Summit Cycling Club seeks a revitalized scene |

Summit Cycling Club seeks a revitalized scene

SUMMIT COUNTY – There are some cyclists in the High Country who fondly remember the days when there was a massive contingent of like-minded athletes who could train, race and tour together in Summit County. In other words, there was a cycling scene.

Recently, there has been a cycling resurgence with the efforts of Maverick Sports Promotions, which, along with managing the long-standing Summit Mountain Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series (founded by A Racer’s Edge owner Greg Guras) for the past three years, teamed up with fellow cycling advocates Great Adventure Sports to launch the Road Time Trial series last year. Also, Team Managers Ski Bicycle and Rowing Co. is working with Copper Mountain to put together weekend cycling tours this summer, and a couple of competitive cyclists have resurrected the Summit County Cycling Club.

The Summit County Cycling Club emerged in 2000 with the efforts of a small group of local cyclists, including Evan Wasserman and Scott Bourque (who has now moved out of the county).

The group wanted to create a base of enthusiasm for cycling with training rides, team dynamics, clinics and camaraderie and had visions of regular local races.

“The club thing was all about getting people together to ride and race,” Wasserman said. “We were up to about 75 people. We thought, the more people, the better. It was a community goodwill thing. The main idea was to get people more involved in cycling.”

Those that worked the hardest for the cycling club eventually did not have the time to carry it on, and by the end of 2001, despite efforts to hand off the club’s title, financial base and club management, Wasserman and the others had to discontinue it and donate the club’s worth of about $1,500 to charity.

The club was built after the now-defunct Copper Mountain Velo team, which existed for about 15 years and consisted of about 100 local and statewide riders who would compete in regular weekend criteriums at Copper where the prize purse sometimes amounted to $10,000.

“That was definitely a model we used,” Wasserman said. “It had been about three years since that was going. Before that, there was a Team Breckenridge, and Keystone had a team for about a year or so. Then, for about a year, there was nothing.”

The resurrection

Last February, after Summit County Cycling Club sat in its grave for just over a year, Frisco resident Tim Bryant and Gypsum resident Steve Prokopiw, both former members of Copper Mountain Velo, dug it up, dusted it off and re-licensed it with the American Cycling Association (ACA). Now, they are looking for members.

“We’re hoping to resurrect a lot of the old blood,” said Bryant, who has been racing for 25 years and regularly competes in statewide and national cycling contests. “Our vision is to offer local training rides and have a bona fide race on the racing calendar. We’re looking to offer up a base for cycling with a racing connection and also bring some beginners into it and some women. The women’s numbers are growing quite largely in cycling.”

Of course, the Summit County Cycling Club is also looking for sponsors and a membership base from both sides of Vail Pass.

“We want to get people into cycling, particularly racing,” said Prokopiw, who is a two-time world cycling champion, a certified cycling coach and the guy Summit cyclists know from his clock-blowing wins in the Great Adventure time trial series. “We mainly intend to ride. We welcome mountain bike riders – most mountain bikers do two-thirds of their training on the road. We’d like to have some regular group rides and go on the existing rides – the Wednesday ride in Eagle-Vail, or the Tuesday ride that meets in Frisco. We would like to get the Summit County and Vail Valley junior riders involved.”

Bryant and Prokopiw said club costs are $60 per year and will include a jersey. In addition to basic interest and participation in cycling rides, clinics and activities, the Summit County Cycling Club also wants to sprout a competitive racing team.

“National championships are some of our goals, and state championships,” Bryant said. “The state of Colorado has a very large racing schedule starting in early March and ending in September. There’s probably 30 races in Colorado – criteriums, time trials, hill climbs. There’s a lot of racing opportunities.”

Eventually, the Summit County Cycling Club would like to manage a local competition scene like the days of yore with Copper Mountain Velo, when cyclists travelled for hundreds of miles to partake in Summit County cycling events. The club is also hoping to form an alliance with other cycling promoters in the community – Team Managers, Great Adventure and Maverick Sports.

“Copper Mountain just had a fantastic team,” Bryant said of Copper Mountain Velo. “The guy running the cycling club – David Randall – moved on to Buena Vista when Intrawest bought the resort. There were two different (crit) courses – a long and a short. It was famous, and the money was huge. You’d see 350 to 500 people race and get some national and world interest. It was amazing.”

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