New bike tour makes local stop
CARBONDALE The inaugural Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour will swing through the Roaring Fork Valley in August, with an overnight stop in Carbondale before riders pedal through Aspen on their way to Independence Pass.Organizer Peter Duffy hopes 400 to 600 bicyclists sign up for the Aug. 5-11 ride, which loops over nine mountain passes/summits on a 478-mile route that starts and ends in Gunnison.The Roaring Fork Valley is already on road bikers’ map this year, with Ride the Rockies scheduled to bring its 2,000-plus bicyclists to Aspen on June 21, where they’ll spend the night before heading over 12,095-foot Independence Pass to Leadville.Duffy, an avid Denver bicyclist, said he chose a route that stops in locales where motel accommodations are plentiful, though participants may camp instead if they want to. Both Ride the Rockies and the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, another established annual ride, put a lot of focus on camping, he noted.”I, as an older rider – if I ride 100 miles in a day, I don’t want to sleep in a tent on the ground,” the 42-year-old Duffy said. Still, the debut bike tour is hardly a cushy one. The route takes riders over various high points, including McClure, Independence, Tennessee, Vail, Fremont and Monarch passes.Duffy said he considered a stop in Aspen but ultimately decided that a Montrose-to-Aspen leg was too long, and said he has found the nonresort towns more receptive to hosting riders.”Carbondale, Montrose, Leadville – they’re just ecstatic people are staying in the town,” he said.Holding the event in August means it takes place well after both Ride the Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado, which are scheduled for back-to-back weeks in June. By late summer, bicyclists have had more time in the saddle.”People are saying, ‘Hey, we want to do your ride because we’ll be in shape by then,'” Duffy said.As the event’s director, Duffy said he hopes to see it rival the big rides one day, necessitating a cap at 2,000 to 2,500 participants. For now, registration is on track to hit the goal of 400 to 600 bicyclists for the inaugural tour.For more information on the tour, go to http://www.crmbt.com.Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike TourDay 1 – Gunnison to Montrose, 65 miles, including Blue Mesa summit and Cerro PassDay 2 – Montrose to Carbondale, 110 miles, including McClure PassDay 3 – Carbondale to Leadville, 87 miles, including Independence PassDay 4 – Leadville to Frisco, 63 miles, including Tennessee Pass, Battle Mountain summit and Vail PassDay 5 – Break day in FriscoDay 6 – Frisco to Salida, 88 miles, including Fremont PassDay 7 – Salida to Gunnison, 65 miles, including Monarch PassJanet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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