The route for the 2012 version of Ride The Rockies was announced recently, and promises a scenic and challenging tour for 2000 lucky lottery winners.
The first day is a ride past the Blue Mesa Reservoir and through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. The 79 miles have riders gaining about 3,000 feet, a nice warm up for days to come.
Day two's 69 miles feature a beautiful climb over McClure Pass, ending with some miles on the bike path into Carbondale with almost 4,000 feet of climbing.
With two good days behind them, riders face a third day featuring more climbing than the first two combined. Eighty-five miles and 7,379 feet of climbing will take riders over Independence Pass and into Leadville.
Day 4 features the most miles of the week, 92 miles from Leadville to Granby, climbing Fremont Pass and Ute Pass. Ride The Rockies also offer a century option. If you're already riding 92 miles......
The penultimate day features a spectacular 63 miles through Rocky Mountain National Park on the way to Estes Park. Trail Ridge Road will take riders over 11,000 feet and keep them there for over 8 miles.
The final day should be easy. Fifty-five miles and less than 1,800 feet of climbing, and a whole lot of descending as the tour heads from Estes Park to it's ending point of Fort Collins.