Ride the Rockies // (c) 2010
Ouray, Colo., has dubbed itself the “Switzerland of America” and it seems that the destination might live up to its name with three cycling events rolling through town this summer.
On June 15, cyclists from around the world will converge on Ouray during the 25th Annual Denver Post Ride the Rockies bicycle tour, which is a more than 500-mile ride through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Ride the Rockies participants come into Ouray from Delta, Colo., on a 67-mile stretch of Highway 550. From Ouray, they head to Durango, Colo., on a 70-mile route that traverses Red Mountain Pass (11,090 feet), Molas Divide (10,899 feet) and Coal Bank Pass (10,640 feet).
Clients wishing to participate will have to do so as bystanders; the ride has been sold out since February when 4,000 cycling hopefuls participated in a lottery for the 2,000 available spots on the ride.
The Colorado Peace Ride is a four-day, 238-mile charity ride that begins and ends in Durango and encompasses a portion of the San Juan Skyway that passes through Ouray. The ride will take place from July 29 to Aug. 1, and Ouray is the first overnight stop on the tour. The Sophia Peace Center is the primary beneficiary of the profits generated by the ride. The organization supports nonprofits by providing them with free or low-cost retreats in a beautiful retreat center in Dolores, Colo.
Peaks and Pints is a five-night cycling tour starting Aug. 30. The ride covers a little more than 200 miles and is punctuated with tastings at a local brewhouse each night. The tour begins in nearby Ridgway, Colo., and continues in a counter-clockwise direction around the famous San Juan Skyway. The route includes four mountain passes that climb more than 10,000 feet.