Rally Week Kicks Off With Community Bike RideDoug Fitzgerald
for a fun ride in what was the first of a full slate of events in the week leading up to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which arrived in Colorado Springs on Friday. “We’re looking forward to taking the community along on a ride tonight,” Beauchamp said.
But while the Monday ride was a part of the Stage 5 festivities, it’s been an institution for many. Begun and still led by Bob Smith for the past 26 years, the Monday Night Dinner Ride is held every week in summer. “We’re an eating club with a cycling disorder,” said Beauchamp, who noted the normal Monday crowd is 15-20 riders. “It’s a good chance to get people together all summer long in a nice social setting, go out for a little bit of a ride and then enjoy each other’s company while we sit down over dinner.”
Monday’s ride went to Manitou Springs and back with a loop around the northern part of downtown — a route of about 15 miles. Like most of this week’s events, it was a “no-drop” ride, which means no matter how slow you need to go, someone will stay with you. The idea is to make everyone welcome.
“This is a fun group to ride with,” said Douglas Dawson. “It’s a very eclectic group of folks of all political bents, all walks of life, all economic streams. It’s just a nice cross-mix.” Just over two years ago, Dawson was facing an amputation — and nearly died — after developing a staph infection following knee surgery. Deeply depressed, he started riding with the group in February. “Four knee replacements and 15 surgeries later, after 2½ years, I was finally able to get out of the hospital and get back on a bike,” he said. “They basically saved my life because I can’t run anymore, I can’t climb stairs, but I can ride. It’s rejuvenated me; it’s really been a lifesaver.”
Aside from the regular Monday night crowd, there were participants from other cycling clubs and folks who came by because it sounded like fun.