Durango prides itself on cycling culture
October 26, 2018 06:49 PM
DURANGO, COLO. - Since the birth of the Iron Horse Classic in 1972, to the hosting of the first Mountain Bike World Championship in 1990, Durango has built a name for itself as a cycling mecca.
"When you have great events, you get great athletes," said Ed Zink, local legend and bike store owner. "So if you look around at the walls here, you know there is jerseys and bikes from Olympians and world champions and national champions. And so you can be excited about the events or you can be excited about the people. You can have heros."
In addition to heroes like Greg Herbold, Todd Wells and Ned Overend, creating a powerhouse cycling community takes works from the grassroots level.
Thirteen years ago, Chad Cheeney and Aubrey Volger launched Devo, a youth cycling program in Durango.
"I kind of realized they didn't really have a team or any direction or a season," Cheeney said.
The program now coaches over 900 kids from preschool through high school. The impact of the program is evident on the pro circuit.
"After 13 years, we had one of our kids from the first year get second at the world championships last weekend. Another guy from the first few years is in the "Vuelta a Espana," so he is racing for a pro tour road team, kicking butt all over the world. So the kids are off doing everything from those first few years," Cheeney said.
So where does Durango go from here?
"Because we have such a strong legacy, a lot of student-athletes come here to be a part of that legacy and that helps perpetuate our legacy," Dave Hagen, Director of Fort Lewis College Cycling team. "We want people to know they are welcome." "You ride a bike you know for your own personal reasons and what you want to get out of it. That opportunity is there for our community and anyone who comes here to ride."
Created: October 26, 2018 06:49 PM
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