In 2001, when Breckenridge's Firecracker 50 bike race was born, it was a rather modest undertaking a fun way to begin the town's annual Independence Day parade. But last year's series of rides, which range from a fourteen-miler designed for regular folks to a fifty-mile challenge for top wheelers, attracted hundreds of cyclists from far-flung locales. According to director Jeff Westcott, "We had 25 states and three countries represented" and he's expecting a bigger mix at today's edition, because the competition will serve as USA Cycling's national championship in the marathon discipline. "Ten people will be given their stars-and-stripes national-championship jerseys by the end of the day," Westcott notes. "But you don't have to be a national championship-caliber rider to participate."
The peddling begins at 11 a.m. at Colorado Freeride, 114 North Main Street in Breckenridge. Registration fees are $50 to $75 for individuals and begin at $120 for teams. Get details at 1-970-390-4760 or www.mavsports.com.