Photo Gallery: Ride the Rockies Heads East

Photo Gallery Race Coverage

Day 2 of the 28th annual Ride the Rockies Colorado Bicycle Tour sent riders on a rolling 64-mile grind from Cortez to Durango. Along the way riders passed through the small towns of Mancos and Hesperus – and climbed Mancos Hill and Hesperus Hill. Net elevation gain for the day was a tough 3,442 feet.

More menacing, though, was the heat. Daytime highs reached into the mid 90s, leaving many a battered biker by the time they rolled into the day’s finish area at the Durango High School. Heavily salt-stained jerseys and long faces were commonplace.

All told upwards of 2200 cyclists are taking on what will be a seven-day, 515-mile journey that concludes next weekend in Colorado Springs. In between riders of all ages, shapes, sizes, and skill levels will pedal up and over three high mountain passes during an accumulated 20,000 vertical feet of climbing.

Next up for the giant Ride the Rockies peloton is another easterly push, this time 86 miles (and 3,635 feet of climbing) from Durango to Pagosa Springs on Wednesday. It’ll be another hard, hot day for sure. But the good news is that – as its name implies – Pagosa Springs is home to one of the best natural hot spring in the state.

RoadBikeReview was on-route and at the finish on Tuesday. Here’s a look at some of the sights and scenes.

Ride the Rockies is truly an all-inclusive affair. Participants ages range from grade school to well into the retirement years.

After spending the day in the high mountains around Telluride on Sunday, Monday’s course showed off the high dessert landscape of Colorado’s Four Corners region.

There were no major climbs on Monday, but that certainly doesn’t mean there wasn’t any climbing. Net gain for the day was 3,442 feet.

Some riders travel alone, others in pairs. The only rule is that pace lines can never exceed more than five riders at one time.

Routes are clearly marked, making it easy to get where you need to go.

Agriculture and ranching are two of the primary economic drivers in the Cortez area. The cycling’s not bad either.

Unlike your average carbon-fiber-littered European gran fondo, the Ride the Rockies peloton of bikes is all over the map. Sure there are plenty of high-zoot composite race machines. But there are also plenty of classic steeds, such as this old LeMond.

The overwhelming take-away from Ride the Rockies is what a casual fun affair it is. Of course everyone is deadly serious about completing the 515-mile ride, but there’s none of the agro-attitude you often find at more competitive road cycling events.

Most riders stick to the prescribed route. But some opt to add in a few extra miles and take in the area sights. These guys pulled off from the field and pedaled the road up into Mesa Verde National Park, home to a litany of ancient Indian ruins.

Mavic is here providing neutral support – and as the sign indicates – looking for riders to test ride its fleet of high end road wheels.

There is no missing this year’s distinctive Ride the Rockies jersey, which is made by Hincapie Sports. Big George even made an appearance at the race and spoke at Day 1’s evening cycling seminar.

Every day when riding is down, riders gather for the evening cycling seminar which includes advice from expert riders and a featured speaker.

In Durango that featured speaker was well-known cycling TV commentator – and Durango resident – Bob Roll (and his daughter Ruby). We spoke to Roll before he went on stage. His prediction for the final podium at the Tour de France: Chris Fromme, Cadel Evans, and Alberto Contador – probably in that order.

No this is not a photo of the latest Occupy Wall Street protest. At Ride the Rockies riders have three primary lodging options – stay in hotels, sleep inside the local rec center or high school gym, or camp.

In Durango, the local high school gym provided sleeping space for the Ride the Rockies peloton.

After a long day in the saddle, recovery is everything. That means food, drink, and of course a little nap time.

Massage doesn’t hurt either. These folks were packed non-stop all day.

Photo Gallery: Ride the Rockies Heads East Gallery
1
of
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    Ride the Rockies is truly an all-inclusive affair. Participants ages range from grade school to well into the retirement years.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    After spending the day in the high mountains around Telluride on Sunday, Monday’s course showed off the high dessert landscape of Colorado’s Four Corners region.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    There were no major climbs on Monday, but that certainly doesn’t mean there wasn’t any climbing. Net gain for the day was 3,442 feet.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    Some riders travel alone, others in pairs. The only rule is that pace lines can never exceed more than five riders at one time.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    Routes are clearly marked, making it easy to get where you need to go.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    Agriculture and ranching are two of the primary economic drivers in the Cortez area. The cycling’s not bad either.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    Unlike your average carbon-fiber-littered European gran fondo, the Ride the Rockies peloton of bikes is all over the map. Sure there are plenty of high-zoot composite race machines. But there are also plenty of classic steeds, such as this old LeMond.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    The overwhelming take-away from Ride the Rockies is what a casual fun affair it is. Of course everyone is deadly serious about completing the 515-mile ride, but there’s none of the agro-attitude you often find at more competitive road cycling events.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    Most riders stick to the prescribed route. But some opt to add in a few extra miles and take in the area sights. These guys pulled off from the field and pedaled the road up into Mesa Verde National Park, home to a litany of ancient Indian ruins.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    Mavic is here providing neutral support – and as the sign indicates – looking for riders to test ride its fleet of high end road wheels.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    In Durango that featured speaker was well-known cycling TV commentator – and Durango resident – Bob Roll (and his daughter Ruby). We spoke to Roll before he went on stage. His prediction for the final podium at the Tour de France: Chris Fromme, Cadel Evans, and Alberto Contador – probably in that order.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    No this is not a photo of the latest Occupy Wall Street protest. At Ride the Rockies riders have three primary lodging options – stay in hotels, sleep inside the local rec center or high school gym, or camp.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    In Durango, the local high school gym provided sleeping space for the Ride the Rockies peloton.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    After a long day in the saddle, recovery is everything. That means food, drink, and of course a little nap time.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    There is no missing this year’s distinctive Ride the Rockies jersey, which is made by Hincapie Sports. Big George even made an appearance at the race and spoke at Day 1’s evening cycling seminar.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    Every day when riding is down, riders gather for the evening cycling seminar which includes advice from expert riders and a featured speaker.
  • ×

    2013 Ride the Rockies

    Massage doesn’t hurt either. These folks were packed non-stop all day.
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.


Related Articles

NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*