2009 / 7 days / 512+ miles

2009 / 7 days / 512+ miles

15th Annual 513+ mile loop beginning and ending in Glenwood Springs with a day off in the unique, artsy ski town of Crested Butte, Colorado.

We have mapped out the 2009 Bicycle Tour of Colorado to provide a challenging, fun, and safe trip for all. These carefully chosen miles take us through our beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains and into quaint mountain towns. Here we go!

DAY 1 June 21, 77 miles

Starting out in Glenwood Springs at 5,746' (over a mile high - Welcome to Colorado!). We pedal from Glenwood Springs to Hotchkiss on the West Elk Loop of the Colorado Scenic route. Today's 77 mile ride includes a climb to McClure Pass at 8,755'. The ride includes grades up to 8% and a total of over 3,000 feet of climbing. What goes up must go down and today is no different. From the top of the McClure Pass we have a meandering descent into the Paonia and Hotchkiss area. We end up at 5,351' in the midst of rolling, sage-covered hills and valleys filled with farm fields and orchards. A spectacular first day ride and a great warm-up.

DAY 2 June 22, 98 miles

Hotchkiss to Grand Junction. This 98 mile ride is no quick day on the bike but it will be an exhilarating one! The route includes an energizing climb to the top of the largest flat top mountain in the world, the Grand Mesa. The top of the Mesa sits at a breathtaking elevation of 10,839'. There are over 200 lakes hidden amongst the trees on the top of the Mesa. After crossing the top of the Mesa you are rewarded with one of Colorado's best and longest paved descents. The road descends more than 5,000 feet to the Colorado River. We follow the river through vineyards and orchards then roll into Grand Junction to rest at 4,586'. The day's 98 miles includes over 5,000 feet of climbing - sleep well!

DAY 3 June 23, 63+ miles

Grand Junction to Montrose From the breathtaking beauty of the Colorado National Monument (optional loop) to the serene beauty of the farms and orchards and the San Juans in the distance, the BTC cyclist will cover 63+ miles from Grand Junction to Montrose. There is a morning 40 mile option (profile) through the Colorado National Monument on Rim Rock Drive, nicknamed "Tour of the Moon". This is the loop that was part of the Coors Classic Bicycle Race and the route that appeared in the movie American Flyer. The highest point in the Monument is 6,440'. The sandstone cliffs and formations are incredible and tight corners, unsettling drop-offs and great views abound. What sheer beauty!

DAY 4 June 24, 93 miles

Montrose to Crested Butte. Heading from Montrose at 5,794' to Crested Butte at 8,885', the first climb is Cerro Summit at 7,950' which begins about 10 miles out of Montrose. Amazing views from Cerro Summit and Blue Mesa Summit at 8,704'. From the Blue Mesa Dam, there are panoramic views of Blue Mesa Reservoir. Cycling again along one of Colorado's scenic and historic byways, the West Elk Loop, into Gunnison at 7,703' and then the uphill route on Highway 135 to the quaint mountain town of Crested Butte at 8,885'. 93 miles of awesome scenery and awesome cycling.

DAY 5 June 25, ?? miles

Crested Butte to Crested Butte Take a break! in the picturesque ski resort and mountain biking haven of Crested Butte: one of Coloradoans��_��__��_��___��_��__��_��____��_��__��_��___��_��__��_��_____ most desired mountain get aways. Hey, you deserve it!

DAY 6 June 26, 75 miles

Crested Butte to Buena Vista. At 75 miles, crossing over the Continental Divide at Cottonwood Pass, 12,326' (14 miles of packed dirt on the ascent but paved on the descent), this climb offers a 6% grade with a descent from the top with sections of nearly 10% grade, then past the Cottonwood Hot Springs into Buena Vista at 7,954' with views of the Sawatch Range. We overnight in Buena Vista with a panoramic view of many of the 15 nearby Collegiate peaks, each one over 14,000' in elevation. What awesome surrounds to relax in while enjoying the last Colorado Rocky Mountain evening of the tour!!

DAY 7 June 27, 107 miles

Buena Vista to Glenwood Springs. The longest ride of the 2009 BTC at 107 miles, climbing 4,000+ feet over the Continental Divide a second time as we cycle over Independence Pass, 12,095' above sea level, at approximately mile 45, and then a 60 mile descent down the winding, sometimes narrow, road off Independence Pass, through the picturesque town of Aspen, the small, quiet town of Basalt, past Carbondale and on to the place the BTC began just the week before, Glenwood Springs. 500+ miles. CONGRATULATIONS! You did it!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!

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