Highway will close for Ride for the Pass
ASPEN – The Ride for the Pass will be held as scheduled May 19 despite the early opening of Independence Pass to vehicles on Friday.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has pledged to close the pass on the day of the event to accommodate the ride, according to Mark Fuller, executive director of the Independence Pass Foundation, the organization hosting the event. Highway 82 over the pass will be closed from 6 a.m. to approximately 1:30 p.m. on May 19, Fuller said.
This will be the 18th annual ride, though it was canceled last year because of poor weather and snow on the road.
“We were concerned we were going to lose the ride last year because of bad weather, and we were concerned we were going to lose the ride this year because of good weather,” Fuller said.
Last year’s cancellation cost the foundation about 10 percent of its annual operating budget. The foundation gets about 70 percent of its funding from private contributions and 30 percent from grants. The ride is its signature fundraising effort. It attracts about 500 riders per year.
The ride starts five miles east of Aspen and goes to the Independence ghost town. The 9.5-mile route gains about 2,000 feet in elevation. It starts at 9 a.m.
The early registration fee is $40 per individual and $70 for families. It includes a party after the ride where numerous prizes are given away.
Registration can be done online at http://www.active.com/cycling/aspen-co/ride-for-the-pass-2012 or at the Limelight Lodge in Aspen and Community Bank in Basalt starting May 17.
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