News in brief |

News in brief

Staff reports
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

DENVER – Colorado authorities are warning cyclists that tacks, box cutters and broken glass have been strewn along popular bike routes that are part of course plans for major races next week – including the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

The objects are being purposely placed on trails and roads, Jefferson County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said Tuesday.

“We’ve had five or six incidents where things were put along popular bicycle roads,” Kelley said. She said the incidents have caused several flat tires but no injuries.

The 100-mile Deer Creek Challenge, which takes place in a canyon south of Denver that is one of the most widely used riding routes in the area, is scheduled for Sunday.

And a day later, elite cyclists from around the world begin competing in the weeklong, 510-mile Pro Cycling Challenge, which culminates in a final stage that takes riders from Golden’s Lookout Mountain in Jefferson County into downtown Denver.

Crews will be sweeping the roads before the races, Kelley said.

Kelley said there has been a history of tension between motorists and bicyclists, especially in Deer Creek, where box cutters were found. She said there was a meeting last year between riders and the homeowners association in an effort to negotiate a truce.

Dan Grunig, the executive director of Bicycle Colorado, said bikes sometimes outnumber cars on the shoulderless roadway in the area, causing congestion.

Grunig said bike races in Colorado attract riders – and their dollars – from around the world and it’s a shame to have routes sabotaged just as the state’s cycling opportunities are about to be highlighted.

“To try to intimidate or endanger those visitors paints Colorado in a bad light,” Grunig said.

The Aspen Police Department issued a statement Tuesday warning people to be wary of advertisements in local newspapers and on seeking an administrative assistant with an interior design company that claims to be opening a new branch in Aspen.

According to the press release, individuals first responded to the help wanted ad via email and communicated with a male individual claiming to be part of the company’s human resources department. After being hired for the position, individuals were mailed two money orders for $940 each, directed to cash the money orders, keep $400 for their first week’s pay, and visit a Western Union to wire the remainder of the money to the company’s “raw material supplier” in China.

None of the people who complained about the scam has tried to cash the apparently fraudulent money orders, police said. They said they have located the ad and since have had it removed from the site. Aspen police also determined the scam likely originated outside of the United States, but there is a possible accomplice within the U.S.

Anyone who has responded to the ads should contact the APD at (970) 920-5400.

Please join family and friends in remembering Gerry Eskin at a memorial service at Anderson Ranch Shermer Meeting Hall at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

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