As Breckenridge gets ready to host a leg of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge rolling through next week, it's also preparing residents for the impact on everyday activity.
Because of road closures and a 10:50 a.m. race start Friday, "This year, it's get where you need to be by 9 a.m.," said USA Pro Challenge Breckenridge local organizing committee co-chair Mike Schilling. That means if you want to watch the race, or need to work in town at 10 a.m., it's probably best to make your way in early - the earlier the better.
Because Breckenridge is hosting a start as opposed to a finish, like last year, riders will be a little more accessible since they're not rushing to pack up and get some rest.
"It's a very low-key atmosphere," Schilling said.
Start village activities and autograph opportunities start at 9:30 a.m., followed by a rider ceremony at 9:50. The race itself starts at 10:50 a.m., with two "parade" laps around Park and Main Streets before heading south from town and climbing over Hoosier Pass. The best viewing is probably around the start line, on Park and Main, or one of the switchbacks or summit of Hoosier, according to the organizing committee's website.
Schilling said the group already has more than 340 volunteers, but could still use a few more course marshals, mainly heading up Hoosier.
If you're planning on spectating, pets are not allowed - "You'd hate to see those dogs get out in front of the bikes," said Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-DiLallo - bring a reusable water bottle to refill at the water stations set up around town, and look for the zero-waste tents throughout the event to dispose of trash, recyclables and compostable items.
Bike parking is available at two locations at your own risk: the parking lot of the Summit Housing Authority and in the Courthouse lot. Regular parking will be allowed at all the normal lots, except for the F-lot, Tiger Dredge Lot and part of the South Gondola Lot, Dykstra-DiLallo said.
There is no camping allowed along the race route within town limits of Breckenridge or Blue River, but it is allowed along the race route south of the Blue River town limits in unincorporated Summit County to the top of Hoosier Pass, according to the committee's website.
"I do think there's definitely a fever and excitement out there," Dykstra-DiLallo said. "We're going to be experiencing some pretty big crowds."
Race merchandise can be purchased in Breckenridge at Carvers Ski and Snowboard Shop, Peek A Boo Toys, Craniologie, The North Face Breckenridge, Mountain Wave and the Breckenridge Recreation Center.
For more information and latest updates on the Stage 5 start Aug. 24 in Breckenridge, visit: www.breckprocycling.com
Full race information can be found online at www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com