Bicyclers turn out for gear festival

Kent Sublett of the Grand Valley Bikes advocacy group shares safety tips Saturday with an attendee at MOG Fest in downtown Grand Junction.

Perfect spring weather can be a blessing or a curse for a festival focused on outdoor gear, depending on how you look at it.

On one hand, outdoor lovers are suckers for balmy temperatures and dry trails. On the other hand, who doesn’t need more gear?

Hundreds of those in the latter set milled about the MOG (Manufacturers Outdoor Gear) and COPMOBA (Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association) festival in 70-degree temperatures Saturday in downtown Grand Junction.

Laura Stewart, owner of Bicycle Outfitters, 431 Colorado Ave., said sales were stronger inside the store than in the outdoor tents. However, overall road-bike sales, especially for women, were hot last summer, and that trend is expected to continue. The store sold 175 road bikes in July and August, she said.

“I think people want to get outside again,” she said. “The gas thing has helped. It’s expensive to have that burly diesel truck. Biking is kind of the cool thing now.”

Among the vendors, Grand Valley Bikes debuted at the festival. The startup, nonprofit is aimed at making bicycling safer and an attractive transportation alternative for all community members through safer routes and by providing education for motorists and cyclists.

“There’s a lot of 2035 regional transportation planning going on right now, and we want to have a cohesive voice in that,” said Jocelyn Mullen, one of the group’s directors.

Education goes both ways for motorists and cyclists, and opening those lines of communication can diffuse potentially dangerous situations on roadways.

For example, group members said, Colorado law now requires motorists to give cyclists 3 feet of space while passing. Drivers are allowed to temporarily cross the center yellow line when there is no oncoming traffic.

“We have some good infrastructure, but we want to get more safe routes and have a say in how infrastructure dollars are spent,” Mullen said.

Several ski resorts, including Powderhorn Ski Resort, staffed booths at the festival. Saturday was the last day to get next year’s season passes for $393.

By Aug. 1, when season passes go on sale again, they’ll be $420, spokeswoman Sarah Allen said.

Sales of the early passes seemed stronger than the previous year, Allen said. That may be because skiers were still buzzing from a season of stellar skiing and deep snowfall for the Grand Mesa resort.

“They’re saying, ‘We had fun. I’m going to lock it in for the next year,’ ” Allen said.


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