Tour of the Valley gives locals a chance to see the sights from the saddle

QUICKREAD

About the Tour

The 24th Annual Tour of the Valley cycling event takes place Sunday.

Pre- and post-race staging area is at the DoubleTree Hotel, 743 Horizon Drive. Check-in is 6:30-8:30 a.m., and registration fees are $45 for adults and $20 for children under 14.

30-mile ride

The Family Fitness 30-mile route heads west toward Fruita. Parents are asked to ride with children who require supervision.

50-, 75- and 100-mile rides

Riders warm up heading east toward the Bookcliffs on country roads toward Palisade, then travel a scenic route of East Orchard Mesa. Another rest stop is at Eagle Rim Park, where all riders join the bike trail to cross the Colorado River.

■ Fifty-mile riders turn off at Junior Service League Park, crossing to 24 Road toward Canyon View Park before heading back to the DoubleTree.

■ The 75-mile route heads along the base of the Colorado National Monument to Fruita and returns to the DoubleTree.

■ The 100-mile ride heads over Colorado National Monument. There are no rest stops on the monument, but water will be available at the visitor’s center.

The rest of the route is relatively flat on the farm lands and back roads of Fruita en route to the DoubleTree.



It’s a laid-back, noncompetitive bicycle ride through the scenic Grand Valley, and, hey, you can even get a free mini sports massage afterward.

Community Hospital hosts its 24th annual Tour of the Valley cycling event Sunday morning that features rides of 30, 50, 75 and 100 miles.

Becky Jessen, marketing director for Community Hospital, said there will be local riders as well as some from all over the United States.

The guest rider will be Kerry White, a 42-year-old member of Team Type 1, which includes elite, competitive cyclists who encourage the control of diabetes through diet, exercise and treatment.

“I think people locally are attached to it because of the cause,” Jessen said. “But I think the others come because it’s a very reasonable ride price-wise, and you get to see so much of the valley — you can ride all the way to Palisade, East Orchard Mesa and the 100-miler goes up over (Colorado National) Monument.”

The entry fee is $45 for adults and $20 for children under 14.

Riders can register from 6 to 8:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel on 743 Horizon Drive.

Breakfast will be served from 6 to 9 a.m.

Cyclists may begin riding from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., and tour directors encourage participants who will ride the longer routes to begin riding early.

Finally, a post-ride meal will be served at the DoubleTree conference area from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, a post-ride party, which will feature a big-screen television that will show the finish of the USA Pro Challenge, will take place at the same time. Jessen said the finish is expected to be about 3 p.m.

Aside from the ride, entry fees include a 2012 Tour of the Valley T-shirt, fresh fruit at rest stops, SAG support, the post-ride party and meal, music and a disc jockey, post-ride massages and prizes.

Proceeds from registration fees support Community Hospital health education and wellness activities that are free to the public, the Neil Bradford Exercise Science/Sports Management Scholarship Fund at Colorado Mesa University and the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association.

“This (ride) has all the diversity the valley has to offer,” Jessen said.

For more information, visit http://www.yourcommunityhospital.com.

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