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Let the bike fans be

Dear Editor:

With great dismay, I read Janet Urquhart’s story about the extra policing that is in store for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge as it relates to Independence Pass. A few thoughts:

• Yes, there will be an extra day of racing on the pass this year. But there were no problems during the one day of racing, during the Queen Stage, last year. The forest rangers and cops are seeking a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.

• Until there is better TV coverage and better video for the big screens in downtown Aspen – last year’s coverage was simply atrocious – more and more people will want to watch the race from atop the pass. Obviously, the pass is where it’s at, and viewing in Aspen is third-rate. If the networks or whoever is in charge of the video can get their act together, you might not have so many people potentially trampling the “delicate tundra.” (I put that in quotes because I question its delicacy: The land and vegetation should be able to handle two days of bike-race viewing.)

• There are a lot of areas up and down the Pass with plenty of space for viewing the race. I was there last year, and nobody was crammed. The crowd at the top of the pass was respectful and well-behaved if not a bit kooky. The pass easily can handle two or three times the size of the 2011 crowd.

This is all we need: more needless rules to regulate people having a good time and bothering no one. To paraphrase Pink Floyd: “Hey rangers, leave them fans alone!”

Lanita Mercer

Basalt


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