Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 colorado bike tours

There are 3 week-long bike tours through the mountains of Colorado scheduled for this summer. Ride the Rockies runs from June 12-17, Bicycle Tour of Colorado the following week, June 19-25, and August 7-13 brings the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour. RtR starts in Crested Butte and finishes in Georgetown. BTC is a loop beginning and ending in the Gilpin County town of Central City. CRMBT is also a loop with Grand Junction as the start and finish.
Ride The Rockies encompasses 412 miles over 6 consecutive days and from Crested Butte overnights in Buena Vista, Edwards, Steamboat Springs, and Granby before pulling into Georgetown. The high points of this tour come on the first and last days, with an ascent of Cottonwood Pass on the way to Buena Vista, and Berthoud Pass on the way to the finish line in Georgetown. Lower elevation passes like Yellow Jacket and Rabbit Ears bookend a day riding a loop in the Steamboat Springs area. But one of my favorite days on this tour would be the second day. Heading north out of Buena Vista the route parallels the Collegiate Range on the way to Leadville, then heads over Tennessee Pass and Battle Mountain Summit on the way to Edwards.
The Bicycle Tour of Colorado runs 463 miles from Central City with overnight stops in Estes Park, Granby, Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs for a rest day, before stopping in Frisco and back to Central City. The best part of this tour comes early. The first day is a tough ride over the stunning Peak-to-Peak Highway to Estes Park. Then it's through Rocky Mountain National Park on the way to Granby. Glenwood Springs is a great place for a rest day, and the ride to Frisco should be interesting; barely climbing for about 70 miles before Vail Pass hits you in the face. The last day is no piece of cake, with Loveland Pass sitting between you and Central City.
The Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour offers 493 miles from Grand Junction with stops in Hotchkiss, Gunnison, Buena Vista and a rest day in Glenwood Springs. The first day is kind of a warm-up, but the rest offer spectacular scenery, serious climbing, and usually both. Highlights include riding through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, Cottonwood Pass, Independence Pass, McClure Pass, and on the last day the opportunity to climb the Grand Mesa. Its starting point begs for a ride through the Colorado National Monument before the tour starts. 
The scenery doesn't get any better, and the roads don't go any higher than in Colorado. If you like to ride, and especially if you like to climb, get to Colorado and go.


  1. I would really like to ride these super looking rides....Maybe I will plan a trip to the States next year and experience some of the cycling that I read about here. Unfortunately this year is all booked up with some major routes in mainland Europe.....