New 2012 IconLASIK Tour of the Moon Hell of the West Cycling Classic

The legendary Tour of the Moon Hell of the West Cycling Classic is now a day ride! Registration starts Feb 1 with a 2,000 rider limit; same scenic route through Colorado National Monument as 1980-88 Coors Classic and American Flyers film

Grand Junction and Denver, Colo. - Colorado-based Event Marketing Group, LLC (EMG) and Rocky Mountain Events, Inc. (RME) have partnered to bring a new cycling day-tour event to Western Colorado. Denver-based Icon LASIK, a long-time supporter of cycling events, has signed on as the title sponsor. After 2 years of planning, they now announce the inaugural Icon LASIK Tour of the Moon Hell of the West Cycling Classic single-day bicycle tour, scheduled for October 6, 2012, in Grand Junction, Colo.Â

A portion of event fees benefit both the Grand Valley's Colorado Riverfront Commission and Bicycle Colorado's Grand Valley-area community programs.

To ride the Tour of the Moon route is the dream of cyclists around the nation, and this event makes that dream an easily obtainable reality. Registration is limited to 2,000 people and opens online February 1, 2012 at www.TourOfTheMoon.com.

Cyclists can choose from the “classic” Icon LASIK Tour of the Moon 41-mile course or the extended Tour of the Moon and Fruita Too 62-mile/100-kilometer metric century course.  The event planners designed a tour which raises awareness of Western Slope road cycling. It also provides an opportunity for cyclists to leisurely tour through Colorado National Monument while enjoying the park experience by stopping at scenic overlooks, the Colorado National Monument Visitor Center, and aid stations along the way. Both courses will start and finish at Two Rivers Convention Center in downtown Grand Junction. Upon returning from their ride, participants enter the “Harvest Moon Celebration.” This post-ride party includes music, a healthy lunch, prize drawings and cycling expo throughout the afternoon.

“This off-season ride is a labor of love for so many of us in Colorado and around the U.S. There is a long-time cycling heritage on the Western Slope, and we've incorporated that in the Icon LASIK Tour of the Moon route,” said Scot Harris, event co-manager and founder of Rocky Mountain Events. “This ride is another tourism gem for the Rocky Mountain West for cyclists and their families.”

“Tour of the Moon” Route Background

The Colorado National Monument's 23-mile Rimrock Drive was selected several times as a stage for the Coors Classic International Bicycle Race (1980-1988) with qualified professional riders. Who first coined the descriptive name “Tour of the Moon” for the road along the rugged, rocky landscape, is unknown (perhaps a witty reporter?), but it stuck. Later, sections of the same route were used as locations in the 1985 Warner Brothers feature film American Flyers starring Kevin Costner. The reputation of the Tour of the Moon route soon ascended to a premier road cycling destination by enthusiasts around the world.

The route through Colorado National Monument is known by cyclists for its hard climb up the serpentine switchbacks from the east entrance, the gentle cruise along the canyon rims, road pullouts for frequent breaks to enjoy the Valley views, and the breathtaking descent to the west gate. The route has approximately 15,000 annual visits by recreational cyclists who enjoy this gem in the National Park System, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.

For more information, contact Scot Harris of Rocky Mountain Events at 303.733.8775 or Pat Smith/OnTarget Public Relations, 303.807.7086

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