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Points for participation 

Race day's going to be a little crazy, what with the temporary closures of all related roads coming from Garden of the Gods (see map, p. 33), not to mention some of the main downtown arteries for the fan festival. And after all the cyclists have blasted by, there's still the question of where to go next. So stick with us, dear friends, and we'll guide you through the mess.

Parking

• The Downtown Partnership says the lot at Pikes Peak and Cascade avenues will be closed all of Thursday and Friday, so look to the parking garages at 215 N. Cascade Ave., 130 S. Nevada Ave. and 127 E. Kiowa St. All of them max out at $6.75 for all-day parking — hourly rates hover around a dollar, depending on when you park — and there are some 2,500 spots available among them.

• Street parking outside the race area will still be available, as well — although you've got to watch those meters. We recommend you take the DP's understated advice: "It's a great day to ride your bike, or park in the transit shuttle lots and take the bus into downtown." If you do the former, there will be a bike valet at Acacia Park (115 E. Platte Ave.).

Spectating

See "Take 5" for a few local luminaries' picks for the best spectating spots on race day.

Eating

Visit tinyurl.com/CScyclingfood for the Indy's coverage of the best restaurants in the downtown/central area.

Drinking

Try — you guessed it — tinyurl.com/cyclingdrink for the Indy's coverage of the same area's best bars and "nightlife" spots.

Bike-seeing

• If you like coffee or biking, and especially if you like coffee and biking, head north to Cafe Velo (11550 Ridgeline Drive, #102, cafevelobikes). The full-service cycle/coffee shop "focusing on road, triathlon, and endurance [mountain biking]" routinely hosts big names in the rolling world, and is sure to be a hot spot for those coming down from the rush of racing-by riders.

• You may have noticed that big, yellow building on the corner of Colorado Avenue — that's just the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters, where the suits work. If you want the good stuff, head east toward Union Avenue and hit the Olympic Training Center (1 Olympic Plaza, teamusa.org), which hosts 140,000 people per year who usually get to see athletes, film showings, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Rotunda and more.

• The Colorado Springs Velodrome in Memorial Park (1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave., csvelodrome.org) has hosted its fair share of blue-ribbon track-racing events, including the Masters Track National Championships four weeks ago, and holds weekly races on Tuesday and Thursday nights (through Sept. 13). You can also sign up for "Learn to Ride the Velodrome" clinics, or just watch some Colorado Springs Velodrome Association riders train.

Riding

• The professionals will be blasting through the red rocks of Garden of the Gods (gardenofgods.com) on their way to the Stage 5 finish line, and you can, too, just by following the route listed on usaprocyclingchallenge.com.

• If you're wanting a ride that will reveal much of the city and not cause asthma attacks, the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail runs north to south along the western half of the city and connects to a variety of additional parks and trails. "It's flat, it's gravel, it's a wide path for the kids to ride on, and you can jump on it at pretty much any point and ride in either direction and have a great ride," says Nikki McComsey, executive director of Kids on Bikes. "I like to start at America the Beautiful Park (126 Cimino Drive) and head north from there."

• Or, of course, you can just put together your own ride. You've got your favorite guidebooks and sites, but if you want some live and local advice, the folks at Old Town Bike Shop (426 S. Tejon St., oldtownbikeshop.com), Criterium Bicycles (6150 Corporate Drive, criterium.com), and Ted's Bicycles (3016 N. Hancock Ave., tedsbicycles.com) — all reader favorites in the Indy's annual Best Of Colorado Springs competition — can surely set you right.

bryce@csindy.com


Make a breakaway

Pedal or party like a King of the Mountain on Aug. 24

Most of your agenda for Friday, Aug. 24 may revolve around lording over a lawn chair somewhere along the USA Pro Cycling Challenge route. But for true cycling enthusiasts activities get rolling early that morning and run late into the night.

SRM VIP Ride with Mario Cipollini, a spin with star cyclist and noted sprinter "Cipo" that starts at SRM USA (720 W. Monument St.) and swings through Garden of the Gods and downtown. Tickets include two VIP race day tickets and a jersey. 9 a.m. $500. usacycling.org.

Ride Stage 5 Criterium, sign up to ride the same route the pros will in a competitive or fun category (which include men's, women's and a citizen's ride.) 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. $15-$25. usacycling.org.

Stage 5 Finish Festival, an all-day party held downtown with live music from Funkiphino and Martini Shot, big-screen live coverage, BMX demos, a beer garden, the Mobile Music Project (a pedal-powered and -transported music venue), kids' activities and more. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. ridestage5.com.

Not-So-Pro Challenge: Adult Trike Races, watch company teams, including the Indy, compete in a trike race with challenges that include a beer pong stop, cones to weave and other shenanigans. 5-6 p.m. Free. ridestage5.com.

Stage 5 Afterparty: Live Music, Drink Specials and Fireworks, following the Stage 5 Finish Festival, music continues in Acacia Park and the Mansion, drinks will flow at downtown bars, and the fireworks will kick off at 9:30 p.m. from the parking garage at Kiowa Street and Nevada Avenue. 6-10 p.m. Free. ridestage5.com.

*Bikes, artwork by Gary Weston and Abigail Kreuser. On display hrough Aug. 31. Pro Cycling Challenge reception, Friday, Aug. 24, 5-8 p.m. Kreuser Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., 630-6347, abigailkreusergallery.com.

*Eighth Annual Roll Bike Art Festival: Full Circle, the return of this bicycle-themed art show, which includes photography, sculpture and more. Through Oct. 20. Marmalade at Smokebrush, 219 W. Colorado Ave., #210, 444-1012, smokebrush.org.

— Compiled by Edie Adelstein

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