Local bicyclist in Fairplay

Fairplay has many bicycle paths and wide roads. Drivers are used to seeing bicyclists throughout the summer and even some brave winter cyclists. Not all bicyclists are colorfully clad like the young man seen here, but bright clothing is highly recommended. Colorado and Fairplay sports shops are reporting an increase in demand for bicycle related services and equipment this summer. (Photo by Lori Bennett/The Flume)

“We are getting a lot more people interested in bicycling supplies and information as opposed to last year,” said Richard Pica, sales associate for High Alpine Sports store in Fairplay. “It could be because they want to get outside after the virus lockdown,” he added.

This upward trend in business for bicycle shops has been reported in other areas in Colorado and throughout the nation by several news outlets.

Fairplay may see more local bicyclists this year, as well as bicyclists from around Colorado. However, the out of state and out of country bicycle traffic is expected to be much less.

It is not unusual to see lots of cross country bicyclists riding the 1976 Bicentennial route across the U.S. or the Great Divide bicycle route that goes from Canada to Mexico through Fairplay throughout the summer, but this summer is different.

The Adventure Cycling Association that supports many cyclists traveling through the U.S. with maps and information is strongly discouraging cross country bicycle travel this summer.

A statement from the organization on their website states, “At this time, Adventure Cycling Association discourages cyclists from embarking on long-distance bike travel along the Adventure Cycling Route Network.

“We believe the bicycle travel community has a responsibility to avoid endangering the health of small communities and straining limited medical resources. Moreover, shelter-in-place and quarantine orders exist at many levels of government across our network, and availability of services is inconsistent and unpredictable.”

New to cycling Fairplay?

High Alpine Sports carries some supplies and has maps, information and vacation guides that provide trail and path routes.

Pica says, “The bicycle path from Fairplay to Alma is a six-to-seven mile stretch with beautiful terrain  and challenging heading up toward Alma.”

Advanced bicyclists with strong legs and lungs may want to continue from Alma to Hoosier pass.

Coloradoguy.com reviewed this ride: “Hoosier Pass is a great mountain pass for cyclists. It is also on the famed Trans-America Bicycle Trail, a cross-country route. Today I biked from Fairplay to Hoosier Pass, a reasonable eleven mile ride (one way) with a 1500 foot gain in elevation. Note that for the final four miles of steep climbing, there’s little shoulder. Most drivers in Colorado are tolerant and courteous toward cyclists though, and everyone gave me ample room when they passed.”

Mountain biking is also popular and trails abound. Many enjoy the Kenosha Pass trails, trails around Boreas Pass, Weston Pass and many more. Stop into High Alpine Sports to get trail condition information or contact the South Park Ranger District.

Get your helmet on and enjoy. Remember to wear bright clothes so drivers can easily see you.

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