Guest Editorial |

Guest Editorial

Larry Warren, general manager of KPCW

KPCW invites everyone with a love of cycling to our first annual KPCW Cycling Festival. It begins with elite racers starting at 7 a.m. for the Tour de Park City, our partners for this debut festival. Tour racers will have race options from 15 to 157 miles. This is a tune up for the Tour of Utah, so the competition level is intense.

Why, we’re asked, is KPCW getting into the cycling business when we are a public radio station? As general manager I can provide several answers, but first, a little more about our event. The Tour de Park City is just part of the event. KPCW is all about community and we are creating this as a community event, for serious riders, for beginners, for all levels and especially for families. We will have guided rides for all ability levels, skills clinics for all levels, and sessions on how to maintain your bike, fix a flat, master those switchbacks and more. Don’t worry Randy Barton won’t guide you over a cliff. We’re relying on the experts from Cole Sport, Jans, Silver Star Ski and Sport, White Pine Touring and Mountain Trails Foundation. Non-race events begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day, based at The Yard at Bonanza Park, where bands will play from noon to 7 p.m., interrupted only by the Tour de Park City Awards ceremony.

We are creating this event for cyclists free of charge, although vendors will sell food and beverages. All guided rides, clinics and demo bikes are compliments of our great partners. Events and details are listed in detail on our website, . Click on the Bike Fest logo on our homepage. You can also find us, and our schedule, on Facebook.

KPCW is launching a bike festival for several reasons. Park City is the first Gold Level ride center in North America as recognized by the International Mountain Bike Association one indicator among many that Park City needs a first-class event that celebrates the sport of cycling. Like skiing, it is a great family sport which can be pursued on many levels depending on ability and desire. KPCW, with our Summer Bash in partnership with Cole Sport, with our Community Forum series, with our sponsorship of classic rock and roll shows on the Egyptian Stage, and with our 16 hours a day of local radio programming, exists to serve our listeners with information and entertainment both on the radio and in the community. KPCW is pretty unique. Few public radio stations in America have such a local focus.

The reality today is that such intensely local programming, both on air and in the community, is expensive. Just last week, the House subcommittee that decides on the budget for public broadcasting, approved a plan to phase out all federal funding in the next three years. The impact on KPCW is to, on short notice, wipe out 16% of our budget. It is the station’s single biggest grant. Couple that potential loss with the fact that our other revenue sources like individual pledges, underwriting and foundation grants are soft in this economy, and that our costs, inevitably, are rising everything from NPR program subscription rates to the electricity which sends our signal to you.

Support for the KPCW Cycling Festival will help "Your Community Voice" remain strong and involved in this community. We also think you’ll have a heck of a good time celebrating a great family sport. Please drop by The Yard at Bonanza Park Saturday and have some fun on us.

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