Visit a local bike shop on Monday, Aug. 22, and you might find the Colorado Springs Bicycle Map. Developed by city staff, it features everything from mountain biking trails to multi-use trails to bike lanes on city roads. For the reasonable price of $7.95, you even get touches like color-coding of routes based on the volume of automotive traffic.
It's comprehensive enough to make you think that we, as a bike-friendly city, really have our act together.
Here's the thing: That map's a first edition, and was delivered to that store by a city traffic staffer over the weekend. Like so much else you'll see downtown and on the west side this week, its production was accelerated, if not catalyzed, by the arrival of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado Springs.
As J. Adrian Stanley's story makes clear, a small group of locals, led by superstar trainer Chris Carmichael, made the Springs a player in this thing. Everyone else — our newspaper staff included — has been playing catch-up, trying to understand and embrace all that the event could mean for our city.
In this week's coverage (see the full list of stories below), you'll find tips for getting into and around the event; suggestions for eating and drinking when you're there; info on media coverage of all seven race days; an expanded calendar; and a couple stories reprinted from last week, to fill in any blanks on the whys and hows of the Challenge.
From our mom-and-pop restaurants to the top levels of city government, people are suddenly stretching themselves, trying to help accomplish something big. If you're at the event on Monday, please take a minute to appreciate that for at least one day, so many people here are attempting this climb together.