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Ride the Rockies

Ride the Rockies

Every summer for the past 32 years, thousands of cyclists have saddled up, clipped in, and taken on the mighty Colorado Rockies as participants in Ride the Rockies. This year is the 33rd edition of the tour and once again it will offer riders from across the state, the country, and the world the chance to cycle through some of Western Colorado’s most beautiful terrain while challenging themselves physically and mentally. This year is a loop year, so riders will start and end in the historic town of Breckenridge, passing through Edwards, Steamboat Springs, Grand Lake and Winter Park, grunting and groaning as they climb and gasping at the wealth of outstanding natural beauty of the Centennial state over the six days, 418 miles and 25,935 feet of the ride.



77 Miles/4,429’ Elevation Gain

Ride the Rockies
Photo: Liam Doran

A challenging first day will see riders

travel 77 miles to Edwards over

Fremont Pass and Tennessee Pass.

Fremont Pass is one of the highest

passes in the state, but riders needn’t

fear its reputation too much as the road is pretty straight on both sides with only a few turns near the summit. Steep sections on Fremont Pass aren’t too long while most of the elevation on Tennessee Pass is actually gained away from the pass itself. Riders continue past Leadville before heading over Tennessee Pass and cruising downhill for the final 17 miles through Minturn.



79.6 Miles/5,005’ Elevation Gain

Ride the Rockies
Photo: The Denver Post / Ride the Rockies

Day two sees riders travel north from

Edwards to Steamboat Springs.

Following the Eagle River towards

Wolcott, riders eventually leave the

river and head north on Highway 131

for the first and most challenging climb

of the day - nine miles with 1,400 feet of

elevation gain before cruising down into

historic State Bridge.

The respite is short, however, as after just a few miles following the Colorado River, the second and final climb of the day, a steady 10 or so miles, starts. The final 40 miles give riders a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery before arriving in Steamboat Springs.



48.4 Miles/3,317’ Elevation Gain

Ride the Rockies

Day three is a loop day as well as an

opportunity for one-day participants to

join the ride.

The route, a well-known loop from the

2015 USA Pro Challenge, is a scenic

(think cows, sheep, and a mine) and

relatively easy day that takes in the

sights of Routt County. There are a few

climbs with an overall elevation gain of

just over 3,000 feet in the 48-mile loop. Anyone who chooses to rest today will have plenty of options to keep themselves entertained and plenty of places to refuel for tomorrow.



93.8 Miles/6,202’ Elevation Gain

Ride the Rockies

With half of the ride done by the start

of day four, today is a bit of a mental

victory. It is, however, also the longest

day at close to 100 miles with a climb

over the formidable Rabbit Ears Pass,

which begins less than 10 miles out of

Steamboat Springs.

Even though the climb itself is only

around seven miles there is another

seven miles or so of riding at around 9,000 feet before the descent into Grand County and towards Kremmling begins. The remaining 40 miles is a gentle climb from Kremmling towards Grand Lake through Hot Sulphur Springs and Granby.



32.1.Miles / 1,745’ Elevation Gain + 28.9 Miles / 2,725’ Elevation Gain for optional add on

The penultimate day of the 2018 edition

of Ride the Rockies is the shortest day,

but it doesn’t have to be.

At just 32 miles, it can be a leisurely day

for those that have found it tough going

so far, but for those who have energy to

burn, adding the optional ride to the top

of Berthoud Pass and back down makes

this a challenging day.

Back in 2014, a sudden snow storm meant that riders weren’t able to take on this pass, but hopefully this year the additional 28.9 miles and 2,725 feet gained will be an option. Winter Park awaits everyone regardless.



87 Miles/5,187’ Elevation Gain

The final day will see cyclists head

out of Winter Park before a gradual

descent of 20 or so miles takes them

to the base of the day’s first climb: Ute

Pass, which is considered to be one of

the most scenic rides in the state.

After climbing the roughly 20 miles

to the top (and gaining 2,000 feet for

good measure) of Ute Pass, a rest to

appreciate the stunning views over Eagles Nest Wilderness is followed by a sharp descent, leaving riders with around 30 miles left. The final leg is through Silverthorne and Dillon, over Dillon Dam and along Dillon Reservoir before cruising into Breckenridge and several very well-earned beers.

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Photos (top to bottom): The Denver Post / Ride the Rockies; Liam Doran; The Denver Post / Ride the Rockies; SSRC; Noah Wetzel; The Denver Post / Ride the Rockies; The Denver Post / Ride the Rockies


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