2010 Ride the Rockies

From June 13th through 19th I rode in the 25th anniversary edition of the Ride the Rockies bike tour. I had planned on doing either this ride or the Bicycle Tour of Colorado again, but since I made it past the lottery for Ride the Rockies I picked that one for a slightly different experience. I had briefly flirted with the idea of doing both rides back-to-back, but was talked out of that after realizing how difficult it would be to enjoy both weeks with such high fatigue levels.

One immediate difference between the Ride the Rockies and what I did last year was the route. Last year, I rode a loop, which made the logistics of travel a little bit easier. This year, it was a point-to-point ride from Grand Junction to Salida. Neither town is easy to get to, and while I had originally planned on driving, the logistics of getting both my bike and myself back to where my car would be parked would be annoying.

The ride organizers contracted a bus service that could be purchased from the various towns, but since for your bike to be transported you would have to disassemble and box it anyway, I decided to just save the time and effort and fly myself and ship my bike. I like driving, but the thought of driving through west Texas again just to get to Colorado is never fun.

This was the first time I had ever disassembled a bike and had it shipped. I first purchased one of the more popular hard-case luggage boxes for the bike but it didn’t fit my frame. I decided in the end to just use the cardboard box method and it worked out fine, although there’s a little bit of wear and tear on the bike from the experience.

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Chad is a software developer from the Houston, Texas, USA. He's been working in the software industry since the 1980s and presently works for Alert Logic, a provider of managed security-as-a-service solutions for the Cloud. He spends way too much time bicycling or playing with cars.

6 thoughts on “2010 Ride the Rockies”

  1. Thanks for your review. I’ve done 2 BTC’s (2008,2009), but no RTR.

    I’m considering doing either the BTC or RTR (but not both) in 2011.
    Based on your experiences, would you recommend 1 of these tours over the other, and the reason(s) you might prefer one over the other?

  2. Since the RTR is a lottery, I would sign-up for that one and if you didn’t get in then do the BTC. If you haven’t done the RTR it’s worth doing, but it’s not a ton better than the BTC. The RTR organization is definitely more professional than the BTC, but it’s not like that winds up being a big difference, in the end.

    Also I think it would depend upon the route next year – if the RTR is another hard route in 2011, that’s fantastic – if it’s an easy route like 2009, eh, skip it.

    But, doing both would be even more fun!

  3. Another tour to consider is Colorado Rocky Mountain Bicycle Tour. Check out this years route at crmbt.com. We went to Mt. Evans and Trail Ridge Road both. I also rode it in 2008 & 2009 and loved the routes.
    Before that I’d ridden 5 BTC events. The biggest difference is touring with 250 people on CRMBT as opposed to 2,000 in the big tours. When you arrive and start looking for food, it’s much easier to find a place to eat. Also CRMBT usually overnights in places that have some restaurants and motels.
    CRMBT is also the first week in August if that fits your schedule. And it has always been a loop.
    I always stayed in motels so can’t speak to the camping situation except they seemed to stay near schools like the big tours.
    To me the #1 consideration has been the route so this gives you another choice.

  4. Just seeing your blog-I was there with you and thoroughly enjoyed the week. We were probably up on the Monument about the same time. I would totally agree with the bumpy section of road from Delta to Ouray-plus it was just a grind getting to Ouray as it was a slight uphill grade the last half.

    Your favorite climb was the only spot I had issues that week. I didn’t realize I had not eaten enough and just totally bonked riding out of Silverton. Somehow I made it to the top and got a Coke and some sugar and revived. Each day afterwards I made sure I stopped and ate pancakes at the 1st rest stop-those were great!

    If you had ridden into Pagosa you might have hit a faster speed for the week. That was one wickedly fast descent for a good stretch heading into town.

    Had to love that last day after all the hills we did the week before!!

    Hope to see you out there next year.

  5. I do wish I would have ridden the Pagosa Springs day in retrospect, but it is really easy to say that now from the comfort of the back patio when nothing is sore!

    I’m not sure if I’m going to try for the RTR again, or the BTC, or some other fun event, but riding in Colorado, somewhere, is definitely on the schedule.

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