CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — Cyclists will have the chance to feel the burn and take in the views this spring as they pedal up and down the Rocky Mountains.
The 34th annual Ride the Rockies Cycling Tour, which starts and ends in Crested Butte, will take cyclists through several Colorado mountain towns and scenic areas this June.
The noncompetitive event is open to cyclists of all ages who are ready to tackle seven days in the seat, covering almost 450 miles and more than 28,000 feet of elevation gain. A schedule of each day is available below.
Each leg of the event will feature new scenery and parts of the state. Highlights include Collegiate Peaks, Monarch Pass, Independence Pass, Black Canyon and Gunnison National Park. Plus, riders will get a taste of a few mountain towns, like Buena Vista, Snowmass, Carbondale, Hotchkiss, Gunnison and Crested Butte.
“The 2019 Ride the Rockies showcases some our Colorado's most iconic passes and it is an epic climbing tour,” said Ride the Rockies Tour Director Deirdre Moynihan. “They will ride over beautiful passes as well as have vistas and views of the surrounding mountain ranges and valleys. Not only will the participants in this year's tour want to come back and visit, but some will never want to leave.”
Local businesses in each host community along the course benefit from about $250,000 in economic impact each day of the tour. Cyclists are invited to camp or stay in a yurt or hotel in each of the communities.
The event’s proceeds benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation, which will use the funds to help nonprofits in the state. The foundation will award a $3,000 grant to a nonprofit in each town that focuses on youth education, cycling safety and increased access for low-income participants.
The cycling tour was initially established in 1986 to benefit Colorado’s communities through the foundation.
For the second year, the Ride the Rockies’ 1-Day Loop on June 9 is open to the public. This is a 63-mile course starting and ending in Crested Butte.
Registration opened to the public on Jan. 18. It is open on a first come, first served basis until the ride is sold out. The event runs from June 9 until June 15.
Stage 1, June 9
Crested Butte to Gunnison
1,437 feet of elevation gain
Highlights: Kebler Pass, Ohio Pass, the Castles
Stage 2, June 10
Gunnison to Buena Vista
5,393 feet of elevation gain
Highlights: Monarch Pass, Collegiate Peaks, Arkansas River views
Stage 3, June 11
Buena Vista to Snowmass
5,779 feet of elevation gain
Highlights: Arkansas River views, Independence Pass
Stage 4, June 12
Snowmass to Carbondale
5,253 feet of elevation gain
Highlights: Maroon Creek Road climb, Maroon Bells overlook, Roaring Fork Valley views
Stage 5, June 13
Carbondale to Hotchkiss
3,958 feet of elevation gain
Highlights: McClure Pass, Paonia State Park and Reservoir
Stage 6, June 14
Hotchkiss to Gunnison
6,861 feet of elevation gain
Highlights: Black Canyon, Blue Mesa Reservoir
Stage 7, June 15
Gunnison to Mount Crested Butte
2,086 feet of elevation gain
Highlights: Gunnison River, Almont, Elk Mountain Range views