Los Alamos Pedal Peaks
A group of some 350 cyclists participating in an organized bicycle ride rode into Los Alamos Friday afternoon.
By JAYNA BOYLE, firstname.lastname@example.org, Monitor Staff Writer
The cyclists, ranging in age from 14 to 70, were participating in Pedal the Peaks, an annual bicycle tour put on by Cycle America, a group that organizes bicycle tours across the country.
Every year Pedal the Peaks changes its location, and the tour this year started in Albuquerque and went to Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Taos, Los Alamos and then back to Albuquerque.
"We're not necessarily traveling up all the peaks, but there's peaks all around us," said Karen Gorgerson, a staff member with Cycle America.
"The climbs are the hardest part of it," said Ken Cox, a cyclist from Arkansas. He said the highest peak the group rode to was about 10,600 feet and was near Albuquerque.
The tour was about 530 miles and lasted six days. It began June 19 and concluded this weekend.
"This tour was a hot one," Cox said.
Cyclists rode 77 miles from Taos to Los Alamos on Friday, and during the ride they climbed 5,800 feet in elevation, said Matthew Williams, a cyclist from Illinois.
The steepness of the ascent into Los Alamos was not too difficult, Williams said, but the duration of the steepness, about five miles, was challenging for him.
Many participants slept in tents during the tour, while others stayed at campgrounds or hotels, Cox said. Individuals staying in tents Friday night set them up at the field in front of Los Alamos High School.
Tour sponsors rented a truck to hold up to two bags for each participant so that cyclists did not have to take their gear with them while they were riding, Cox said.
"Most of us do this because of the beauty we're seeing and we like camping and riding," said Jaime Rae, a staff member with Cycle America. She said the tours are a good way to meet people from all over the country; participants this year came from Connecticut to California and everywhere in between, including Canada and Mexico, she said.
"I'd never ridden out west on the long mountains before," Williams said. "I don't like them too much. But it's a decent ride - better than some, but not as good as others."
Cox said he has enjoyed the tour and has been training for it. "It's really supposed to be a vacation for me," he said.
Individuals who ride about 1,500 miles a year and have ridden about 500 miles prior to the tour have adequate training to participate in the Pedal the Peaks tour, Williams said.
For more information about bicycle tours organized by Cycle America, call (800) 245-3263 or visit www.CycleAmerica.com.
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