As an “Official Partner of” and the “Official Backpack of” the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, a team of us from Osprey Packs got the amazing opportunity to follow the race from its start just over the hill in Durango, CO all the way to the finish in Denver.
There were some very long days, and a lot of hard work went into full scale participation in the race festivities and expos at each stage. But we quickly became part of the traveling circus following the race across the state, visiting eight different cities in just seven days. The experiences we had and people we met along the way were absolutely amazing! Each day we encountered celebrity personalities from the cycling world and beyond, but the true heart of the event was the hundreds of thousands of spectators that came out to take part and cheer on the riders. Some were avid followers of cycling who planned their annual vacations around the race, while others just happened upon the crowd and joined in without really knowing exactly what was going on. To see the roads lined with people and to hear the deafening roar of yelling, cowbells and stomping when the racers passed was enough to make anyone want to hop on a bike and ride. It has been a long time since we have had this kind of cycling fever in the USA. Yet based on the tremendous growth and success of the Pro Challenge in only its second year, I think it is here to stay. Here is a photo gallery with some images of highlights of our journey. Enjoy!