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Colorado cyclists raise money for tiny mountain town destroyed by floods

Published October 18, 2013
The base of Lefthand Canyon Drive on Friday.

BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — Colorado cyclists are coming together Saturday to raise money for a small mountain town left isolated and heavily damaged by last month's floods.

Jamestown, which has about 300 residents, is a popular weekend ride destination for Boulder-area cyclists, who often stop outside the town's cafe, the Jamestown Mercantile, to refuel. The Mercantile kept a water jug outside for cyclists to refill their bottles.

"It was the most popular ride on the entire Front Range, according to Strava," said Boulder's Thomas Prehn of CatEye. "It was ridden a phenomenal number of times. It was a perfect hour ride from Boulder."

Joe Howlett, the former owner of the Mercantile who started the tradition of the cyclists' water jug, died during the floods when his house collapsed. Most Jamestown residents were evacuated by helicopter when the roads in and out of the town were destroyed.

The roads to Jamestown are still closed to non-residents and cyclists and the town has to rebuild much of its infrastructure, including a fire station, its water treatment plant, two major bridges and roughly 50 percent of its roads. Twenty percent of the homes in the town were destroyed.

Cyclists are meeting Saturday near the base of Lefthand Canyon Drive, the road shown in the photo above, where riders often began their journey to Jamestown. The all-day event called Cyclists 4 Jamestown will include bands, silent auctions and a road ride led by several Boulder-based pro racers. The group hopes to raise $100,000 for the town.

The event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday in the upper parking lot of the old Beech Aircraft facility, on Colorado Hwy 36 (6849 Foothills Highway), two miles north of Boulder. Cyclists are being encouraged to stop by as early as 7:30 for coffee before going for a ride.

Local retailer Boulder Cycle Sport is organizing a 40-mile group ride to leave from its North Boulder location at 10:30 a.m. and finish up at the Cyclists 4 Jamestown event.

More information: www.c4jtown.org.

The cycling community is raising money for flood recovery in other ways, as well:

  • Sock maker Save Our Soles is producing a special sock for folks who donate at least $20 to Flatirons Habitat of Humanity's flood relief activities.
  • Community Cycles is holding a Boulder Flood Benefit Bike Sale weekend, Oct. 26-27. The non-profit is donating 10 percent of the weekend's proceeds to Cyclists 4 Jamestown.
  • Castelli USA and Slipstream Sports, the parent company for the Garmin pro team, are selling a special cycling jersey to benefit Open Heart Colorado, which supports health and human services for those affected by the flooding in Boulder and Broomfield counties.
  • Boulder-based Polar Bottle is giving away free special edition bottles to people who donate $5 or more to the Colorado Flood Relief Project.
  • Several bike companies and retailers are among the businesses involved in Open Heart Colorado, which is raising money for flood relief through the sale of T-shirts and stickers. Golden's Victory Circle Graphix donated the stickers.
  • The giant bike swap meet VeloSwap, being held in Denver on Saturday, is suggesting that cyclists attend the Cyclists 4 Jamestown event in the morning and VeloSwap in the afternoon. VeloSwap also has donated booth space to Cyclists 4 Jamestown and promoted the cause on its social media, VeloSwap director Reese Brown told BRAIN.

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