It is no secret we here in Fort Collins love our majestic mountains and our pedal driven recreation vehicles and this event combines the two gloriously, although not for the faint of heart or spirit, we bring you Ride the Rockies! And now we are pleased to announce, for the first time ever, Ride the Rockies is not only coming to our town but the entire goal of this grand undertaking of scaling those mammoth mountains while fighting extraordinary fatigue will be to arrive here in our humble home, as Fort Collins is the final ride destination!
Ride the Rockies (RTR) is in its 31st year, created 1986, and saw immediate success in its first year with 1,500 riders from all over the United States and multiple countries. The following year the allotted number of riders was raised to 2,000 to accommodate demand. Due to rising popularity, in 1989 a lottery system was implemented as over 3,000 riders each year dream of becoming one of the lucky 2,000 picked to fight the screaming protest of their lungs and legs to ride our Rockies. Different routes are chosen each year to highlight some of Colorado’s most scenic and iconic roads, ranging from 305 miles all the way up to 545 miles over 6 days. This year’s race, June 11th-17th, comes in at 403 miles and ascends almost 30,000 feet in vertical elevation gain. Beginning in the heart of the Roaring Fork Valley, the route will showcase the communities of Carbondale, Aspen, Copper Mountain, and first time hosts, Grand Lake, Estes Park, and, a little place we like to call home, Fort Collins.
The final leg of Devils Gulch and Horsetooth Reservoir were originally planned for the 2012 route but due to the High Park Fire and floods the following year, the routes weren’t feasible. The return to Fort Collins gives our community an opportunity to stand with pride, as the riders descend through our canyons and conquer the final miles, all will see what we already know, that while we may have taken a beating, we were not broken, just as the riders themselves. Upon arriving in town, everyone will roll on into Odell Brewing Company for a proper, much deserved after party! Now if you are staying at Fernweh, your journey to Odell can be much less arduous, just a simple 1.8 mile ride you may just begin to wonder why those others took the hard way!
Not only does RTR bring a large economic boost to the host communities, an estimated $250,000 in accommodations, restaurants, and retail, but it also benefits of carefully chosen, merited local charities. The RTR, one of Colorado’s oldest bike tours, was created by the Denver Post with the intention of raising funds for the Denver Post Community Foundation. The foundation strives to enrich communities in Colorado in the areas of arts, youth education, and human services. For this race, they partner with Wells Fargo to award a $5,000 grant an organization in each host community of the ride, overall donating $30,000 this year alone.
Spectators and fans are welcome to cheer the riders on so act fast, grab a cushy spot in the Fernweh before it’s too late and be ready for the action as it rolls into town! And heck, while you are here, take advantage of some of our fantastic Front Range cycling options while keeping in mind what Scott Stoll so wisely observed, “A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke.” Now go out and make your own adventure!
And. last, but certainly not least, we would like to give a shout out to our girl, Katie "Dropkick", in her second year of RTR, my you ride fast and strong, friend! We are so proud of you!!