Who Needs Sturgis?

Thunder in the Rockies is ready to exhaust riders.

THURS, 9/1

The city of Loveland has long tried to distinguish itself from the Continental Divide-straddling ski area of the same name. Now this identity-seeking metropolis is stealing a page from its mountain brethren's book by looking to attract some tattooed fun-junkies of its own. While both might claim goggles, goatees and helmets as essentials, the flatland Loveland hopes to be packed over Labor Day weekend with those who prefer the motorized version of transport to the gravitational form.

Starting today and going through Sunday, September 4, The Ranch and the Budweiser Events Center, off exit 259 on I-25, will host the inaugural Thunder in the Rockies, a rock-and-roll motorcycle extravaganza. Not only will The Ranch act as the meeting spot for a variety of featured rides around the state, but its 150 acres of fairgrounds will be a virtual hog heaven of bike vendors, stunt riders and demos, including the famous Rat's Hole Custom Bike Show. Budweiser Events Center spokesman Lou D'Angeli knows the party's success relies on more than just area riders, noting that "most of our ticket sales have been local, but we are hoping to bring in riders from nearby states."

By night, the Events Center will peel back its doors for four evenings of entertainment with concerts featuring Alice Cooper, .38 Special, Blue Oyster Cult and Cheap Trick, as well as Saturday night's Blue Collar Comedy with Ron White. Evening ticket prices vary, but the day's festivities won't cost you a dime. For tickets and information, visit www.thunderintherockies.com or call 1-970-292-0418. -- Cub Buenning

Top-Rated Roadrunners
Metro State women's soccer takes off.
FRI, 9/2

Aretha was good at spelling it. The late Rodney Dangerfield built a comedic career about getting none of it. But these days at Metro State, a team other than the Denver school's national champion men's basketball squad is garnering R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

The Metro State women's soccer squad, ranked number one in a national pre-season poll, opens fall play today. The Roadrunners won their third straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title last season with a 25-1 record, capping it by earning their first Division II national championship. And despite the graduation of last year's national player of the year, coach Danny Sanchez's eleven has plenty of firepower. Sanchez, whose Metro sides have amassed an unbelievable 65-5-4 record in his three years, can count on his top two strikers, returning junior Kylee Hanavan and senior Amy Leichliter.

The home team kicks off at 5 p.m. against the University of Central Oklahoma on Auraria Field, Speer Boulevard and Auraria Parkway; admission is free. Those who want to pay double homage can return at noon on Sunday, September 4, when the Runners tackle Minnesota State-Mankato. For details, go to www.gometrostate.collegesports.com. -- Cub Buenning

 
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