Businesses see increase during Ride the Rockies, a fun time in Granby
Ryan Summerlin June 19, 2012
V.J. Valente, owner of Full Circle Cyclery in Granby, saw three bikes that needed repairs on Wednesday when Ride the Rockies cyclists came into town.
“I saw a few cyclists who broke their cleats on the loose gravel on Ute Pass,” he said.
“The riders definitely had a good time. Everyone I talked to had a great time and were looking forward to riding Trail Ridge Road. It was like they paid their dues to get to that point.”
Valente has done the tour several times and wished he could’ve joined them, he said. This year, however, he tended to the bikers in needed of bike repairs.
Other businesses profiting from the influx of visitors included Mavericks Restaurant, Brickhouse 40, and Grand River Coffee.
“The people were fun,” said Seth Carpenter, who worked Wednesday at Brickhouse 40, about the riders and their families who dined at the restaurant in downtown Granby. “The riders were super excited to have a beer and good food. There were smiles on everyone’s faces; positive people all around.”
“Ride The Rockies is great for the community,” said Brickhouse 40 owner Dino Kaplanis
Jill Miles, owner of Grand River Coffee, saw repeat business from past rides, and once the cyclists left, support staff came into her shop on Agate Avenue.
“I never met someone in a bad mood on the ride,” she said. “A guy wiped out on the gravel, he’s all scraped up and he is in the shop laughing and telling the story.”
But business wasn’t quite what it’s been in the past, she added, due in part to the cyclists leaving early the next morning to arrive at the entrance gate in Rocky Mountain National Park by 8 a.m.
Miles enjoyed talking to people from all over the country in her coffee shop during the two days. Some have completed Ride the Rockies five to six times, she said.
“This year quite a bit more business trickled in,” said Spirits and Things owner Gary Jahn, who saw extra business for the first time this year.
“Support people came in and we definitely had a few hours when we were really busy,” he said
The ‘week in the saddle’
As many as 2,000 cyclist participated in the annual Ride The Rockies this year.
“Ride the Rockies is not a cruise through the park. We always put cyclist safety at the forefront,” said fifth year tour director Chander Smith.
At this point, people are looking back fondly on their week in the saddle and sharing their stories, Smith said. “Riders can now sit back and talk about it. It’s a notch on their belt. They can pride themselves in getting through (the rough section of Ute Pass).”
Alan Findley of the Granby area documented his ride on his blog: www.toadslessraveled.blogspot.com
The final stage of the ride had to be re-routed and ended at Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, which made the last leg of the ride on the plains “flat with a tailwind,” he said. “I would do it again.”
As business returns to normal in Granby, Patrick Brower, enterprise facilitator for Granby, would love to see thousands of people in Granby every week, he said.
“The early departure hurt the town, but the Rotary sold about 900 breakfasts in the gym. It was a great event for the town.”