Chris Johnson ColoradoanWritten by Chris Johnson for the Coloradoan republished with permission.

YGR Live, Northern Colorado’s live bike talk show, fired up the mics for a third monthly installment Thursday night to a packed crowd at New Belgium Brewing Co.

After recapping local news, Dan Porter and I were joined on stage by new FC Bikes Manager Tessa Greegor, who spoke a bit on her background and history as a cyclist and planner. She shared a detailed presentation on her plans to help coordinate our community’s effort to win the “race” toward becoming the first Diamond-certified bike-friendly community.

Greegor was hesitant to offer a timeline, and pointed out that the certification is less of a goal than it is a benchmark, confirming we are moving Fort Collins in the right direction by offering incentives to residents for riding more.

The USA Pro Challenge stage coming to Northern Colorado on Aug. 24 was discussed. We recapped the structure of the local organizing team, which is built around an inter-governmental agreement entered into by the towns and cities of Loveland, Windsor, Estes Park and Fort Collins, as well as Larimer County.

This IGA contracted with the USAPC to provide operational, technical, volunteer and marketing partnerships for the stage. IGA/LOC co-chair Bob Herrfeldt revealed that the group has raised roughly 90 percent of the projected budget for the stage through support from a number of local corporations, as well as in-kind and cash support from the city governments.


Following Tuesday’s announcement of the confirmed teams, we reached out to Fort Collins local Alex Hagman of Jelly Belly Cycling, who informed us he’s on his team’s roster for the Colorado race. Hagman joined us for a walk-through of the route, noting that the early sprint point in Windsor guarantees the stage will be hard from the start. He said the stage is set up for some of the week’s final sprint points, meaning we’ll see aggressive, spirited racing across Windsor and Loveland even before climbing starts in in Big Thompson Canyon.

Hagman predicted winds will play a huge role in the final 20 miles of the race around the many short, but intense, climbs of Horsetooth Reservoir and then across Fort Collins to a finish line in Old Town. He said, given the right conditions, it could even be decisive to the overall picture. It has all the makings of a hotly contested, tactical race finish.

Suzie Livingston of Fort Follies Women’s Cycling Program joined us to announce that Fort Collins will be hosting a pro women’s criterium on race day, using the the last few kilometers of the race course as three of the four legs of its circuit and College Avenue as the fourth.

Porter hammered on the importance of volunteers to pull off an event of this scale. We’re only now starting to get an outline of how many folks we’ll need on the ground. As Dan put it, this is an “all-hands-on-deck” event for the Northern Colorado cycling community.

Never before have the cyclists of NoCo had the opportunity to share what makes our community so strong with visitors to our region and with the millions watching on the Internet and television all over the world.

Signing up to represent our area as a volunteer ambassador will ensurethe USA Pro Challenge and the festivities that surround it are more than just a simple bike race. Together we can make this a celebration of our love of bikes, beers, the outdoors and a symbol of our commitment to regional cooperation amongst governments, businesses and our tireless volunteer bike community.

For more info and to sign up volunteer, visit, or and follow the race and YGR on social media.

Chris Johnson is a former Chicago bike messenger, longtime all-weather commuter, recreational endurance cyclist, current category 2 road bike racer and director of Northern Colorado Cycling Events. Email NorCoCyclingEvents@ or visit yourgroup