Cyclist Crashes, Dies As Storm Moves In During Organized Ride

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman died Saturday morning when a powerful storm rolled in during a cycling ride through the Colorado National Monument.

dsc 00711 Cyclist Crashes, Dies As Storm Moves In During Organized Ride

Colorado National Monument (credit: Laurel Bollmeier)

The woman was riding her bike on the steep road through the monument, which is located west of Grand Junction and Fruita. She crashed “below the Cold Shivers Overlook and above the East Tunnel,” according to monument spokeswoman Arlene Jackson.

The woman was taking part in the annual Tour of the Moon cycling ride. She was one of dozens of riders who got caught in the storm, which brought heavy rain and some lightning. She missed a turn while going downhill on some switchbacks and hit a rock wall.

An ambulance arrived at the scene quickly but the woman was already dead.

“As far as we can tell, she was riding dowhhill, tight turns, it was raining … it was a series of circumstances that just magnified themselves,” said Jackson.

Authorities said the victim was 64 and lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her name hasn’t been released.

Because of the challenging conditions during the storm, approximately 100 cyclists boarded support vehicles and rode in those to get out of the monument.

“A lot of riders came prepared for a little bit of weather, but not the full impact of this storm. We were pulling quite a few people off the mountain because they were hypothermic,” Jackson said.

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