Prime ride through Palisade: Conroy, Godet couples enjoy Tour de Vineyards
Even though they cycle a lot, the Conroys and Godets don’t enter a lot of bicycle tours.
The Tour de Vineyards is one trip the Colorado Springs foursome
For Dennis Conroy and his wife, Judy, Saturday’s 16th annual event marked their third tour through the vineyards of Palisade.
“We’ve had other things (to do this month),” Conroy said as he and his friend, Bev Godet, waited for their wives to finish the 25-mile course. “It’s been three weeks since we’ve ridden.”
That’s why he especially enjoyed the downhill portions of this year’s tour.
The tour takes riders from Peach Bowl Park on a loop through the Western Slope’s prime grape country as part of Palisade’s annual Colorado Mountain Winefest celebration.
“This is a good ride,” Godet said. “It’s just beautiful out here.”
Godet, who along with his wife, Carol, frequently makes trips north from Colorado Springs to tour Denver’s bicycle trail system, was particularly impressed with the course around Palisade.
“The roads are really good,” he said. “When they seal-coat these roads, it makes it tough on a cyclist.”
There was no such concern for Saturday’s riders, who numbered more than 1,000. The roads were smooth for the casual ride, giving cyclists the chance to take in the views of the vineyards and orchards.
Many of Saturday’s entrants hailed from the Front Range, although the Durango Wheel Club, a large cycling community in Durango, also had a strong turnout.
Godet and his wife try to ride on a weekly basis.
“We have a church group we ride with called the Holy Pedalers,” he said. “We try to ride with them to stay in shape.”
The Godets rode in the Elephant Rock ride in Castle Rock earlier this summer, but the wine country surrounding Palisade holds a special appeal to them.
“It’s just nice here,” he said. “We enjoy the view and the general atmosphere.”
There was a communal feeling at the finish line Saturday morning before a good portion of the crowd made its way from Peach Bowl Park to Riverbend Park to partake in the activities of the Festival in the Park.
The Godets and Conroys had other plans. They headed to Glenwood Springs later in the day and spent the night before a planned trip on the Glenwood Canyon bike trail today.
“We’ll make a weekend out of it,” Godet said.