Don’t fear the "River Ride’ |

Don’t fear the "River Ride’

Andy Stonehouse

As many as 300 cyclists are expected to hit the highways and byways of central, northern and western Eagle County tomorrow for the second running of the Colorado Eagle River Century Ride, a long, hot journey for a good cause.

The event, spearheaded by Arn Menconi, founder of the Snowboard Outreach Society and an Eagle County commissioner, is designed as a fund-raiser for the Eagle River Youth Coalition. It’s also a great opportunity for road cyclists to explore parts of the county they may have previously neglected, including a very scenic stretch of hard-packed dirt road known as the Colorado River Road.

Menconi says he hopes riders will opt for the 100-mile route that includes the Colorado River Road section from Bond to Dotsero – although those who’d like a slightly easier journey are invited instead to ride the 100-kilometer version from Avon to Dotsero and back on U.S. Highway 6.

“The idea is to have something unique for riders. But it’s not like those famous French bike races where you have to ride on cobblestones for 200 miles,” says Menconi. “The Colorado River Road route is pretty magical. You get to spend most of the ride close to the river, and there are plenty of aid stations the whole way. But the heat certainly starts outside of Dotsero.”

On call

Britta Horne, emergency medical services director for the Bond/McCoy volunteer fire department, says her entire 18-member staff will be on hand Sunday to help make the ride as safe as possible.

“In reality, we’d most likely be on-call anyways, so we thought it was a good idea to be out there with all of our equipment. When I mentioned that to our members, no one seemed to grumble,” Horne says. “And we’re going to have lots of water in a nice, shaded spot with a tent. It’s going to be very hot and dry out there.”

Horne’s crew will be working to flag down southbound traffic on Colorado Highway 131 and make sure riders are able to safely negotiate the Colorado River Road. She also offers a partial warning to riders preparing for the scenic journey.

“We hope that people take it easy on the trip and remember that it does turn into a gravel road,” she says. “You can wipe out fairly easily.”

Sweet relief

And for everyone feeling a little bit of a burn – muscular or sun-induced – the wrap-up of Sunday’s ride promises a bit of sweet relief.

Dr. Jeff Roth and Dr. Dan Chesney of Eagle-Vail’s Alpine Chiropractic Clinic and orthopod Paul Abbott of Vail Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine will be on hand at the finish to provide some post-event assessments and stretching. There also will be massages available, courtesy of Alpine Chiropractic.

Roth, a veteran of work with the legendary Ironman Triathlons and a specialist in active release therapy techniques, says he’ll be able to help riders who’ve pushed themselves a bit too hard during the course of the long ride.

“I’ve done this long enough that I can look at things in a way that’s just a bit different than a traditional chiropractors or orthopods. We’ve found ways to enhance people’s performance, so their overuse obsessions don’t get to them,” he says. “After an event like this, we probably won’t be working on people too hard, but we’d be happy to provide some free assessments.”

And if your feet are aching after too long in those shoes, D-Squared’s Don Lamson will be on hand to offer some assistance for custom cycling footwear. Lamson, formerly of the Vail Boot Lab, says he’ll have a stationary bicycle for riders to diagnose any foot-related aches and pains and will be able to make foot impressions on site.

“Anything that’s out of alignment is going to show up,” Lamson says.

Before and after

Edwards emphasizes Sunday’s kick-off pancake breakfast is open to the public; and Sunday afternoon’s post-ride party at the Beaver Creek Tavern has also become a much larger event, with owner John Shipp donating the day’s proceeds from the Tavern and the Dusty Boot to the Eagle River Youth Coalition. The party, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., features a massive on-deck barbecue with fresh lobster, ribs and kabobs, plus associated specials.

Those who’d like to sign up for the the River Run can drop by Eagle-Vail’s Pedal Power bike shop today from 10 a.m to 5 p.m., where $85 will get you an event jersey, a sizable swag bag, tickets for drinks and food, and a chance to win a variety of valuable prizes, including a new Giant road bike.

Absolute last-minute, day-of registration for the race is also available for $60 from 6-7 a.m. Sunday at Beaver Creek’s eastern parking lot on Highway 6 in Avon.

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