Bike series celebrates successful season
The Tour de Wednesday expanded
The Vail Recreation District EastWest Hospitality Town Mountain Bike Series had a year like no other.
How do you hold a popular bike-racing series in a pandemic?
“I won’t lie. It was definitely a lot of work,” VRD race director Beth Pappas said. “But it really felt worth it to be able to do something for the community and give everyone a sense of normalcy.”
The series wrapped with Wednesday’s Davos Dash — and Josiah Middaugh making some history — but that race like the others in the series was actually a two-day affair.
With COVID-19, the VRD broke up each of the seven events into two days to promote social distancing. Putting the kids and sometimes the beginner division on Tuesdays helped break up the crowds normally associated with the races.
Thus, the Tour de Wednesday became the Tour de Tuesday and Wednesday.
And despite all the obstacles involving gathering people and then dispersing them properly, the VRD didn’t miss one race. It still held seven adult racers this summer as will as the kids-only Minturn Mini.
“The silver lining is that we were forced to think differently,” Pappas said. “We had to be more creative.”
Of course, the big bummer was the lack of a formal gathering after each race. The traditional post-race party doesn’t work with coronavirus. But that does leave more beer for next year.
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