Anticipation ran high for the unveiling of this June’s Ride the Rockies official route through Colorado, a mystery always of interest to amateur and professional cyclists.
The mystery was unlocked at The Denver Post’s Ride the Rockies Preview Party held Saturday, February 6 at the EXDO Event Center. The 2016 route runs from Carbondale to Fort Collins and will host some 2,000 cyclists.
Ride the Rockies Tour Director Chandler Smith, Community Relations Director Renee Wheelock, Event Coordinator Liz Brown, and Denver Post representatives led the proceedings featuring some 275 guests with support from event sponsors Suncor and Odell Brewing, professional cyclists, and various cycling companies. This year’s Presenting Sponsor is ViaWest Inc., a Greenwood Village-based IT and hosting company with 2,000 customers globally.
Now in its 31st edition, the 2016 Ride the Rockies event will run through Independence Pass, ascend Fremont, Tennessee, Vail and Ute Pass and finish through the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park by way of Trail Ridge Road–the nation’s highest through-road and among the state’s most scenic byways.
A diverse selection of music was provided by Deja Blu Variety Dance Band led by songstress Liz Valles. And a collection of game stations including Guess the Route, Spin-Off, Silent Auction and Celebrity Bidding for a Big Wheel-style trike race kept guests entertained.
Emcee Dave Towle oversaw the celebrity trike race featuring champion cyclists Alison Dunlap, Timmy Duggan, Chris Carmichael, Ron Kiefel, and Nelson Vails. These cycling legends raced guests in various spin-off contests throughout the evening and served as bartenders serving suds from sponsor Odell Brewing Co. Tour Director Chandler Smith thanked sponsors and guests for their support and Wheelock called out raffle ticket numbers for winners of the door prizes and games. Donna Unger took home a high-end bike donated by Jose Rios from mobilebikeman.com.
Representatives from each of the six 2016 community hosts that help support and promote this event this year are:
- Carbondale – Andrea Stewart; Executive Director Carbondale Chamber of Commerce
- Aspen – Sandra Doebler; Special Events Coordinator, City of Aspen
- Copper Mountain – Kimberly Trembearth; Copper Mountain Resort
- Grand Lake – Town Manager Jim White and Samantha Miller, Executive Director of Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
- Estes Park – Lexy Jacobson, Event Coordinator Town of Estes Park & Elvis the Elk (aka, Matt Lemke)
- Fort Collins – Kim Palmer, Director of Business Development, Visit Fort Collins
The 2016 Ride the Rockies route was unveiled at 8:45 p.m. and features a trek from Carbondale to Fort Collins to be conducted over 6 days, 403 miles and 2,000 cyclists trekking through the state. The highlight of this year’s course features a route through Independence Pass, Fremont Pass, Tennessee Pass, Vail Pass and Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park.
Registration for Ride the Rockies are being accepted through February 28 at 5 p.m. MST to participate in this popular event held from June 11-17. All proceeds from Ride The Rockies go to The Denver Post Community Foundation (DPCF) which distributes funds to dozens of Colorado non-profits in the areas of arts, youth, education and human services. For more information visit www.ridetherockies.com