Sunday, September 4, 2011

crmbt 2012 proposed route

CRMBT, the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour has announced their proposed route for August, 2012. After two years that had riders scaling the heights of central Colorado, including Mt Evans and Trail Ridge Road, and riding a route that stretched from the Grand Mesa to Cottonwood Pass and Independence Pass, CRMBT is heading back to the San Juan Mountains in the southwest part of the state. The overnight towns include Pagosa Springs, Creede, Gunnison and Montrose. The rest day would be in the resort town of Telluride before moving on to Mancos, and back to Pagosa Springs.
On a scenic route that was used by BTC in 2006 , the first day will feature a beautiful, but challenging ride over Wolf Creek Pass on the way to Creede. This climb will offer numerous photo opportunities, especially looking back to the west as you near the summit.
After a nice descent, and ride through parts of the beautiful San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests, it's on to Creede. The last time I was in Creede, Slumgullion Pass had just kicked my butt, so my opinion is tarnished. But, I've heard others talk of what a great little town Creede is. The next morning the route would head for Gunnison over Spring Creek Pass and the infamous Slumgullion.
                                                                           Bicycle Tour of Colorado 2006

The good news is that the elevation of Creede and the elevation of Lake City are roughly the same, almost 8800 feet. And climbing from the south it takes about 40 miles from Creede to reach Slumgullion Pass at 11,530 feet, whereas climbing from Lake City to the summit takes 7 miles. I know that the switchbacks off of Slumgullion into Lake City won't be conducive to great speed, but I also know you won't have to pedal at all!
After a couple small climbs the tour will roll into Gunnison for a cool night in the mountain air. The next day's ride takes you on US 50 to Montrose. The ride would run the entire length of the Blue Mesa Reservoir and through the Curecanti National Recreation Area.
The next day the route takes riders from Montrose to Telluride. From Montrose to Ridgway is high plains desert with mesas all around. But when you turn right at Ridgway, it gets special. You're climbing towards the Sneffels range and the views are spectacular.
When I rode the Dallas Divide out of Ridgway, it was up and back. So I don't know what it's like to go down the other side and wind into Telluride. But I bet it's amazing! Telluride looks like a fantastic palce for a rest day. And the one real climb the following day is Lizard Head Pass. A nice account of that ride can be found here. From Mancos to Pagosa Springs has a little climbing, including Yellow Jacket Pass, which we rode on the way to Durango  few years ago. But it should be a relatively easy day, and a very scenic way to finish the tour.


  1. I rode BTC 2006. This is a very good route.
    The two unnamed climbs at the end of day 2 were tough coming late in the route.
    Telluride is a super place for the day off. Beautiful scenery. And some great food!
    The ride down the river valley after climbing Lizard Head Pass is really nice.
    I'm. 99.9% sure I'll be at CRMBT in 2012.

  2. These photos are so beautiful, they are inspiring! I mean, absolutely amazing. They're going to make people want to ride!