Snowmass Loop MTB fondo returns Sept. 29 to benefit the RFMBA | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass Loop MTB fondo returns Sept. 29 to benefit the RFMBA

Chris Bieke gets air on the Valhalla Trail in Snowmass on Sept. 22.

For the third year — and second time in recent weeks — the Snowmass Mountain Bike Fondo is set to return to the trails of Snowmass Village. Originally scheduled to take place last month, a torrential downpour right before the start led to the rescheduling.

The fondo is set to get underway at 10 a.m. Saturday and includes 26 miles of the popular Snowmass Loop trail, with a "mostly pleasant" 3,800 feet of climbing and plenty of descending to match. The weather is supposed to be warm and dry.

"I just think it rides fabulous. It's super flowy and super fun. You get everything in that loop," said Rob Quinn, who owns Denver-based Spectrum Marketing and helps put on the event. "What they want to do is bring attention to the loop that is rideable right out of the village. It's just an awesome, perfect loop."

The fondo is a benefit for the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the organization, run by Mike Pritchard. In regards to what exactly a fondo is, the event is both a timed race and a fun ride. The course won't be closed to outside riders, but there is an incentive to finish.

"You still get to quantify your efforts a little bit without having to close the world down and restrict trail access," Quinn said. "It is a timed event, but rules of the road and rules of the trail must be followed. But we will recognize the top three male and female finishers at the little post event at the Ranger Station. And we'll recognize the top three male and female high school finishers, as well."

Quinn, who used to work with the high school mountain bike team in Evergreen, partly picked this weekend because it is an open date in the high school mountain bike season. He pitched the idea to the town of Snowmass and to the RFMBA to let high school and junior high kids ride for free, and they agreed.

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For those out of high school, the cost is $25 and all finishers receive a pint glass and free first drink. There is day-of registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. near the race start at the Snowmass Ranger Station, at the end of the Village Mall. The post-race party is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the same location.

"It's a good reason to come up to Snowmass and ride that loop and enjoy the village — that's kind of the method behind the madness," Quinn said. "With a fondo, if you are 17th out of 100, man, I'm talking that up the next day."

More information on the fondo, including a complete course map, can be found at http://www.rfmba.org.

acolbert@aspentimes.com