What is Ride The Rockies?
The Denver Post Ride The Rockies is an annual bicycle tour that takes 2,000 cyclists, assisted by more than 100 volunteers, on a 6-7 day ride through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains each June.
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 2014 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.
This year’s ride will take place over seven days, June 14 through June 20. Cyclists will ride 465 miles and ascend 40,537 vertical feet through Mesa, Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Chaffee, Fremont and Custer counties.
From Colorado’s wine country and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park to Blue Mesa Reservoir and the Arkansas River Valley, this year’s course takes cyclists through some of Colorado’s most scenic and breathtaking terrain. Beginning with a loop ride through the iconic Colorado National Monument, cyclist will then venture across the Grand Mesa, Curecanti National Recreation Area and Royal Gorge Bridge & Park as well as climb Cottonwood and Hardscrabble Passes.
In recognition of its 30th Anniversary, RTR has added a “Dirty Thirty” option on day four, where cyclist may elect to get their tires dirty on some gravel roads, while exploring uncharted terrain in Ohio and Kebler Passes.
Host communities include Tour favorites Grand Junction, Hotchkiss, Gunnison, Crested Butte, Salida and Canon City; and making its RTR debut is the town of Westcliffe, where the ride will culminate in Bluff Park with the picturesque backdrop of the Sangre de Cristos.