Ride The Rockies Cyclist Dies
June 13 – A cyclist in the Ride The Rockies tour which over-nighted in Leadville on Tuesday was pronounced dead this morning in the Lake County High School (LCHS) gym which was used as an indoor camping facility for the event. Fellow Ride The Rockies cyclists and medics attempted to revive the man as the urgent 911 call was made. The Leadville Police Department received the call early Wednesday morning and dispatched emergency responders to the high school gym at 5 a.m. Cyclist Joseph Gruber, 53 of Longmont was pronounced dead on the scene.
The case is still under investigation although Leadville Police Chief Mike stated that “It doesn’t look like anything suspicious at this point.” An autopsy will be completed to determine the cause of death.
June 12 was Day 3 of the cycling tour taking cyclists from Carbondale up over Independence Pass through Twin Lakes and into Leadville. While the weather was cooperative with bright blue skies, the wind provided an added challenge for most riders, as they navigated Independence Pass, topping out an elevation of 12,095 feet. Once in Leadville, riders were treated to a warm Leadville welcome and a festive celebration in Ice Palace Park, including live music.
Today is Day 4 for the tour and notably the longest leg of the tour at 94 miles. Cyclistsjourney over Freemnt Pass on Highway 91. And while this climb will again challenge cyclists with an altitude of 11,318, road conditions might actually present a bigger challenge. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has the highway pretty much torn up for re-paving from Climax on to Copper Mounatin. Regular commuters have been lamenting the 20 minute traffic delays for the past week. Now add 2,000 cyclists and all of their support crews and vehicles and the trip to the county might be better put off until another day, if you can arrange it. Ride The Rockies organizers are prepared for the haul and also have a bus available for cyclists who prefer not to ride directly to Granby today.
The tour wraps up in Fort Collins on Friday with a possible re-route due to the High Park Wildfire. For more information check out the Ride The Rockies website.
Thanks to Leadville Co-Community Coordinators
It was what some would call a “Chamber-of-Commerce” day on Tuesday when the Ride The Rockies tour came through Leadville, a host city stop on the 6-day event.
“Leadville definitely made an impression on the 2,000 cyclists: bright blue skies, the two highest peaks in the state, and a warm Leadville welcome!” said Heather Scanlon, Director of the Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce. “It was a fantastic event and one that will pay-off greatly for Leadville and Lake County businesses.” Tour organizers estimate a high economic return for host cities as local cash registers ring with the food, lodging and other purchases.
This event and its economic benefits to the community would not be possible without the awesome coordination of two incredible Leadville women: Heather Scanlon and Gretchen Scanlon – the sisters-in-law! As Co-Community Coordinators, this dynamic duo has been working and coordinating with Ride The Rockies for well over a year to make Leadville shine as a host city. So when you see them – give ‘em a pat on the back, they deserve it!
Another added benefit to Ride The Rockies coming through town is The Denver Post Community Foundation’s $5,000 donation to host cities. This year, their focus is on agencies in each host city that provide literacy programs or serve low-income youth through recreation, education or the arts.
Full Circle of Lake County will be the recipient of that $5,000 grant – congratulations! Full Circle of Lake County’s mission is to provide opportunities, education and caring relationships to help Lake County become a place where people make healthy choices, families thrive and the community is united.