Rec notes: Gear Down’s goal: Lure cyclists from out of town



An autumn economic boost is what the Rotary Club had in mind in devising the F-Town Gear Down Bike Festival in Fruita, which started Friday and continues today.

Local Rotarians came up with the festival at the urging of Gov. John Hickenlooper, a fellow Rotarian, according to event coordinator Michelle Melgares. They intend for it to be an annual event, and this first one will serve as something to build upon and help promote the next one, said Melgares, a past president of the Fruita Rotary Club.

Although many local residents will enjoy the festivities, the goal is to bring people from out of town to Fruita to spend money at local businesses.

That’s why the Monumental Challenge is part of the festival. The bike ride, not a race, includes three climbs: the Aortic Climb up the west side of Colorado National Monument; the Coronary Climb up Little Park Road; and the Pulmonary Climb up the east side of the monument.

“We never envisioned this as a local ride,” Melgares said, pointing out local riders can take on such a challenge any time they want. “We wanted to get new money into our economy.”

A flier promoting the Monumental Challenge claims, “Most riders would do just one of these climbs and call it a day.” The challenge also is billed as “over 65 miles of grueling, painful, steep climbing.”

And that’s supposed to draw people from outside the area?

Absolutely, Melgares said, adding cycling enthusiasts “like to test their endurance. They like to do something that isn’t easy. ... In future years, this type of ride will draw people from all over the region.”

While hard-core cyclists will abound and beer will be sold and consumed at the Fruita Civic Center Park, ground zero for the festival, Melgares emphasized, “Because we’re Rotary, it has to be a family festival.”

That’s why the festival includes cycling-skills clinics for kids and mountain-biking poker runs, plus lots of live music.

Money raised during the event will go to nonprofit organizations Family Health West, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, Rotary Club and Rotaract.

Run for youR life

Ever wonder how much faster you would run if a zombie was chasing you? Wanna find out?

“The Last Run of Your Life” is slated for Saturday, Oct. 27, and it’s being billed as a “zombie-infested 5K.”

The race will raise funds for the Grant-a-Wish program and will feature zombies along the course who will chase runners and try to grab flags from each runner’s flag belt. Runners who make it to the finish line with at least one flag left will be eligible for prizes, such as a Paddles and Saddles trip from Rimrock Adventures or a night stay at Red Cliffs Lodge in Moab, Utah.

Grant-a-Wish helps Grand Valley children by teaching them life skills through parks and recreation activities.

Radio stations KEKB (99.9-FM) and KKNN (95.1-FM) and Red Mango are putting on the race, which begins at the Fruita Community Center, 324 N. Coulson St.

Runners can sign up at Cost is $40 and gets runners a T-shirt, a swag bag and one free beer at Suds Bros. Brewery in Fruita for age-eligible runners. Zombies also are needed, and it costs $10 to be one.

Sports in the theater

Greg Stump’s new ski movie, “Legend of Aahhh’s,” will premier in Grand Junction at 8 p.m. Sunday at Mesa Theater and Lounge, 538 Main St.

According to a news release from Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Saltzman Communications, the feature film “takes a semi-autobiographical approach to explore the history of the ski film genre and the way in which these films have influenced big mountain skiing and pop culture.”

Two days later, Grand Junction will be one of the communities around the nation showing the movie “The Levi Effect: The Story of Levi Leipheimer.” Leipheimer is a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, and the movie is billed as an honest, uncensored, personal look at Leipheimer and the grueling nature of professional cycling.

The Grand Junction showing will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Regal Cinemas 14.

Dodge, dip, duck, dive

If you long for the good (or bad) old days of middle school gym class and that stinging sensation you can only get from a large rubber ball smacking you upside the head, you need to get to Olathe High School on Nov. 10 for the Charity Dodgeball Tournament.

Participants must be at least 18 years old, and team registration begins at 8 a.m. that day. The double-elimination tournament begins at 10 a.m. The registration fee is $300 for a team of six members with one alternate. Team T-shirts are required.

Spectator fees are $10 for ages 13 and older, $5 for kids 6 to 12. Veterans and kids under age 5 get in free.

Proceeds will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates and the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club. The tournament also will include a celebration of veterans in advance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

For more information, call CASA-Voices for Children at 970-249-0337 or the Black Canyon Boys & Girls club at 970-249-5168, or email Stacey at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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