EDITORíS DESK: A good fit for the yellow jersey
It should be interesting this Monday - that much seems sure. I know, the Prologue bicycle race is going to play havoc with traffic and commerce and kids getting home from school. Not to mention the deadlines on this newspaper. But how does that old saying go - you can't make an omelette without breaking a few
eggs? What appeals to me is the spectacle of the thing. There's a kind of P.T. Barnum showmanship behind it. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge people could have tiptoed around, tried not to offend anyone, maybe penciled in a politically correct route in some less travelled part of town. But no, they rightly saw the
Garden of the Gods as the icon of Colorado Springs and decided that was the spot - right there, practically at the base of the Kissing Camels - that the race had to start. Sure, we'll have to forgive them for putting the finish line downtown, but the end result is a course right through the Westside, connecting the
Garden and Palmer Land, along which some of the greatest cyclists in the world will be pedaling like mad, come Monday afternoon.
So what does it all mean, in the grand scheme of things? Who knows? Whoever wins the Prologue gets to wear the leader's yellow jersey for the next day's stage starting in Salida, but I wonder how much that matters when the seven-day race still has 500 miles to go. Even at the end of the Challenge, when some rider crosses the finish line first, I can only hope, from a generally benevolent standpoint, that whoever it is doesn't test positive for drugs.
As for Our Fair City and the "other" race (the one for public opinion), I've heard marketers express earnest hopes that the event will spread an upbeat message about Colorado Springs to the rest of the world. I think that's kind of a hoot. If I was out there in non-touristy areas, pondering a city to visit on vacation or even to move to, I don't think I'd pay much attention to the opinions of biased journalists who dislike TABOR and make a big deal out of mayoral proclamations. Here's a survey: How many cities have a clear view of Pikes Peak? How many have the Garden of the Gods? OK, how about crime rates and blight? Mild summers and not-so-bad winters? Looks like we wear the yellow jersey.