Words By Lydia Tanner
2010 marks the inaugural season of the Colorado High School Mountain Bike League, which promises to provide accessible racing experience for young riders across the state. Sister leagues in California have had incredible success in the last few years, and this season teens in Colorado will finally have the same opportunities.
To help launch the program, Olympic and World Cup stars Susan DeMattei and Dave Wiens have signed on for the first ever Colorado Cyclefest; the "two-wheeled social event of the year." Parents, teens, and cycling enthusiasts are all invited, and proceeds from the event will go to the League. This means that you could eat some great food, win prizes, ride with celebrities, and call it community service. After all, what better deed is there than getting a kid on a bike?
Cyclefest will begin with a Gala Dinner on May 1st in Palettes Restaurant at the Denver Art Museum. The next day, particpants will have the opportunity to join a group road ride from Boulder with De Mattei and Weins, concluding with a lunch at Bacaro Venetian Tavern, hosted by Executive Chef Fabio Flagiello.
It may not be the hardcore weekend you'd penciled into your training plan, but it's certainly more philanthropic. Mountain Biking has proven to be extremely successful as a school sport, but it needs funding to get off the ground. "Teams are already forming from Fort Collins to Fruita," says organizer Kate Rau. It's an auspicious start. High School leagues can (and already have) put mountain biking on kids' sports radar, but they don't run on orange wedges and gummy bears alone.
If you'd like to support the program but can't justify the $100 ticket for the weekend, there will be also be a fabulous raffle featuring such sponsors as Specialized, SRAM, Trek, Wheat Ridge Cyclery and Yeti. The grand prize is a Trek Fuel EX 8.0, supplied by Wheat Ridge Cyclery and Trek Bikes. Tickets go for just $5 each, and can be purchased, along with tickets for the event, at http://coloradomtb.org/cyclefest2010.htm.