Boy rides in style |

Boy rides in style

— Sam Harrelson still has three years to go before he’s eligible to have a learner’s permit to drive a car in the state of Colorado, but that will not stop him from getting around town in style this summer.

Harrelson won a 2006 BMC road bike worth $1,895 in a giveaway sponsored by Orange Peel Bicycles and the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

His name was randomly drawn from the other 20 “stage” winners of this year’s Tour de France promotion, which appeared in the Pilot & Today newspapers throughout the race.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that I won it,” Harrelson said. “I plan on using it a lot.”

Like most other active 12-year-olds in the Yampa Valley, Harrelson’s bike is his main mode of transportation in the summer.

He is currently using his mountain bike, which was a gift for his 11th birthday, to get from place-to-place.

“It has a lot of miles on it,” Harrelson said of his bike.

The new bike will be custom fitted to meet Harrelson’s needs.

“We were lucky enough to have Orange Peel donate a new BMC road bike for the giveaway,” said Bryna Larsen, publisher of the Pilot & Today.

“The point of the promotion was to expand our coverage of the 2006 Tour de France for our readers. This is a big cycling community, and we had thousands and thousands of entries for the contest.”

During the Tour de France, the names of 21 lucky readers were drawn for each of the 20 stages of the tour, plus one on the rest day.

Each of those winners earned a $25 gift certificate and had their names entered into the final drawing for the road bike.

Other businesses that participated included Ace at the Curve, Ski Haus, Chelsea’s Restaurant, BAP, Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare, the Tap House and Steamboat Pilot & Today newspapers.

Larsen said the popularity of this year’s Tour de France helped make the newspaper promotion one of the most successful ever.

Harrelson’s name was drawn earlier this week, and the young cyclist said he planned on stopping by Orange Peel Thursday to be fitted for his new bike.

Harrelson said he watched this year’s Tour de France, and he was happy to see American Floyd Landis win this year’s event.

“I had a feeling he was going to win it,” Harrelson said.

“My mom and dad were rooting for George Hincapie, but I just felt like Landis was going to win it all.”

Harrelson said he has taken part in a few mountain bike races in the local Town Challenge series and, after watching this year’s Tour, might give road racing a try.

Even if he doesn’t, he has big plans for the road bike.

“Yeah, I might use the bike to race,” Harrelson said. “I would like to do a couple of triathlons where you run, swim and bike.”

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail

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