By KARLA POMEROY
In its 15th year, the Tour de Wyoming has become familiar to most communities.
Director Amber Travsky, on the stop in Basin last Thursday, said that this year’s ride went well. The tour used a similar route that it has used in the past.
“The towns are used to us so we’re not such an anomaly,” she said.
There were 350 tour participants this year, with 20 tour committee members and 33 volunteers that descended upon Basin Thursday. Bicyclists, coming from Burgess Junction, began entering town as early as 9 a.m. Thursday. They were treated to a cabbage burger dinner that night served up by the Friends of the Basin Library. Breakfast the next morning was served up by the local PEO.
Travsky said the communities have been great to work with this year. She said the mileage this year is a bit shorter than other routes, but participants like it because of the mountain passes.
Alain Jouchoux of Boulder, Colo., said this is his third tour. “Last year was good but this year is better,” he said. Last year’s route went through southwest Wyoming with a much flatter course. This year, he said the scenery was better and the route was harder because of the mountain passes.
“It’s a great tour with beautiful scenery. The tour is always well organized and the committee is safety conscious. They are always reminding us to ride safe, obey traffic laws and be courteous to other bikers, cars and trucks,” Robert Tuckman of Boulder, said.
Both Boulder residents said traffic has been good on the tour with everyone being respectful of each other’s space on the road.
Tuckman added, “I like coming to the different communities in Wyoming. Everyone is so kind. They go out of their way to make us feel comfortable.”
John Webb of Domain, Manitoba, Canada, said he likes the Tour de Wyoming because it is a friendly tour. He said in the 15 years, most of the volunteers are the same ones that helped in the beginning.
When the tour began 15 years ago, Travsky said they used linear routes, but once they did one loop route “there was no going back. The logistics are so much easier.” This year started and ended in Worland.
Along with the welcoming attitude of the communities, Travsky said the Wyoming Department of Transportation was “super wonderful for us, sweeping the roads. They went out of their way.” She said one route during the 15 years went out of state and made them appreciate even more what WYDOT does for the tour.
This year’s tour brought great Wyoming ambience with the riders stuck in a cattle drive on the way up Ten Sleep Canyon. She said many of the riders saw a lot of wildlife on the tour as well.
Owen Krysl of Green River said he also appreciates the great hospitality at each community.
He said he likes the Tour de Wyoming because “it’s not a race. Some riders treat it as such, but most of the riders set a relaxing pace and sample the local flavor, eat, take pictures.”
Krysl makes it a family affair, riding with his son Jerome, his two brothers and sister.
“We use this as our vacation,” he said, as he and Jerome finished setting up their sleeping area in the Riverside High School Gym.
At each stop, the tour committee makes sure there are indoor and outdoor accommodations for those with and without tents. Tents littered the RHS school yard and football field and sleeping bags and mattresses were found filling up the gym floor. Bicyclists were also treated to the use of the showers and locker rooms and many enjoyed a swim in the outdoor pool.
Gus Cronenberg of Albuquerque, N.M., was on his fifth tour. He said his last one was in 2006 and the RHS Gym proved to be much more enjoyable than the animal pen he slept in that year.
“This is much appreciated,” he said.
Following the bicycle tour, he said next on his agenda is a llama backpacking trip in the Wind River Mountains.