Cycling season is officially here: On Monday afternoon, I swallowed my first bug of the year.
His pal, meanwhile, planted himself prominently between my two front teeth - unbeknownst to me.
You know, after a bike ride there's nothing like a friendly greeting from a friendly counter clerk at Bread, who looks at you like you've got spinach (or bugs or both) between your teeth.
Ah ... springtime.
Can the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic be far behind?
Of course not.
Durango cycling's day of reckoning (actually a long weekend of reckoning) is but a week away.
The tradition centering on the Coca-Cola Road Race from Durango to Silverton, returns with the 39th annual edition of Durango cyclemania.
For the record, the road race and tour to Silverton will take off from Durango on Saturday, May 29. The Quarter Horse to Purgatory, a 25-mile version of the ride, also is set for May 29.
The Morehart Murphy Subaru Criteriuim, the most popular spectator event of the weekend, will be held in downtown Durango on Sunday, May 30.
The Alpine Bank East Animas Time Trial on County Road 250 will wrap up the competitive cycling weekend Monday.
Alas, the tour and race are long filled to capacity.
Still, there are multiple opportunities to participate in the 2010 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.
One of the most unique and most popular Iron Horse events is the annual Durango DEVO Bike Swap at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.
Obviously, in a community and a region teaming with cycling enthusiasts and scores of professional riders, there is a lot of bike stuff out there.
The DEVO Bike Swap is the ultimate cycling/recycling flea market with often unbelievable components and tons of accessory items.
As soon as the dust settles from the 2010 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, the cyling tour scene kicks off.
First, it's the 25th running of the Ride the Rockies, sponsored by The Denver Post.
As on many of the 25 previous Ride the Rockies, the state's classic multiday bicycle tour will come through the Four Corners.
This year, the Ride the Rockies will go from Grand Junction to Salida on June on 13-19. (The Ride, by the way, is filled to capacity through an early drawing of entries.)
The cyclists will arrive in Durango the afternoon and evening of June 16.
The riders will have covered 70 miles on the day's stage - from Ouray to Durango. That's Red Mountain Pass, Molas Pass and Coal Bank Pass and everything in between.
The Ouray to Durango stage will be the fourth of the 2010 Ride the Rockies.
The cyclists will leave for Pagosa Springs on June 17.
There's another tour due in town later this year after a little fish rescheduling.
The annual Colorado Peace Ride will tour the San Juan Skyway on July 29-Aug. 1. The loop tour from Durango to Ouray to Telluride to Dolores and back to Durango originally was scheduled later.
But the scheduled Aug. 9-10 appearance by Phish in Telluride prompted organizers to reschedule to avoid the Phish crowds.