Cyclists hit the road for Aspen’s annual Ride for the Pass on Sunday morning

Fundraiser supports nonprofit Independence Pass Foundation

A cyclist rides up "The Narrows" on Highway 82 toward Independence Pass east of Aspen for the annual Ride for the Pass bike race and fundraising event. Proceeds supported the Independence Pass Foundation.
Kaya Williams/The Aspen Times

Competitive and recreational cyclists hit the road in droves on Sunday morning for the annual Ride for the Pass bike race and fundraising event.

Proceeds supported the Independence Pass Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission “to restore and protect the ecological, historical, and aesthetic integrity of the Independence Pass corridor and to encourage stewardship, safety, and appreciation of the Pass,” according to its website.

The race began at the winter closure gate on Highway 82 about 5 miles east of Aspen. The road up to the pass is closed to cars from November to May every year, giving springtime cyclists plenty of room to cruise. (The road is scheduled to open to cars at noon on May 26.)

Participants could finish at the Weller Lake turnout just over 2 miles from the starting line or at the Independence ghost town near the top of the pass around 10 miles from the start. All Independence 10-mile riders were timed and included in competitive categories by age group; all Weller 2-mile riders were not timed. Riders could continue on their own to the summit of Independence Pass.

A total of 147 riders completed the 10-mile ride to Independence, according to the race results.

Markus Dewire won the 10-mile race to Independence with a time of 40 minutes and 47.1 seconds. Sami Inkinen was second with a time of 41:24.9, and Nicholas Galambos was third with a time of 44:08.2.

Meredith Loring was the fastest woman with a time of 53 minutes, 34.5 seconds. She finished in 31st place overall. Jenya Berino finished second among women and 36th overall with a time of 54:32.5; Kellie Koswick was third among women and 54th overall with a time of 1 hour and 31.7 seconds.

Full race results are available at

The ride was originally slated for Saturday, but event organizers moved it to Sunday due to snow and cold temperatures in the forecast on the original date.

For more information about the Independence Pass Foundation, visit