Spring Into Cycling

 Photo:  Matt Janson

As our dormant desert wildflowers push their petals through the soft, red earth of the valley, our wonderfully diverse trail systems will be inundated with “pedals” of another sort: bike pedals!

It’s no secret our area is a world-class location for cycling events — both on- and off-road — and the calendar of upcoming events is a testament to this reputation. There are offerings for every age and skill level to tempt you out of your ski pants and into Lycra shorts. All you have to do is select your own adventure.

April 22-24 starts off the cycling season with the Rumble at 18 Road Multi-Sport Trail Festival. A true adventure for the hard-core mountain biker or trail runner, this event has something for everyone, including live music while you’re camped out under the stars. Bring the whole family for an unforgettable weekend on the trails.

May 2 is Bike to Work Day in Mesa County. Pull out your cruiser for your commute, and be sure to make a stop for a free breakfast at Grand Junction City Hall, Fruita Civic Park, or Octopus Coffee on Horizon Drive, Grand Junction

 Photo:  Matt Janson

May 4-6 is packed with three major events:
• 23rd Annual Fruita Fat Tire Festival
• US Bank 18 Hours of Fruita
• USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships

Explore products from the hottest cycling brands, and try out the latest-model bikes at the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. Then get your team together for the short-track race around the fast-flowing trails of Highline Lake at 18 Hours of Fruita. Wrap up your cycling weekend by heading to downtown Grand Junction for Sunday brunch to watch the fastest legs in the nation race the USA Collegiate Cycling Criterium. It’s a weekend where you can truly immerse yourself in the bike culture of the Grand Valley.

May 9 is Bike (or Walk) to School Day for all students in Mesa County. Help teach local youth the importance of human-powered transportation while cultivating a healthy lifestyle — and having a great time.

May 12 provides an unparalleled opportunity to race on the world-renowned Kokopelli trail system with the Desert RATS MTB Classic. Choose from either 50k or 100k distances to test your stamina as you wind through the sagebrush, ledgy slickrock, and sandy washes that attract thousands of riders every year. 

May 17 allows you to relax in the cool of the historic Avalon Theatre and treat yourself to the screening of unReal. The film’s breathtaking visuals of mountain biking promise “feelings of awe and pure joy.”

May 18-20 brings the biggest mountain-biking and music festival on the Western Slope with the Grand Junction Off-Road and Four Peaks Downtown Music Festival. (See story on following pages.) Be sure to check out the Clunker Crit and Kids Ride, too.

May 24 delivers the opportunity to celebrate and support the Palisade Plunge — a truly breathtaking proposed trail route that will take riders from the top of Grand Mesa to the verdant fields of Palisade. This event puts the fun in fundraising, with a drink tent, live bluegrass, and a clunker bike race to boot. From 5-8pm at the Palisade Plaza.

May 30 closes out the month with the Grand Valley Bike Month Celebration. Bring the whole family for this free event at 4:30-7:30pm at the Botanical Gardens/Las Colonias small amphitheater.