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Although other major cycling events such as the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de Suisse happen weeks earlier, the start of July kicks off serious television-watching season in my house.

Every evening during the three weeks and 21 stages of the Tour de France, my husband, an amateur cyclist and huge fan, camps out on the couch with remote in hand.

Versus announcers Bob Roll, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen act as background to our dinners, and discussions typically revolve around me asking questions like, "Why isn't that guy getting off his bike to pee?"

Team sports have never really been my thing, but his excitement is contagious. And frankly, cycling's fast pace, mixed international teams and horrifying crashes make it more intriguing to me to watch than football, basketball or baseball.

While many people only affiliate pro cycling with its doping problems, I realized long ago that what we in the media emphasize is what people tend to focus on.

That in mind, I hope our coverage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will help get you thinking about the many nuances of and benefits to this sport, as well as about the genuine possibility that a few impassioned locals could make Colorado Springs into a premier international cycling destination.

Hope to see you downtown on Monday, Aug. 22.

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