2013 Pedal the Plains tours Colorado co-op country

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (behind podium) and Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia (far left), joined by some Colorado FFA kids, kick off day one of the 2013 Pedal the Plains bicycle tour.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (behind podium) and Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia (far left), joined by some Colorado FFA kids, kick off day one of the 2013 Pedal the Plains bicycle tour.

Approximately 750 cyclists participated in the second annual Pedal the Plains Bicycle Tour this past weekend (Sept. 20-22), covering 174 miles across the sprawling plains of southeast Colorado.

The state’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives were well represented for the second year in a row, with a 12-member team saddling up for the three-day tour that kicked off and ended in the farming and ranching community of Eads – which is served by Tri-State member co-op Southeast Colorado Power Association (La Junta, Colo.).

“We were excited to have it – it brought a lot of people into our town, said Marilyn Baxter, mayor of Eads. “We hope they like what they saw.”

The route also included overnight stops in the towns of Lamar and La Junta, where the electric co-ops hosted one of many interactive and informational booths, coordinated by the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Riders were treated to live music in the three host communities, along with beer gardens, local food fare, games and contests.

Visitors were welcomed at the Colorado Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ booth in the three host towns of Eads, La Junta and Lamar.

Visitors were welcomed at the Colorado Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ booth in the three host towns of Eads, La Junta and Lamar.

“It was a good opportunity to show off this part of the state,” said Southeast Colorado Power Association chief operating officer Jack Wolfe, “especially the importance of agriculture and the vital role affordable and reliable energy plays in it.”

The Touchstone Energy “Powering the Plains” team was organized by CREA associated editor Donna Wallin, who, along with executive director Kent Singer, rode the route for the second straight year. The co-op team was riding for a good cause, raising funds for Energy Outreach Colorado, an organization that provides utility bill financial assistance for families in need.

Pedal-the-Plains-2013_29The Denver Post Community Foundation, which has managed the highly successful cycling event Ride the Rockies for 28 years, also works to organize the eastern plains sister event. Overall proceeds benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation in support of the Colorado Future Farmers of America Foundation and Colorado 4-H.

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