Double-diamond road test for Aspen cyclists today |

Double-diamond road test for Aspen cyclists today

Cyclists have a double-diamond test awaiting today.

The Aspen Cycling Club’s weekly race will feature a pair of road-riding gems in the Aspen area.

The fabled Highlands-Maroon Bells-Ashcroft road ride will begin at 6 p.m. at the base of Aspen Highlands.

“At 25 miles and 2,600 feet of climbing for Women/Citizens/Masters and 36 miles with 3,400 feet of climbing for the A Men, this is the Aspen Cycling Club’s second longest race of the season,” said Mike Maple, president of the Aspen Cycling Club.

He invited cyclists to join today’s races. Registration will be available at the start, located at the Aspen Highlands bus stop at the base of the ski area.

“Start order will be Senior Men A at 6 p.m., then Vet Men A two minutes later,” Maple said. “They will be followed by all women’s categories plus Sport, Masters, and Juniors several minutes later.”

The course will take cyclists up Maroon Creek Road to Maroon Bells.

The turnaround will be at the exit to the main parking lot. Racers will descend back down Maroon Creek road.

“ In order to bypass the roundabout, riders will be routed to Castle Creek via the bike path at the roadway entrance to the middle and elementary schools,” Maple said.

“The bike path is a neutral zone — no racing and no passing,” he said, advising riders to use extreme caught when riding this portion of the course.

The cyclists will veer right on the bike path and go up the hill above the Aspen Chapel to Meadowood Drive.

The riders then will follow Meadowood Drive to the Castle Creek Road.

“Once on Castle Creek Road, the neutral section is over, and it’s game on with an ascent up King Hill to Little Annie Road and/or Ashcroft,” Maple said.

He said all Women, Sport, Masters and Junior categories will finish at Little Annie Road on the way up.

The Senior Men and Vet Men A category racers will continue all the way to the end of the pavement on Castle Creek Road at the Pearl Pass turnoff before turning around and descending to the finish at Little Annie Road.

The 200-meter sign will be displayed in both directions, Maple said.

Plus, he said, the center-line rule will be in effect.

“As always, for safety and the tolerance of local governments and other road users, all Aspen Cycling Club racers are required to ride to the right of the center line,” Maple said. “That means that if your tires touch the paint, that is technically a violation. In addition to safety considerations, it is not sporting to cross the center line to advance one’s position.”

Maple also reminded riders that the road race is difficult to score.

“If you finish in a group, please check in after your race with the finish marshals to confirm your finish order,” he said.

Volunteer marshals also are needed for today’s race — no experience necessary.

For information, email Mouse at or call her at 970-618-4626.

For more race information, call the Aspen Cycling Hotline at 970-922-2000.

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