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The a-maze-ing race 

So you want to come out for Colorado Springs' prologue of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Good for you.

Now there are just a few minor details. Like where to park. Or lock up your bike. Or how to even get to your chosen watching spot around all those road blockades.

No problem, we've got you covered.

And you sourpusses who just want to get to and from work on Monday without getting caught up in all that race-generated traffic? We've got you covered, too.

Where to park

Race organizers strongly urge you to ride your bike to the race and festival. Not only does it fit well with the spirit of the event, but it will help prevent traffic jams. With that said, we'll list the bike-related parking options first.

Downtown bike valet

On Sunday, Aug. 21, for the People's Pedal Party, a free bike valet will be available at Pikes Peak and Nevada avenues, in between the Mining Exchange Building and DocuMart. If you are one of the first 25 people to use the free downtown bike valet service (it begins at 3:30 p.m.), you get a free race T-shirt that will score you discounts to downtown businesses that evening and on race day.

On Aug. 22, race day, a free bike valet will also be available. This one is part of the festival area around Cascade and Colorado avenues, right across from Phantom Canyon Brewing Co.

Park-and-bike option

You're more than welcome to park your car at the University Village Colorado shopping center, 4880-5342 N. Nevada Ave., and bike south on Nevada Avenue to the downtown area.

Downtown parking structures (always open)

Moving onto purely automotive transport, there are three garages available in the downtown core:

• 215 N. Cascade Ave., 305 spaces

• 130 S. Nevada Ave., 1,624 spaces

• 127 E. Kiowa St., 650 spaces

Downtown street parking

The city is working to finalize limited free street parking at downtown meters. Check for updates at facebook.com/cyclingsociety or facebook.com/downtown80903. Or risk the ticket.

Garden of the Gods

Two good options here: Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center (which will remain open on race day) at 1805 N. 30th St., and Rock Ledge Ranch, across the street from the Visitor Center.

Where not to park

Let's start with the obvious: Don't park on the race route. You will be towed.

Two other things to keep in mind:

• From 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on race day, you can't park on Cucharras Street between 21st and 26th streets — unless you're a resident.

• From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on race day, you can't park on Colorado Avenue between Cimino Drive (the road leading to America the Beautiful Park) and Tejon Street.

Where to avoid

On race day, try not to drive down or across roads along the race route. In fact, avoid driving anywhere near the race route if you can.

While most road closures will only officially be in effect from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., you may run into traffic associated with the set-up and take-down of blockades, or just construction, crowds and traffic. Indeed, some of these hang-ups may be experienced as early as Saturday.

If you simply must travel near the race route, keep these pointers in mind.

Pre-race closures and detours

• From 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, northbound Cascade Avenue, between Vermijo Street and Colorado Avenue will be closed.

• From 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 21, to 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 22, westbound Colorado Avenue between Tejon Street and Antlers Place will be closed.

• From 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 21, to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, northbound and southbound Cascade Avenue between Colorado and Pikes Peak avenues will remain open for Antlers Hilton hotel traffic only.

Closures and detours starting at 11 a.m. on race day

• Ridge Road will be closed.

• Pikes Peak Avenue between 30th and 35th streets will be closed.

• Colorado Avenue from 31st to Tejon streets will be closed.

• The southbound lane of Tejon Street between Cucharras Street and Colorado Avenue will be closed.

• The majority of the Garden of the Gods Park roads will be closed, with the exception of the "lower loop."

• Watch for barricading to begin at 11:30 a.m. around the far west end of Colorado Avenue, especially near the Ridge Road and West Pikes Peak Avenue area.

Where to ... camp?

The state Department of Transportation will allow camping along Colorado highways that run along the race route. However, this isn't applicable to Colorado Springs because our route doesn't accommodate that. In other words, don't pop up a tent along Colorado Avenue or U.S. 24.

stanley@csindy.com

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