Monument off the table for bike race; on to Plan B

Bicyclists from around the United States were to pedal their way up Little Park Road this morning for the second-annual Icon Lasik Tour of the Moon.

The race originally had been planned to cross Colorado National Monument on Rim Rock Drive, but it had to be changed at the last minute because the federal shutdown closed the route.

“We’re on to Plan B and it’s going to be a beautiful day,” organizer Mike Heaston said.

Event Marketing Group set up the alternate route up Little Park Road and into the Bangs Canyon area, then down the public-access length of Rim Rock Drive from DS Road north.

The Tour of the Moon drew 2,000 people from 31 states and Canada to register for the tour. A federal judge on Friday spiked a planned collegiate mountain bike race planned for public lands today and Sunday. Some people who registered for the tour sought refunds, but they cited snowy weather in the high country and not the different route, Heaston said.

Furloughed federal workers, meanwhile, can get help from Grand Valley banks.

Alpine Bank offered interest-free loans to affected federal employees who present their last pay stubs, the bank said.

“They can pay us back when the government shutdown is resolved,” the bank said in a news release.

Wells Fargo will work with affected customers who are furloughed federal employees, the bank said.

October benefits will continue for the Colorado Women, Infants and Children office, but November benefits won’t take place unless the shutdown ends this month.

As many as 2,700 mothers, infants and children in 900 families could be affected, Mesa County Health Department spokeswoman Veronica Daehn Harvey said.

WIC clients holding vouchers for November were asked to hold onto them.

“Don’t throw them away. Hold onto them and hopefully this will get worked out,” Harvey said.

WIC issues checks to each mother, infant and child in the program. On average in Mesa County, the checks amount to $125 a month for infants, $55 a month for children and $50 to $70 a month for mothers, Harvey said.

Staff writer Greg Ruland contributed to this report.


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Bet the newcomer tea party members and GOP extremists are really proud of themselves right now watching people get furloughed and families turned upside down over a stubborn stance of ignorance.  As much as many of us may not agree with Obamacare it was passed as law.  If these ignorant legislators allow this to continue they should be voted out in the next election.  It will certainly end any chance of gaining my vote for GOP or Third party candidates!

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