Photo Gallery: Record Breaking Ride the Rockies

Photo Gallery Race Coverage Video

The revised day 6 route ran along the foothills of the towering Sangre de Cristo mountain range in southern Colorado.

The annual Ride the Rockies Colorado Bicycle Tour wrapped up Saturday in Colorado Springs, concluding what was the longest trek in the event’s 28-year history.

All told, about 2,200 cyclists pedaled 542 miles during a testing seven-day journey that started in Telluride, then passed through Cortez, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa, Salida, and Canyon City, before crossing that final finish line at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in the state’s second largest city.

Originally, the 2013 event wasn’t slated to be a record breaker. But a forest fire in the Royal Gorge area forced a last-minute re-route of stage 6. Instead of a 67-mile ride from Salida to Canyon City, including a spin over the country’s largest suspension bridge (which was closed due to the fire), the Ride the Rockies peloton was diverted on a 93.5-mile southerly route through the towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, before turning north and circling into Canyon City.

The extra mileage didn’t seem to phase many people. Who doesn’t like to be part of history.

The extra mileage (and nearly 2,000 additional feet climbing) was a grind to be sure, but at the finish in Canyon City, the overwhelming consensus was that the revised route was one of the best days of the entire tour. Most of the road was on dead-quiet country roads; the climbs were steady but not leg-crushing, and the views of the looming Sangre de Cristo mountain range were some of the tour’s best.

The next day, it was a (relatively) easy 46-mile spin into Colorado Springs, ending what will go down as one of the best Ride the Rockies in the event’s near three-decades-long history.

On a personal note, this was our first up-close look at an event whose main aim (besides providing a great cycling experience) is to raise money for a variety of state and local charities. Needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed. Organization was dialed, the routes were both spectacularly scenic and reasonably challenging, and the general vibe was amazingly upbeat and positive. It was a truly welcome departure from the amateur bike racing world, which has a tendency to take itself way to seriously at times.

Here’s a look back at some of the sights and scenes, including some great videos courtesy of Ride the Rockies/OnSight Public Affairs.

YouTube Preview ImagePerhaps the toughest day of the weeklong ride was the grind up and over Wolf Creek Pass, peak elevation 10,850 feet. Here’s a peek at what it looked like out on the road.

The crew from WD-40 was at the event all week cleaning and lubing bikes. By one estimate the total number of washes was in excess of 1000. That’s a lot of scrubbing.

Volunteers (all 86 of them) play a huge role in the Ride the Rockies success. This young lady from Texas was a aid-station staple, always making sure there was plenty of water to drink.

YouTube Preview ImageRide the Rockies is far more than just a cycling event. Each town along the route pulls out all the stops to provide a warm welcome to this traveling peloton of 2200. Here’s a look at some of the off-the-bike highlights.

No agro attitudes at this event. Just a lot of people having a really good time.

YouTube Preview ImageIt wasn’t part of the original plan, but when a forest fire forced a re-route, organizers and cyclists adapted for what turned out to be one of the best days of the weeklong event.

Clearly the chance to pedal across the Royal Gorge – highest suspension bridge in the country – would have been a special treat. But as these views illustrate, the Plan B route from Salida to Canyon City was a pretty solid second choice.

Grit and determination are as important as training time.

YouTube Preview ImageRide the Rockies means many things to many people. It’s a challenge, an adventure, a vacation, or all of the above.

Each day, when riding was done, the final area provided everything you needed to prepare for the next day: pitch your tent, park your bike, grab your luggage, then kick back and relax in the Wheat Ridge Cyclery recovery zone.

Photo Gallery: Record Breaking Ride the Rockies Gallery
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2013 Ride the Rockies

The revised day 6 route ran along the foothills of the towering Sangre de Cristo mountain range in southern Colorado.
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2013 Ride the Rockies

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2013 Ride the Rockies

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2013 Ride the Rockies

No agro attitudes at this event. Just a lot of people having a really good time.
×

2013 Ride the Rockies

×

2013 Ride the Rockies

Grit and determination are as important as training time.
×

2013 Ride the Rockies

Volunteers (all 86 of them) play a huge role in the Ride the Rockies success. This young lady from Texas was a aid-station staple, always making sure there was plenty of water to drink.
×

2013 Ride the Rockies

Each day, when riding was done, the final area provided everything you needed to prepare for the next day: pitch your tent, park your bike, grab your luggage, then kick back and relax in the Wheat Ridge Cyclery recovery zone.
×

2013 Ride the Rockies

×

2013 Ride the Rockies

The crew from WD-40 was at the event all week cleaning and lubing bikes. By one estimate the total number of washes was in excess of 1000. That’s a lot of scrubbing.
×

2013 Ride the Rockies

×

2013 Ride the Rockies

×

2013 Ride the Rockies

The extra mileage didn’t seem to phase many people. Who doesn’t like to be part of history.
×

2013 Ride the Rockies

×

2013 Ride the Rockies

Clearly the chance to pedal across the Royal Gorge – highest suspension bridge in the country – would have been a special treat. But as these views illustrate, the Plan B route from Salida to Canyon City was a pretty solid second choice.

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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