The Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour just announced their route for August 7-13, 2011. The tour begins in Grand Junction, and I would encourage anyone who does the tour to arrange to be there early enough to ride through the Colorado National Monument.
Coors Classic bike race. It would also be a good warm-up for what's to come.
Sunday brings 62 miles of rollers through the desert-like western slope as the tour makes it's way to the first of two overnight stops in Hotchkiss. This will not be filled with the alpine scenery you will see for much of the rest of the week, but this part of Colorado possesses it's own unique beauty.
Black Canyon. My first Colorado climbs ever were through the Black Canyon, and it is still one of the most enjoyable days I ever spent on a bike. I was slow enough that Peter must have assumed I was having trouble, but I just didn't want the day to end. Seventy-nine miles will get you to Gunnison .
Tuesday the tour heads north from Gunnison towards Crested Butte, turning east at Almont for a spectacularly scenic ride up to the Taylor Park Reservoir.
Wednesday has the tour heading north from Buena Vista on US 24 with the Collegiate Peaks Range on your left. Turning west at Twin Lakes it heads up the eastern approach to Independence Pass.
Friday features 80 miles from Glenwood Springs back to Hotchkiss over McClure Pass. Stop at Redstone to check out the coke ovens.