Numerous educational signs were planted along the route throughout the ride to educate cyclists about what they were seeing, hearing and smelling as they pedaled along. In case you missed a sign or two, here they are!
The famous Pony Express mail service crossed through the NE corner of Colorado at the original site of Julesberg
The route extended from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA. Riders were expected to complete the route in under 10 days. The record was 7 days 17 hours.
Horses were changed every 9 to 15 miles. When riders arrived at stables they would dismount, deliver the mail, and be on a fresh horse in less than 2 minutes.
Young men were often hired as the company had a policy that no rider be over 125 lbs.
“Bronco Charlie” Miller is said to have been the youngest rider of the Pony Express. He was 11-years-old on his first ride.
In 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph line in the US was completed and the Pony Express faded into history.
Look for the Colorado Proud logo at grocery stores, farmers’ markets, garden centers and restaurants.
Buying local food and agricultural products gives you fresher food and helps Colorado’s economy, as well as local farmers, and ranchers in your area.
Colorado’s corn grain production is valued at $600 million – $1 billion annually, some years ranking 1st among Colorado crops.
Since 1980, U.S. corn yields have doubled while emissions per bushel have decreased by about 40%.
Colorado is 14th in the nation in corn produced for human consumption, and 13th in corn produced for livestock consumption.
Colorado’s corn production ranks between 13th and 18th nationally, depending on the year.
Colorado corn production is vital for feeding the state’s 2.7 million cattle on feed (10th in U.S.) 131,000 milk cows (16th) 460,000 sheep and lambs (3rd) and other livestock.
Colorado ranks first in the nation in millet production.
The United States provides about 25% of the world’s total supply of fresh peaches. Colorado ranks 6th in the nation for peach production.
Colorado ranks 7th in U.S. sunflower production
Approximately 60% of the state’s $7.1 billion in agricultural cash receipts are attributed to livestock.
Today’s farmers produce 262% more food with 2% fewer inputs compared with 1950
The Colorado Egg Producers Association was the first state Assn to develop an Animal Care Doctrine, showing their constant dedication to the well-being of their chickens
The Ogallala Aquifer is the nation’s largest aquifer underlying some 250,000 square miles stretching from Texas to South Dakota, part of which you will be riding over
More than 90 percent of the groundwater pumped from the Ogallala, is used for agricultural irrigation.
This amount represents about one-third of all U.S. irrigated agriculture, it creates about $20 billion annually in food and fiber.
While only 20% of the world’s farmland is irrigated, it produces 40% of our food supply.
The U.S. consumes water at twice the rate of other industrialized nations.
36 states are anticipating water shortages by 2016.
The South Platte serves as the principal water source for Eastern Colorado.
Denver was founded at the confluence of the South Platte and Cherry Creek.
The South Platte Basin covers approximately 22,000 square miles in northeast Colorado.
The projected population in 2050 of this 22,000 sq miles is estimated to almost double in size to between 1.9 and 2.6 million people–creating a significant stress on water resources.
Colorado’s Water Plan supports a thriving environment that includes healthy watersheds, rivers, and wildlife in the South Platte basin and statewide.
Attend the next South Platte Basin Roundtable meeting to get involved in local water decisions! Find a calendar at www.coloradowaterplan.com
Bike farther with Colorado’s Water Plan – helping you stay hydrated for decades to come! Learn more at www.colorado water plan.com.
Phillips County Facts – Population: 4,363 – Area: 688 sq mi – Founded: March 27, 1889
Boo Bicycles are handcrafted using Iron Bamboo (tam vong) – bamboo that is stronger by weight than steel and that dampens vibration 4x better than carbon fiber.
Bamboo is one of the best absorbers of carbon dioxide on the planet.
The CHS facility has a holding capacity of 1.3 million bushels.
The weight of a bushel varies depending on the commodity. 1 bushel of ear corn = 70 lbs. 1 bushel of wheat = 60 lbs. 1 bushel of millet = 50 lbs.
Using the latest technology, CHS can load 110 train cars–approximately 425,000 bushels–in 7-8 hours.
Much of the grain from this facility is transported by train down to the Gulf of Mexico where it is then shipped all over the world!
Crop dusting, or Aerial application, is the spraying of crops with crop protection products or fertilizer from an agricultural aircraft.
DAY 2: Crop dusting is an outdated term. Today’s pilots prefer the terms “ariel application” or “ag application”. Pilots themselves are known as “ag pilots” or “aerial applicators”.
The first aerial application of agricultural materials was done by John Chaytor in 1906 in New Zealand by hot air balloon.
Ag pilots are in high demand today. Ag pilots can make anywhere between $60,000 and $100,000.
There are approximately 1,350 aerial application businesses in the US, 94% of the owners are also pilots.
The most common aerial application aircraft are fixed wing and can fly at speeds of up to 180 mph.
Welcome to Paoli, a town of 50, named after Pasquale Paoli, a Corsican patriot and leader.
Agriculture is vital to Colorado. Here are some fun facts about this booming sector:
Agriculture is one of largest contributors to the State’s economy, supporting more than 173,000 jobs in Colorado
Agriculture generates more than $40 billion of economic activity annually in Colorado
Colorado exported nearly $1.8 billion of food and agricultural products in 2012
Colorado ranks in the top ten in the nation in nearly 25 commodities
Colorado ranks 10th in overall cattle numbers nationwide
Colorado is #1 in wind manufacturing jobs, and top 3 in overall wind energy employment.
Wind turbines are the largest source of Colorado’s renewable new electricity generation
In 2014, wind energy provided 13.61% of all in-state electricity production.
Generating wind power creates no emissions and uses virtually no water.
Logan County Facts: Covers 1,838 sq. miles Roughly 12 people per sq. mile
Wind turbines are massive. A wind turbine blade can be as long as 260 feet long and a turbine tower can be up to 328 feet tall — taller than the statue of liberty
More than 400 wind turbines dot the landscape of Logan County.
There are over 1 billion eggs laid in Colorado each year.
Cattle is Colorado’s number one agricultural commodity with 2.7 million head of cattle in the state.
There are 36,700 farms and ranches in Colorado.
Farmers and ranchers provide food and habitat for 75% of the nation’s wildlife.
About 73 million bushels of winter wheat are produced in Colorado each year.
One bushel of wheat can make 67 one-pound loaves of bread.
Colorado exports 80 percent of its wheat to 60 different countries.
The wheat genome contains approximately 100,000 genes, while the human genome contains roughly 20,000
“Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.” Mark Twain
110,000+ Colorado jobs are supported by oil and natural gas.
Thanks to increased production in states like Colorado, the U.S. is now the world’s largest producer of both oil and natural gas.
~95% of all products we use daily are derived from or powered by oil or natural gas.
Chances are your helmet, water bottle, tires, pedals, grips, frame and even your spandex are derived from petroleum.
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race” H.G. Wells
Located in Sterling, the Overland Trail commemorates the historic westward migration of gold seekers and early pioneers.
The Overland Trail followed the south bank of the South Platte River through northeastern Colorado. It is said that the Overland Trail was the heaviest traveled road in America, maybe even in the world between 1862 to 1868.
The museum was opened in 1936 in the original building, which was made of native rock and designed after the early trading forts.
The Museum will be open until 7 P.M. Visit to find out more about the rich history of the Eastern Plains!
Sterling was named one of the “25 Best Hunting Towns in America” by Pheasant Forever Magazine
Each year during PTP Colorado Creative industries donates $1,000 to each host community to create a unique piece of public art
Archery is considered to be one of the oldest sports in the world
You know you’re a cyclist when: You’ve given a nickname to a bike
You know you’re a cyclist when: When camping, the bike stays in the tent
The first use of bows and arrows can be dated as far back as 25,000 years ago based on arrowheads found in Africa
When archers aim at a target 90 meters away, the size of the target is equivalent to the size of a thumbtack held at arm’s length
Established in 1992, North Sterling Reservoir State Park covers 5,700 acres
The park is a popular spot for bird watching, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
Local cyclists can take advantage of the 3.5 mile South Shoreline Trail along the reservoir
Archery Demonstration at North Sterling Reservoir Archery Range
The Arapaho Tribe migrated into its historical homelands of Colorado and Wyoming from the northeast
The Arapaho were part of the classic High Plains culture, living in tepees and hunting buffalo on horseback.
The Arapaho Indians allied with the Cheyenne Indians, and the modern Cheyenne-Arapaho tribes are based in Oklahoma
NE Colorado is a vital oil and gas region
A resurgence in oil and gas development has created jobs and population growth in Logan County
Colorado supplies about 1 or every 50 barrels of U.S. crude oil
The transportation sector accounts for more than 4/5 of all petroleum consumed in Colorado
“The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew and live through it” Doug Bradbury
DAY 3: Northeastern Junior College (Arrow left) – 2-year junior college – Offers classes in turf management and wind energy technologies – Notable alumni include actor Steve Howey
Sterling Ethanol Plant -One of the first of it’s kind in Colorado – design capacity to produce 42 million gallons of ethanol annually – The plant has 30 employees and operates 24 hours a day
Colorado has 5 ethanol plants that use corn as their main feedstock
In 1988, Denver became the first U.S. City to require gasoline be blended with ethanol
One ethanol plant in Golden uses a brewery’s waste beer as its feedstock
Sugar Beet production has been an essential aspect of the economy of the plains since the beginning of the 20th century.
Colorado is 8th in the nation in sugar beet production
Sugar Beet Facts: In 2013 Colorado Sugar Beet Farmers: Planted 26,800 acres – Harvested 86,000 tons
Sugar beets, a plant whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose, is grown commercially and accounts for over 20% of the world’s sugar production.
When fully grown, the sugar beet is a foot long and can weigh anywhere between two and five pounds
3500 seeds (2 oz) can produce up to one ton of sugar beets.
The town of Iliff is named for John Wesley Iliff, an early cattleman who owned a very large ranch in the area and is also the namesake of the Iliff School of Theology.
In June 2015 flooding knocked out the 8-inch water pipe into town, leaving residents without water for 22 days and drawing national media attention.
Welcome to Proctor! – Proctor was founded in 1908 by J.D. Blue Jr. – Although considered a ghost town, Proctor still has a handful of permanent residents and a cafe
Milk Facts: On average it takes only two days for milk to travel from the cow to the grocery store
75% of a cow’s diet is not consumable by humans and would otherwise be sent to landfills
On average, dairy cows produce 8-9 gallons of milk each day
The dairy industry (producers and manufacturers) creates nearly 10,000 jobs for Colorado resulting in almost $500 million in employee compensation and well over $3 billion in economic activity.
8 ounces of milk delivers 9 essential nutrients for good health
A gallon of milk today is produced with 65% less water than a gallon of milk in 1945.
Colorado is 3rd in the nation for milk production per cow – because cows love living here too!
Chocolate milk is nature’s sports drink – it has the perfect ratio of carbohydrates to protein for optimal recovery. Get free milk at the end of today’s ride at the Western Dairy tent!
Are you lactose intolerant? Try buying lactose-free milk (which is real cow’s milk without the lactose) or taking a lactase pill before consuming dairy so you don’t miss out on the 9 essential nutrients.
The Caliche Buffaloes have won many state championships, most notably 4 consecutive 1A basketball state championships from 2009-2012
An acre of land is about 3/4 the size of a football field
The average farm in Colorado is 881 Acres
There are 36,180 farms and ranches in Colorado
More than 97% of all farms and ranches in the US are family-owned
Sedgwick County Facts – Population: 2,379 – Area: 549 sq mi – Named after Fort Sedgwick
Founded in 1928 FFA brings together students, teachers, and agribusiness to solidify support for Ag education.
There are 579,678 FFA members, aged 12-21, in 7,570 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
To the left lies the Julesberg Reservoir. This popular fishing spot is known by locals as the Jumbo Reservoir
There are 6,000 students, in 100 school districts in Colorado, currently involved in FFA
The first bank in the region sits prominently on the main street of Sedgwick–it now serves as The Sedgwick Antique Inn Bed and Breakfast
This cozy and well-preserved architectural gem now offers B&B getaways and is filled with beautiful and original period pieces.
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, reaching more than 6 million
4-H’ers engage in hands-on learning activites in the areas of science, healthy living, and food security
There are many types of hay, including alfalfa, oat, wheat, and millet.
Small hay bales have become the rarity. Today, most farms use either large 4 x 4 sq bales weighing 1,600-1,800 lbs. or round 6….
Beans are the only cultivated plants that actually enrich, rather than deplete, the soil during the growing process
Beans and the products made from them provide the most concentrated source of plant-based protein in the world. Between 6 and 11 percent of a cooked beans weight is protein
With facilities all over the mid-west, including one in Ovid, Kelley Bean Co is one of the largest originators and marketers of dry edible beans in the world.
The original site of the Fort Sedgwick lies 1.25 miles due south of this point
The fort, established in 1864, was known as Camp Rankin and later Post Julesberg before being renamed in honor of General John Sedgwick, a fallen civil war hero.
General Sedgwick was a courageous military leader whose last words are said to be: “Don’t worry boys, they couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance…”
The fort was abandoned in 1871 but was prominently featured in the 1990 movie Dances with Wolves
The city of Julesberg has existed in 4 separate locations
In 1867, the transcontinental railroad reached Julesburg, causing a population explosion. Shortly after Julesburg earned the nickname, “Wickedest City in the West.”
The city is named after Jules Beni, a trading post owner turned infamous stagecoach robber.
Beni was hunted by hired gunman Jack Slade culminating in Beni ambusing and shooting slade as many as 13 times
Slade miraculously recovered and captured and (brutally) killed Beni in a counter ambush
This western legend is immortalized by the 1955 episode of the syndicated television series Stories of the Century
Welcome to Julesberg! This city of 1,225 is the northernmost town in Colorado
Head down main street to check out Lee Kizer’s extensive collection of perfectly preserved memorabilia
See everything from an original first print of LIFE Magazine to Ford cars more than 100 years old- all of which still have a beautiful purr to their engines.
Come on down one more block to see the inner workings of one of the most important parts of our agricultural economy at Kontny Grain Elevator
This is one of the oldest and longest-running elevators in Colorado and was originally built one bucket of concrete at a time
Don’t forget to stop by the Julesburg Community Garden located directly behind Kontny’s!
We hope you enjoyed Pedal the Plains 2015! We’ll see you again next year!