The wait is over. The miles are in your tank. Colorado Springs is amped. It’s Pikes Peak APEX week! And it’s more than just a ride—it’s an event. Whether you are a rider, volunteer, family of a participant, or community member, there is so much going on! We wanted to make sure you know all that is happening, so we caught up with race director, Micah Rice, to give you the goods.
Sam: First of all, after the COVID-19 pandemic kind of slowed us down in 2020 and eliminated some of the extra-curricular fun things that would have gone along with The APEX. How excited are you to actually be able to put on a show this year?
Micah: It was always the hope and the vision of the Pikes Peak APEX to put on an event, much more than just a bike race. And while the bike race is going to be an integral part, we wanted to do something more than that. So, while I would say that in 2021 we're still not quite there blowing it up as big as we want to have this look like. We are excited about having a big Expo day on Saturday in America the Beautiful park, we're excited to be able to have an outdoor after party at Goat Patch Brewing Company on Sunday, and we’re able to invite spectators this year. So on Thursday, I think we'll have some more people watching in Palmer Park. Friday up in Monument there'll be stuff going on, and there actually is a beer garden on Friday as well at the Trails End Taproom, which is right at the start-finish line. With the Saturday outdoor festival, and the Sunday after party, I'd say we're getting there!
Sam: I know having spectators is going to be huge for those participating in the event. And it's especially lovely for those participating to have a nice beer at the end of each stage.
Micah: We'll have those opportunities, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Thursday in Palmer Park we don't have beer available, except for we will have some drink froms Athletic Brewing Company. So, if people would like to participate in a non-alcoholic brew.
Sam: Before the event kicks off on Thursday, sounds like we're gonna have a pre-ride opportunity on Wednesday, could you tell us about that?
Micah: Yeah, for people who want to check out the course with some locals that know what they're doing. We've got a little get-together on Wednesday evening at the Twisted Spoke, which is kind of hosting that in conjunction with Athletic Brewing Company, one of our sponsors. People are going to ride a lap of the prologue course and then come back to their store. So, it's a chance on Wednesday evening to come check it out. If you miss that, even if you're not racing, you have got the opportunity on Thursday morning to go take a lap with Bobbi Kae Warner. She’s part of The Warner Group, they are our sponsor of stage one in Palmer Park, and Bobbi Kae is an ex-pro downhiller, and she's going to lead people on a lap of the course the morning. Just a few hours before the race begins. So, number of options to go take a lap of the prologue with a local rider.
Sam: Saturday there's a lot of family friendly stuff that's going on, and activities for people who aren't participating in the bike event. Tell us about what's happening there?
Micah: We're launching the very first Pikes Peak APEX Outdoor Festival & Expo. So we're doing a good bit of marketing around Colorado Springs to kind of bring people out. There's going to be a bike swap so people that want to bring some bike parts out, buy, sell, trade. There's going to be some options in this world where it's hard to get bike parts. There's going to be a beer garden, hosted by Goat Patch and the proceeds are going to the PPORA Trails Fund. Kids on Bikes, which is a nonprofit here that works with kids and getting them to ride, they're going to be here doing some kids events. They're going to bring out their portable pump track, and they're going to have activities going on the whole morning and early afternoon. There'll be a number of expo booths and sponsor booths. Athletic Brewing again will be doing some sampling. Partners of ours like Enduro Bites will have samples. We'll have music playing from the stage, and people are going to be able to hang out, watch the racers take off, and then watch them trickle back in slowly as they return from Frosty Park.
Sam: While the racers are out there on course, what can we expect to see at the different aid stations?
Micah: We want to take care of the people that might want not to carry out a full pack of food, water, so we'll have aid stations, every 10 to 15 miles on these courses. We will have water and Enduro Bites. We also have a wide array of GU Energy products--GU gels, some of their Roctane gels and regular gels, and we'll have some GU stroopwafels. We'll also have a couple of different flavors of their endurance drink in powder form so people can fill up a bottle and then put a scoop or two scoops into their bottle and take off. So those will be there for everybody to partake, and some other little snacks here and there, might be some bananas, animal crackers or some goldfish, or something like that in little cups so that people can grab those and take a bite and go.
Always at aid station #1 each day there will be restrooms. We're not able to get restrooms to all the aid stations because sometimes they're out in the middle of nowhere, but we will have porta-toilets at aid station one on those days.
Sam: Any last words for those who maybe haven’t quite committed to The APEX yet?
Micah: Yeah, we know that affording a stage race isn't for everyone, but anybody who wants to come down and check out what The APEX is all about come on Saturday. You have the choice to actually register for a one day race on Saturday and just race that one day. Say you are here in the Denver area or outside of town, come check out what it's all about. Sign up for just a one day 40 mile event with the all the aid stations. It’s going to be awesome. Then I'd also suggest for all the cyclists not-participating, come on down, check out the outdoor festival and expo, bring the family. There's a ton of other things to do in Colorado Springs, I mean we are literally starting on Saturday at the base of the bridge that goes right over into the Olympic and Paralympic museum. That's a great activity to do while the racers are out racing, and it's literally steps away from that brand new museum which is completely worth the fee of entry.
Sam: Thanks so much, Micah, can’t wait to see you later this week. And we can’t wait to see all of you riding The APEX or partying with us at the Outdoor Festival and Expo on Saturday!