed repairs." "We were provided with everything we needed, very safe, good marking of the route! Hats off to the organizers. --- I would do it again!"
Frontier Pathways and Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic Byway recently hosted the Bike with Pike Century Ride, which traveled 100 miles through the Arkansas Valley and ended at Pueblos Riverwalk. The event brought many cyclists from throughout the state, who had never been to Pueblo or either of the Byways before and they really liked what they saw.
This inaugural bike ride (which will become an annual event) was only possible because of the hard work and generous time of many volunteers. We would like to, first of all, thank the City of Pueblo for their fast and attentive assistance. Employees in the City Parks, Signs and Graffiti departments worked hard to make sure that Pueblo looked its best for our out-of-town cyclists, by keeping water and graffiti off the bike trails and producing signs for the ride. Bill Zwick of City Planning donated much of his personal time to developing our traffic control plan and serving as a support vehicle for the ride.
Sasan Delshad, pictured, from CDOT Regional 2 Office, also generously donated his time helping ensure the bike ride was very safe, in addition to being a support vehicle during the ride and sweep vehicle. Chris Markuson, from Pueblo County GIS Department, donated personal time to create maps for our riders and serve as a lead vehicle on the ride. We want to thank Captain Brent Pierce and Kathy Moore, from Hasty; and Danny Graham of Trinidad who donated their time and support as transport for bicycles, sag wagon, sweep vehicles, mechanic, and clean up crew.
The Colorado State Patrol, under the direction of Royce Anderson and Scott Copley, went above and beyond in creating a safe bike ride well supervised. We heard many compliments about the friendly State Patrol officers who helped point riders in the right direction and the SAG wagon made fixing flat tires seamless. Thank you to the Police Departments of Pueblo, Lamar, Las Animas, La Junta, Rocky Ford, and Manzanola for insuring rider safety for the ride.
We had many other amazing volunteers who served hospitality, food and water at each of our seven rest stops. We want to thank all of you including students from CSU-Pueblo, volunteers from the Boone Womens Fire Auxiliary, the mayors and citizens of Olney Springs and Manzanola, their Fire Departments and Emergency Service crews, the Friends of the Rocky Ford Library, Bent's Fort Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association, the warden of Corrections Corps. of America and his staff who hosted rest stop #1, the inmates who made the peanut butter cookies, and we thank the wonderful helpers at John Martin Reservoir State Park. We send a special thanks to D.C. DiPrince who starred as Zebulon Pike at both the starting and finishing lines, and to the Ortega Brothers who serenaded each of the riders.
We also would like to thank our sponsors, who took a chance on this first-time event. Their foresight helped to make this event a success. We send a big thank you to Xcel Energy, Shamrock Brewing Company, Otero Junior College, Colorado East Bank & Trust, Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, Colorado Gators, Big R, Cow Palace and Pueblo Bank & Trust. We can't forget to thank 469-DEAN and Pat Palmer for donation of porta-potties and to Maura Weiler and Chad DiPrince who transported them. Thank you to Lamar Chamber of Commerce and the Cow Palace Inn for the pre fest bar-b-que and party; to Eldorado water for providing water, and Coke for donating poweraide. And, we also want to thank The Pueblo Chieftain, Colorado East Bank & Trust, Bicycling Magazine for donating advertising that helped to promote the event.
Most of all, we want to thank our Bike with Pike committee who donated many, many hours towards planning this event, including: Sandy Messick, Woodruff Memorial Library; Rebecca Atkinson, Lamar Public Library; Sandy Bemiss, John Martin Reservoir State Park; Anitta Skul, Power Credit Union; Deborah Espinosa, El Pueblo History Museum; Diana Laughlin, Community Technical Assistance Program; Margo Hatton Wolf, HARP Foundation; Sue Wyman, Spycycling.org; Betsy Jacobson, CO State Biking Coordinator, Sasan Delshad CDOT Region 2; Sandy Messick, City of La Junta; Scott Copley, Colorado State Patrol; Wyvonne Phillips, Santa Fe Trail S&H Byway; Dawn DiPrince, Frontier Pathways S&H Byway, Sasan Delshad, C-DOT Region 2, Royce Anderson, Colorado State Patrol.
We thank the Board of Directors, members and volunteers of Both Byways. And finally, we would like to thank the National Scenic Byways Programs who encouraged us to tell the interesting stories of America' Byways -- like Pikes expedition and Pueblo's Chili Festival -- and who assists in funding and promoting two of our Nations Greatest Byways, the Santa Fe Trail and Frontier Pathway.
And finally, WE THANK THE BIKERS! You all had such a positive attitude and we commend you for achieving your goal through blood sweat and tears,
You are certainly a tough bunch and Pike would have been proud of the pioneer spirit you displayed in the exploration of the unknown.
Thank you all,
Wyvonne Graham, Executive Director, Santa Fe Trail Scenic & Historic
Dawn DiPrince, Executive Director, Frontier Pathways Scenic & Historic Byway