The 2013 ride takes the BTC into previously unexplored territory as well as some familiar places. We have again included Crested Butte for our day off but added a new way into town via Kebler Pass. This 7 day trip will take you and your bicycle through high alpine tundra, pine forests, and past alpine lakes. Our world famous aid stations will be back with music, munchies, sports drink, and water of course.
DAY 0 Saturday June 22nd Tour Check in, Canon City 5,003'. Canon City is the lowest elevation of your tour week, yet is has many high points as you adjust to the thinner air of the Rocky Mountains. Rafting, hiking, fishing, shopping, Segway rentals, the Museum of Colorado Prisons, skydiving, and the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey are some of the things to do in and around Canyon City. Just make sure to check in for the tour on Saturday afternoon.
DAY 1 Sunday June 23rd Canon City 5,003' to Buena Vista, 7,954', 86 miles, (profile). Wear your jersey from '95, '96, '97, or '98 today. You start out with some gradual uphill to get you in the swing of things. Take in the scenery, shake off your travel haze. The road gets steeper as you near the 9,346' summit of Trout Creek Pass. The descent down to camp is twisty and steep. Better to use your brakes a few times than end up off the road on your first day of the tour!
DAY 2 Monday June 24th Buena Vista to Carbondale 6,170', 91 miles, (profile). Wear your jersey from '99, '00, '01, or '02 today. "May the road rise up to meet you" is a well known phrase. Today the road will rise up to meet you, challenge you, and hopefully not beat you. A gradual uphill along the Arkansas River and Twin Lakes better clear you legs as 12,095' Independence Pass looms in the morning alpenglow. When you get to the switchbacks it gets steep, but the summit is in sight. Your hard work will be rewarded with some coasting down from the pass into Aspen. A short jaunt along the Roaring Fork River takes you to Carbondale for the night. Sleep well knowing you rode the same pass that Lance Armstrong trained on for the Tour de France!
DAY 3 Tuesday June 25 Carbondale to Paonia 5,645', CO 58 miles, (profile). Wear your jersey from BTC '03, '04, '05, or '06. Leaving the Roaring Fork valley via McClure Pass (8,763') is easier than the route that got you to Carbondale but it is even more scenic this way. After the summit enjoy the spectacular views on your way down to Paonia.
DAY 4 Wednesday June 26 Paonia to Crested Butte 8,885', 47 (profile)or 111 miles, (profile). Today wear your BTC jersey from '07, '08, or '09. Today could be a simple jaunt to the Butte if you don't mind the 26 miles of dirt road on Kebler Pass. Just don't sleep in if you are opting for the all paved route, cause it is an extra 64 miles if you can't handle the truth, I mean the dirt. With lots to do and see in Crested Butte it is a tough decision.
DAY 5 Thursday June 27 - ??? miles, (profile). Day off in Crested Butte. Hike the ski area, rent a mountain bike for a few hours, enjoy the chips and salsa at the Last Steep, or just lie in the grass watching the birds and clouds float by.
DAY 6 Friday June 28th Crested Butte to Salida 7,080', via 12,126' Cottonwood Pass, 99 miles, (profile). Show off your '10, '11, or '12 jersey today. After your day off in Crested Butte you get a gentle downhill for a few miles before the turn toward Taylor Park Reservoir. Pass the reservoir and begin the real climb to the pass. This route was part of the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Collect your king of the mountain points at the summit but the day is not over. After a fast descent to Buena Vista enjoy the small climbs on your way downriver to Salida. When you get to town do a few laps around to get your odometer to the century mark, a great way to see the town.
DAY 7 Saturday June 29th Salida to Canon City 55 miles, (profile). Celebrate the last day by wearing your 2013 BTC jersey. Out of Salida it is a gentle downhill along the Arkansas River. See the unspoiled beauty where Christo and Jeanne-Claude are planning their "Over the River" project for 2015. Then get ready for the climb up and over the Arkansas river, down the hill into Canon City back to where it all began a week earlier. Hang out with your new and old friends before heading on to your next cycling adventure.