The great thing about a city race is that you can get in on the action almost anywhere along the route. Big-time cycling fans may stake out harrowing turns, or jam up against the finish line. But for the more relaxed among us, the way to watch the race is with a plate, and maybe a pint. Here are a handful of views that such types will enjoy.
Garden of the Gods
North 30th Street, gardenofgods.com
This one might seem like a no-brainer, as it's a main racing thoroughfare with world-famous views. However, doing the Challenge up right in the rocks is a little bit tricky. Due to area road closures, if you want to watch from the visitor center's expansive patio, be prepared to arrive before 11 in the morning and to stay until after 5 p.m. The visitor center comes complete with café, however, so burgers, brats and sandwiches will be yours for the munching. Or you could bike or walk into the park, since it's closed to traffic, and experience the race up close.
Jake & Telly's Greek Taverna
2616 W. Colorado Ave., jakeandtellys.com
Many Old Colorado City merchants are featuring race-day specials, such as the one Jake & Telly's is offering — your choice of sandwich and a draft beer for $12 — but nobody has a second-floor patio offering ideal street views like this Greek restaurant does. Plus, a little ouzo might be the perfect way to toast the passersby. Opa!
2527 W. Colorado Ave., pizzeriarustica.com
There are a few outdoor seats at his neighboring TAPAteria, too, but owner Dave Brackett's Pizzeria Rustica — a wood-fired homage to the Italian trattoria — comes complete with a lovely shaded patio abutting Colorado Avenue. If the heat brings thirst, fear not: $4 glasses of wine will be paired with a selection of farmers-market eats.
The Wild Goose Meeting House
401 N. Tejon St., wildgoosemeetinghouse.com
Whether you want to watch from inside the opened garage doors with a pint in one hand, or outside on the street-side patio with a coffee in the other, Wild Goose resides at the perfect intersection of cycling and sipping. If you want something else, happy-hour pricing on draft beer, wine and street nachos will run from noon to 6 p.m.
Cowboys, Gasoline Alley, The Mansion
From the balconies at Cowboys and the Mansion, to the rooftop magnificence at Gasoline Alley, clubs owned by the Guadagnoli family will be open for all phases of the race. They'll also be prime spots to watch the Not-So-Pro Cycling Challenge immediately after the day's big event, where locals with 11 downtown bars and organizations, including the Indy, race for guts, God and glory.
Reading the map
Kicking off from First Street and Lake Avenue at 12:50 p.m., Colorado Springs' Stage 4 is a circuit race, with the entire length happening within city limits. Riders will travel from The Broadmoor to downtown Colorado Springs via Cresta Road, South 21st Street and Colorado Avenue. After looping around a few downtown blocks, they'll turn around and head to and through Garden of the Gods. From there, it's the GOG-to-downtown-and-back loop three more times before finishing on Tejon Street.
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