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Ride for the Pass registration open

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – After a lingering winter forced the cancellation of the annual Ride for the Pass last year, this month’s unusually temperate weather bodes well for the 18th running of the popular event.

In fact, the early spring already is luring bicyclists out onto the pavement in the Aspen area, giving locals few excuses for failing to get their biking legs ready to ride the pass. For the confident, online registration is already under way.

The Ride for the Pass is a key fundraiser for the Independence Pass Foundation, not to mention an annual rite of spring for the local biking community.

Last year, snow and ice forced organizers to cancel the event – a big disappointment for both riders and the foundation, according to Mark Fuller, executive director.

As always, the ride starts at the Highway 82 gate east of Aspen and ascends 10 miles and about 2,500 feet to the Independence ghost town (elevation 11,100 feet). Since it takes place before the highway reopens for the summer, bicyclists have the road to themselves.

The ride will be held May 19 as part of an Aspen Cycling Festival weekend, which also features the Aspen Cycling Criterium in downtown Aspen on May 20.

Register at http://www.active.com or via a link on the Independence Pass Foundation website, http://www.independencepass.org. The cost is $40 for individuals and $70 for families; prices go up to $50 for individuals and $80 for families on May 1. Ridership this year is limited to 600 participants, so interested cyclists are encouraged to sign up early. If the event limit is reached before race day, there will be no opportunity to register on the morning of the ride.

The ride starts with a competitive wave at 9 a.m., followed by a recreational start at 9:15. The course is closed at noon; an after-party at the Sky Hotel in Aspen is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

“The after-party is a great tradition, with dozens of door prizes and a free drink ticket for riders,” Fuller said in a statement. Special prizes will be awarded to the men’s and women’s winners. A new bicycle will be among the prize giveaways to participants.

To register, go to http://www.independencepass.org and follow the links.

For more information on the Aspen Cycling Festival, go to http://www.aspenrecreation.com and search for “Aspen Cycling Festival” under “Special Events.”


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