Thursday, May 26, 2011

take two?

I mentioned last post that we're nearing the running of Ride The Rockies. While I'm not going to be going to Colorado until August for the CRMBT, if one were going to do RTR, why not stay around for a week and ride the Bicycle Tour of Colorado?

BTC is a loop tour that starts and ends in Central City. The location is kind of ironic because Central City is just north of Black Hawk, CO, which enacted a bicycle ban on city streets in January of 2010. I hope cyclist don't have to go through there to get back to where they parked.

I think every tour in Colorado offers at least some spectacular days on the bike, and this tour is full of those days. Day one has riders on the beautiful and challenging Peak-to-Peak Highway to Estes Park.
Day two offers the chance of a lifetime kind of ride through Rocky Mountain National Park of Trail Ridge Road. I've heard many riders state that this ride is one of the best days they ever spent on a bike.
The next couple days go from Granby to Steamboat Springs over Muddy Pass, 8772 feet, and Rabbit Ears Pass, 9426 feet. And Steamboat Springs to Glenwood Springs for a much deserved rest day. Then it's back on the road heading east to one of my favorite places, Frisco. This day has riders gaining about 2000 feet in elevation over the first 70 miles, and another couple thousand in the next 10 miles as they climb Vail Pass at 10,662 feet. I love the climb up the west side, even though it's tough, but I don't like the descent. It's largely on a steep, twisting bike path. I've done it during the Copper Triangle and it's not fun with 2000 riders. But, once you get to Copper Mountain you can practically coast the last 10 miles into Frisco.
From Frisco riders have a relatively short 65 miles back to Central City, but there is the matter of getting over Loveland Pass first. At 11,990 feet Loveland is the third highest paved pass in the state. The good news is that the descent is about three times as long as the climb. And one little 10 mile climb at the end gets you back to where you started.
So, if on June 17, the 412 miles you just rode with Ride The Rockies doesn't seem like enough, you've got a whole day to rest up, a short drive, and you could be on your way to another 463 miles with Bicycle Tour of Colorado.


  1. OK, I think you've finally convinced me to do this ride. Can't make it this year, but I'm putting it on my calendar for next year! I'm getting a bike in a few weeks that'll let me climb mountains, and this ride will be at the top of my list!

  2. This route sounds like my RTR that I did waaaay back. Beautiful ride!