Thursday, February 25, 2010

tour of the moon

Yesterday I read about a contest being held by the bike lemming that had entrants asking several questions, including how many biking movies you could think of, which was your favorite and why. One of the first that came to mind for me was American Flyers, the 1985 Kevin Costner flick about two brothers heading west to ride in a race called Hell of the West. That fictional race was based on the Coors Classic, and the last two legs were through the Colorado National Monument west of Grand Junction.
Then I was flipping around cable channels later in the day, and there it was, American Flyers. Now, it's a cheesy movie that not many people would really want to see more than once. But there are some fun scenes of training rides in the Midwest, supposedly Indiana and points west. But the real scenery comes in the race scenes. It opens with a stage in the boulder area and moves on to the Monument for a ride that's been called the Tour of the Moon for it's incredible rock formations, hills, and tunnels. It was fun to watch those scenes since I rode through the Colorado National Monument on the BTC last June.  I decided to do a little research on the Coors Classic.
In 1975, the founders of Celestial Seasonings tea company launched a race called the Red Zinger Bicycle Classic to promote their tea by the same name. It was a popular, local, Colorado race. Four years later the PR director bought the rights to the race and took his idea for a bigger event to Coors Brewing. Over the next 10 years it grew into a hugely popular American tour, with stages in Colorado, Nevada and California. One year there was even a stage on the Big Island of Hawaii. It grew over time to become the fourth largest bike race in the world, after the Tour de France, Vuelta Espana, and Giro d'Italia. Winners included Greg Lemond, twice, and Bernard Hinault.


  1. Another stellar post with stellar pictures. Very nice

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