Bike tour takes 
to the monument

As readers of Wednesday’s Daily Sentinel likely are aware, portions of Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument will be closed Saturday morning to accommodate the Tour of the Moon bicycle tour.

That’s right. A bicycle tour involving potentially 2,000 recreational riders will be pedaling its way through the eastern portion of Colorado National Monument Saturday, from the Grand Junction entrance, west to the Fruita entrance.

That’s great. We’re pleased that officials with the National Park Service were able to approve the bike tour. Given the time of year and the scenic route, the recreational tour could easily become a draw for bicyclists from around the West.

We’ve repeatedly voiced our disappointment that the Park Service rejected proposals to have the USA Pro Challenge Bike Race cross all or a portion of Rim Rock Drive through the monument. We won’t rehash that issue here.

We understand that the primary difference, from the Park Service perspective, is that the current Tour of the Moon is a recreational, noncompetitive event while the Pro Challenge is a race with riders competing for money, albeit nominal.

We hope the tour is successful and that it encourages top Park Service officials to rethink their stance on the bike race.

In the meantime, riders, enjoy the tour and ride safely. Motorists, follow the directions to use the Fruita entrance or Little Park Road to access the monument from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

And Park Service officials, thanks for approving this potentially great local event.


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