‘13 Cycle Greater Yellowstone bicycle tour rolls this week

Greater Yellowstone Coalition event started with “Day Zero” Aug. 17 in West Yellowstone, with first day’s ride to Ennis on Sunday, Aug. 18 The inaugural edition of Cycle Greater Yellowstone — a week-long, town-to-town bike tour in southwest Montana and northwest Wyoming — kicks off this coming weekend in West Yellowstone with 700 riders set to explore some of the most spectacular scenery on Earth. Cycle Greater Yellowstone was created by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition with two primary goals.

The first is to provide a world-class, fully supported adventure that allows cycling enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the wonders of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The second is building lasting and meaningful relationships between the cyclists, communities and GYC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the lands, waters and wildlife of one of the last great largely intact ecosystems on the planet. The route begins in West Yellowstone on Sunday, Aug. 18, and features overnight stops in Ennis (Aug. 18), Livingston (Aug. 19) and Gardiner (Aug. 20), Mont., Pilot Creek (Aug. 21) and Cody (Aug. 22), Wyo., and concludes with two nights in Red Lodge, highlighted by an up-and-back ride on fabled Beartooth Pass on the final day of Saturday, Aug. 24. Maps of the daily routes and the overnight campsites are available, as is a Ride Guide document describing the event and its amenities and services in detail. (See below for the links to these documents.) The roughly 700 registered riders come from 44 states and Greece, Australia, Great Britain and Canada.

They will enjoy full support that includes catered meals, shower trucks, baggage service, SAG vehicles and bike mechanics. Amenities include live performances on a stage each night, a beer and wine garden, local food vendors, massage and yoga, and other resources. Residents of the host communities are invited to join the riders each night in enjoying the beer and wine garden as well as the free live performances. A crew of nearly 80 volunteers from around the country will work the entire week, and host communities provide up to 100 volunteers when the event comes to their town. GYC will distribute up to $10,000 in community grants in each host town to civic organizations that provide volunteers. “Eighteen months of preparation has gone into making this an exceptional and unforgettable experience for the cyclists and communities,” said communications director Jeff Welsch, who first brought the idea to GYC in 2010. “If the response of the communities, riders and volunteers thus far is any indication, Cycle Greater Yellowstone will be special — this year and well into the future.”

Cycle Greater Yellowstone is slated to be an annual event, with the route rotating through the ecosystem each year to showcase the area’s diversity of wildlife, topography and communities. Details of the proposed 2014 schedule and route will be revealed at the end of this year’s ride. About Greater Yellowstone Coalition The Greater Yellowstone Coalition — America’s Voice for a Greater Yellowstone for 30 years — is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting the lands, waters, and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. GYC has 40,000 members, activists and online supporters worldwide. To learn more about becoming a voice for Greater Yellowstone, visit www.greateryellowstone. org.

Link to Route maps: http://www. c y c l e g r e a t e r y e l l ows t o n e . c om/ pdf/2013_cgy_route_maps.pdf

Link to Campsite maps: http:// www.cyclegreateryellowstone.com/ pdf/2013_cgy_site_maps.pdf Link to Ride Guide: http:// c y c l e g r e a t e r y e l l ows t o n e . c om/ pdf/2013_cgy_ride_guide.pdf