Apology for bike event's unscheduled reroute impacting avenue business ownersAn unscheduled reroute of the Colorado Springs stage of the Mavic Haute Rockies cycling event June 30 resulted in “some angry comments from businesses on West Colorado Avenue,” according to Westside advocate Welling Clark.
Apprised of this news, Doug Martin of Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, the local coordinator of the 400-participant ride, issued an apology.
“This course variation certainly wasn't something that anyone wanted, cyclists included,” Martin summarized in an e-mail, “but it was necessary given the circumstances that morning. If there would have been more time, there certainly would have been an effort to notify the business owners on West Colorado, but unfortunately this wasn't possible that morning.
“On behalf of OC Sport [the event sponsor], please accept our apologizes for any inconveniences that the last-minute change to the course may have caused.”
Colorado Springs was Stage 7 of the seven-stage Mavic Haute Rockies event, an unofficial affair for which the amateur riders - chiefly European amateurs - paid about $2,400 a person.
As promoted in advance, Stage 7 was laid out mostly on Westside streets while avoiding Old Colorado City and Colorado Avenue. But with the reroute, the cyclists went east on the avenue, protected by a rolling police escort, passing through OCC while traveling from 31st to Walnut Street.
The rest of the sojourn followed the previously publicized map, including Spruce Street, Mesa Road and 30th Street and the finish at Rock Ledge.
The complaints Clark heard came from businesses on the avenue.With their police escort, the cyclists "blocked both eastbound lanes, averaging a speed of 15 mph for the 2.5 miles,” he pointed out in an e-mail to Martin.
“What should I tell those who were unexpectedly impacted by the change in travel venue?” continued Clark, the former president of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) who recently started an advocacy group called the Alliance for the Historic Westside. “Any advice would be welcome in resolving this PR [public relations] issue.”
Clark has previously complained about cycling event planners heavily using Westside streets for both Mavic Haute and the upcoming Colorado Classic (Aug. 10) without involving Westsiders in the process. Meanwhile, for the Classic - which will include eight 15-mile laps through a traffic-limited Westside over an eight-hour span - race-related festivities have been scheduled only in the downtown, Clark has observed.
Of the Mavic Haute reroute, Clark said he heard "lots of griping about cyclists not obeying laws/rules. I think there is a solution where we all can make things work out if we bring all the folks to the table.”
Even that event did not use the Westside for any festivities, despite the Rock Ledge location of the final-stage finish June 30. The celebration activity was instead scheduled that evening in the Broadmoor area.
As for the Colorado Classic, Martin has responded to Clark's festivity concern by pledging to promote any activities that Westside entities come up with that are related to the event.
Westside Pioneer article