A rocky road

A rocky road

And speaking of cycling hotbeds, Durango will turn into a tent city next week as Ride the Rockies rolls into town for an extended stay June 12-14.

The annual event, which runs June 10-17, will take 2,000 cyclists on a tour of southern Colorado, starting in Alamosa and including Pagosa Springs, Durango, Ridgway, Montrose, Gunnison and Salida. In all, riders will cover 447 miles and 32,000 feet of elevation gain.

Riders will arrive from Pagosa to Durango the afternoon/evening of Mon., June 12, where they’ll spend the night before embarking on a local loop (entailing Hermosa Hill and Lake Nighthorse). Riders will then tackle the Million Dollar highway enroute to Ridgway the morning of Wed., June 14.

Motorists are urged to be extra careful these days, with cyclists hitting the road as early as 6 a.m. (Coal rollers please stay home.)

Locals are invited to join the Business Improvement District in welcoming the riders Monday from 2-8 p.m. at Buckley Park. Highlights include beer from Odell Brewing, music by the Still-water Music Summer All Stars and Kirk James Blues Band, and food from Mountain Stir Fry, the Hummus Bus, Mariana's Authentic Cuisine and Alaskan Reindeer Redhots (it’s an Alaskan thing). And, to get them ready for their little jaunt to Ridgway, there will be a carbo-loading (read: more beer) party from 4 - 9 p.m. Tues., June 13, at the train depot downtown.