What is Ride The Rockies?
In 1986, 1,500 cyclists pedaled off on a 300-plus mile citizen’s tour that crossed three mountain passes and became an annual tradition called Ride The Rockies. The tour that Outside Magazine called a “celebration of fitness” now celebrates its 33rd year as a beloved Colorado institution sponsored by the Denver Post Community Foundation. Ride The Rockies embraces not only cyclists but the towns, sponsors, volunteers and Colorado residents who enjoy following the annual multi-day event.
Ride The Rockies’ route is different each year, but always climbs a few challenging mountain passes and showcases the state’s spectacular scenery. Daily treks can be as short as 45 miles or as long as 100 miles, but generally average 65-75 miles.
While the Tour route changes each year, the benefits and responsibilities of each host community remain the same. Benefits include publicity, positive economic impact, fundraising opportunities and a grant provided to an eligible non-profit agency in each host town by The Denver Post Community Foundation. Cyclists in 2017 spent an average of $250,000 in a 24-hour period in each town and many planned to return at a later date as tourists. Host communities provide alternative lodging, inexpensive community meals and entertainment.
Riders on past Ride The Rockies have represented all 50 states and 18 foreign countries. Ride The Rockies is a non-competitive event open to cyclists of all ages and participants are encouraged to ride at their own pace.
Proceeds from Ride The Rockies benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation. All funds raised are returned directly to Colorado nonprofits.
The 33rd Tour will showcase the communities of Breckenridge, Edwards, Steamboat Springs, Grand Lake and Winter Park. Beginning and ending in Breckenridge, the ride will traverse through some of Colorado’s most popular mountain towns.
The loop begins in Breckenridge, a town sought after for its skiing, outdoor activities, laid back attitude and its mining history. The tour begins by traveling through Frisco to Fremont Pass. Fremont Pass is a 11,318-foot mountain pass that forms the continental divide on the border between Lake County and Summit County. The 2nd climb of the day is Tennessee Pass just north of Leadville, the highest incorporated town in the United States. This pass connects Leadville to Eagle County over the Gore Range. Day 2 has an equal amount of climbing as descending as the route travels along Rte 131 towards Steamboat Springs. Riders will pass through historic State Bridge and pass geological wonder Finger Rock. Steamboat Springs offers a break on Day 3 with a 48 mile loop that was the Circuit Race Course for the USA Pro Challenge in 2015. After enjoying 2 days in Steamboat Springs, the tour will showcase its most epic day to Grand Lake. Rabbit Ear’s Pass is the only climb of the day but it is not your average mountain pass. Instead of climbing to a high point and quickly descending, Rabbit Ears Pass climbs to around 10,000 feet and stays there for several miles. After the climb, riders will meander past Grand Lake, the largest lake in Colorado.
Day 4 is a short ride of 32 miles to Winter Park where riders have an opportunity to explore mountain bike riding, gravel riding or take the option of continuing the route to the top of Berthoud Pass and back down. Just an option for those that need to just keep climbing! The last day will take riders over Ute Pass to one of the most beautiful vistas in the state of Colorado. And taking in the scenery of the Gore Range, riders will head down towards Dillion, over the Dillion Dam Road and back to the finish in Breckenridge.