When the USA Pro Cycling Challenge prologue time trial gets underway on Monday, the first neighborhood it will hit is Ridge Road.
The 135 or so racers on 17 professional teams can expect a warm welcome from residents of Ridge Road.
The neighborhood seems to keep a welcome mat for pro racers. The road has hosted many races over the years and seems to embrace its front-row status.
He’s going to invite friends and enjoy the festivities. It helps, perhaps, that Jim is an avid mountain bike rider.
Across the street, Bill Branford said he’ll probably watch, as well.
Neither man is too concerned about the crowds or the idea of being landlocked a few hours. It’s worth it to the community to put up with the commotion, they said.
Down the steep hill on Ridge Road, other neighbors are making plans, as well, for race-watch parties.
These are race veterans, like Patricia Ratliff, who has seen many races over 26 years on Ridge. She’ll probably stay home, work and watch the riders zip at speeds approaching 50 mph past her driveway gate.
Then there’s Jan Brewington at the bottom of the hill, at the corner of Pikes Peak Avenue where the race takes a nasty turn east.
Jan is volunteering to serve as a route marshal to ensure no one jumps a barricade or tosses something onto the course.
She’s also cashing in by selling viewing spots on the red rock outcroppings on her property. $5 buys you a spot!
It’s probably a bargain because not only do the rocks offer a sweeping view of Ridge Road, they overlook the corner where racers might crash if they are not careful.
In addition, her husband is inviting friends for a watch party and her daughter plans to sell water to spectators.
Ridge Road has hosted many races over the years.
In 1991, the Junior World Cycling Championships had riders climbing up Ridge and into the Garden. Neighbor Patricia Ratliff and her family sat in chairs at the end of her driveway to watch the action.
And they used the peleton to create a classic photo spoof and a family treasure.
Her son, then 4, sat on his little bike at the end of the driveway, posing as if he was riding up the hill.
When the peleton flew past, a relative snapped a photo. It looked like the little guy was in the race!
This is a complete tangent, so forgive me.
But I noticed Jan’s house looked as if it was built right into a rock outcropping.
Sure enough, it was!