Ear to the ground

“It’s kind of like a soap opera for men.”

– A local man trying to explain the male fascination with televised baseball to a baseball widow

Fat-free in Durango

Put away your balloon tires, wigs, gold lamé and imperial pint glasses. New Belgium Brewing’s ballyhoo of bikes and beer is pedaling past Durango this year. Tour de Fat, the company’s traveling bike-themed festival, would normally set up next week in Durango. However, the “beer festival on the back of a truck” will be landing in a town more in need of bicycle advocacy, according to festival directors.

“The Tour de Fat has always been about bike advocacy, and Durango understands that better than most cities,” said Bryan Simpson, New Belgium spokesman. “In order to progress the advocacy element, we have to bring the show to new towns.”

Simpson added that another issue arose last year, when the Tour de Fat was relocated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds. The move shifted the festival out of downtown and away from its longstanding home at Buckley Park. “We have outgrown our preferred venue in Durango, making it a challenge to bring the event back successfully,” he said.

Much more than beer, bands and bike games will go down the road with the Tour de Fat. The event has raised more than $64,000 for Durango nonprofits since it started in 2002. In order to sweeten a difficult decision, New Belgium will donate $8,000 to past beneficiaries – The San Juan Mountain Association and Trails 2000 – this year. New Belgium will also be in Durango as a sponsor for the Single Speed World Championships on Sept. 18-20.

Local riders/imbibers will also get a consolation prize. Trails 2000 is hosting a Sept. 12 replacement bike parade in conjunction with the Durango Coffee Fest. Cyclists are encouraged to show up, don a costume, bring the family, cop a buzz at the coffee fest and head out in parade formation. The procession begins at 8th Street and Main Ave. at 10 a.m.

Top of the world

A young Durango boater is paddling off to the big show next week. Durango Whitewater canoe racer Zach “Bug” Lokken, age 15, has been selected to compete at the World Championships for Whitewater Canoe Slalom. The best of the best will square off on Sept. 9-13 in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain.

The worlds will mark the end of a remarkable season for the C-1 boater. Over the summer, he finished eighth in the Junior Pre-World races in Foix, France, and third in the Senior Pan American Games in Alberta, Canada.  He also earned first place finishes in both the single and two-man canoe races at the summer Junior Olympics in Ontario, Canada.

For complete World Cup results, go to www.usack.org .




In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows