Ride the Rockies

Ride the Rockies bicyclists rest atop Cottonwood Pass during the 2000 tour. This year riders will cross the Continental Divide from Gunnison over Monarch Mountain to Poncha Springs and travel up the Arkansas Valley to Buena Vista. The next day, they’ll take Independence Pass back over the Divide on their way to Snowmass Village.

Ride the Rockies is set to roll into Buena Vista this Monday, bringing over 1,700 expeditious cyclists down Main Street to camp at the Buena Vista River Park, as well as in every hotel room in town, for some much needed rest between two grueling climbs over two high mountain passes.

The ride begins in Crested Butte June 9 and is scheduled to arrive in Buena Vista on Monday the 10th, before taking off for Snowmass Tuesday morning.

The grand tour of Colorado is the signature fundraising event for the Denver Post Community Foundation. A $3,000 grant will be awarded to a non-profit in each of the ride’s eight host communities.

In Buena Vista, elevateHER was announced as the grant’s recipient.

Founded in 2017 by executive director Kristen van Norman, elevateHER seeks to foster leadership skills in girls through outdoor adventure.

The organization was also a primary beneficiary of CKS PaddleFest last month.

The riders will likely pedal down Main Street mid-afternoon Monday, coming into town from the south via U.S. Highway 24, heading toward tent lodging at the Buena Vista River Park.

The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce’s events coordinator Carole Vowell said that the riders will take off north before 8 a.m., Tuesday, taking side roads rather than Main Street.

In addition to the rows and rows of tents at the River Park, Ride the Rockies has reserved every hotel room in the town for that night, Vowell said.

Buena Vista was previously a host city on the ride in 2011, 2008, 2003, 2000 and 1987.

Buena Vista was there in the beginning of the ride, now in its 34th year.

2019’s tour begins in Crested Butte with a 34.3-mile ride to Gunnison. Then, for day two, riders will take an 83.2-mile trip down U.S. 50 over Monarch Pass and up U.S. 285 through the Upper Arkansas Valley to Buena Vista.

The next morning, the tour takes off up U.S. 24 north to U.S. 82 over Independence Pass, the highest point on the route, on its way to Snowmass.

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