Now is not the time to cop out over the tire that just won't stay inflated. Patch and pump that sucker and get out there to one of the numerous events held in honor of Colorado Springs hosting Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (facebook.com/USAProChallengeColoradoSprings). Though the race comes to town Aug. 21, there are events on each of the four days leading up to it.
There is a similar array of events planned in Woodland Park, host town for Stage 5; visit tiny.cc/rnlhkx and tiny.cc/dolhkx for info on those. And in next week's Indy, you'll find more coverage related to race day itself.
Sunday, Aug. 17: Stage 4 Citizen's Ride, a ride with two-time Olympian Alison Dunlap and Paralympic cyclist and skier Allison Jones on a 15.5-mile ride through downtown and Garden of the Gods and back. A 2.5-mile ride through just downtown will also be offered. 10:30 a.m. Antlers Park, 31 W. Pikes Peak Ave. $15. tiny.cc/1vg8jx.
Monday, Aug. 18: Colorado Springs Cycling Club Ride & Dinner, a casual ride of 12 to 15 miles on the west side, with a post-ride dinner (at riders' expense) at Rudy's Country Store & BBQ. (Held on Mondays through Sept. 15 — go online for details.) The ride itself is free. Meet at America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive at 5:15 p.m. bikesprings.org.
Tuesday, Aug. 19: Club Café Velo Ride, a ride open to all abilities, ranging from 8 to 20-plus miles of road, up north by the café. Beer and snacks to follow. Free. RSVP at 772-6101, firstname.lastname@example.org or online. 3 p.m. Café Velo, 11550 Ridgeline Drive, #102. tiny.cc/qim8jx.
Wednesday, Aug. 20: UpaDowna Pedal Party, a free, family-friendly 5-mile ride through downtown. Please complete an online waiver before the ride, available online. Wednesdays, through Sept. 24, 6 p.m. McCabe's Tavern, 520 S. Tejon St. tiny.cc/9km8jx.
Thursday, Aug. 21:
• Celebrate Colorado Springs Cycling Ride, a community ride featuring USA Cycling members, USA Triathlon members, cycling clubs, BMX clubs, adaptive riding groups and many more, that loops from Acacia Park down Tejon Street, to Colorado Avenue, Cascade Avenue, Bijou Street and back. Participants are encouraged to wear cycling jerseys and costumes. 10:45 a.m. Acacia Park, 115 E. Platte Ave. tiny.cc/kxn8jx.
• USA Pro Cycling Challenge Old Colorado City Event, live music from the Springs City Jazz Band featuring Laura Davis, restaurant discounts, store sales and viewing areas. Noon. Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave. tiny.cc/h5p8jx.
• Miss-n-Out Invitational Criterium, a short course held downtown. Fifty riders will compete, with some dropping each lap until 10 remain to determine a winner. Noon. tiny.cc/lio8jx.
• Invitational Sprint Tournament, two heats of five riders (both male and female) will sprint 430 meters to the UPC finish line, with the top two men and women advancing to a final sprint. 12:30 p.m. tiny.cc/lio8jx.
• USA Pro Challenge Stage 4, begins at First Street and Lake Avenue at 12:50 p.m., and finishes at Pikes Peak Avenue and Tejon Street between 3:30-4:15 p.m. Go online for information on the spectator festival and other activities. tiny.cc/muo8jx.
• Not So Pro Cycling Challenge, 11 teams of four — from Tony's, Springs Orleans, The Mansion, Jack Quinn's, the Indy, and others — perform a cycling obstacle course on pixie bikes. Held downtown immediately following the Stage 4 finish. 4:15 p.m. tiny.cc/e0m8jx.
• VIP Reception, following Stage 4, cocktails and light appetizers with Phil Liggett, "the voice of cycling," and Paul Sherwen, analyst for the Tour de France, Tour of California and the USA Pro Challenge. To be followed by the Stage 4 Gala at the Broadmoor. $250. 6 p.m. Penrose Heritage Museum, 11 Lake Ave. tiny.cc/amn8jx.
• Stage 4 Gala, a three-course dinner with NBC highlights and live commentary from Liggett and Sherwen, who will conduct a Q&A with top riders of the sport. There will also be a silent auction. $150. 6:30 p.m. Broadmoor Hall at the Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave. tiny.cc/amn8jx.
Sunday, Aug. 24: Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb, citizen and professional races up the Pikes Peak Highway. Online registration closes Aug. 20. $30-$100. coscycling.com.