“The guy who’s riding a $1,000 bicycle is not going to stop if he doesn’t have a way to secure it,” says Kittredge resident Jerry Smith.
Representing the Lariat Loop Alliance, Smith is contacting businesses and agencies in Evergreen and Kittredge to generate interest in placing creatively designed bike racks on their properties.
“The bicycle racks accommodate people and give them a place to park,” Smith said.
The Loop board recently received a $25,000 grant for the bike racks to be placed along the 40-mile Lariat Loop National Scenic Byway connecting Golden, Lookout Mountain, Genesee, El Rancho, Bergen Park, Evergreen, Kittredge, Morrison and Red Rocks.
The Loop board is hoping to raise $6,000 in matching funds from $50 contributions donated by businesses acquiring the bike racks.
“My personal interest in this is small-scale economic development,” says Smith, who is a former director at the state Department of Local Affairs.
The bike racks will be a way of welcoming bicyclers to area towns, Smith says. Businesses, schools, churches and lodges are among the appropriate sites, Smith notes.
The bike racks have a dynamic Western design featuring a cowboy on horseback spinning a lariat and chasing a steer on the trail.
“We want people who visit here to think of our Western image,” Smith said.
The racks were manufactured by Renaissance Lighting and Metal Furniture in Roanoke, Va. The company’s Colorado representative saw a newspaper article about the project and contacted Loop board member Joe Tempel, who worked to achieve national status for the byway.
Smith said he also hopes the rack design with the Lariat Loop nameplate will pique the curiosity of passers-by and users who want to learn more about the byway and its attractions.
The Lariat Loop connects places of historic interest such as Buffalo Bill’s gravesite and Red Rocks, Smith said. While traveling between Kittredge and Evergreen, people can stop and see an old Scottish castle, which Smith says is architecturally impressive.
“You could ride the Loop all day, and stop and look around,” he says.
While discussing the development of the Lariat Loop, Smith says it used to be a state scenic byway and was given the national designation a few years ago. What has changed on Highway 74 in the past 10 years is the number of bicyclists using it, he adds.
Businesses and organizations interested in acquiring a bike rack may call Smith at 303-674-0984 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-350-1042.