Tough climb demands energy and endurance

When local supporters of the Quiznos Pro Challenge bike race gather later this morning with John Wessels, regional director of the National Park Service, they no doubt will give him an earful about why a portion of the race should be allowed to occur within Colorado National Monument.

We’ve already made clear our belief that the race and the monument are entirely compatible. We’re confident the natural resources of the monument can be sufficiently protected, especially with the limited-access plan submitted by the local organizing commitee.

Furthermore, the international recognition that would accrue to the monument and this community would be immense. We believe it will result in significant economic benefits, not just during the race, but through increased visitation over time.

Economic benefits are nothing to sneer at in a community where the unemployment rate last month topped 11 percent.

We’ll leave it to other race supporters to offer specific details on why the race should be approved. Today, we welcome Wessels to Grand Junction, and let him know that the local support for the bike race isn’t some flash-in-the-pan idea. People here are willing to keep fighting for it, despite initial setbacks.

Anyone who has ridden a bicycle over some of the steep terrain in this area — terrain such as that which marks Rimrock Drive through Colorado National Monument — knows that a long, tough climb requires not only energy, but endurance.

Wessels should know both are present in this community


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