The Colorado Death Ride can be broken down into five segments:
|As Colorado Death Riders depart from Durango, they can imagine themselves racing the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, as bicycle racers do every Memorial Day weekend during the Iron Horse Classic!|
1) Durango to Coal Bank Pass, 35 miles.
Durango, CO (elev. 6512 feet), one of the southern gateways to the San Juan Mountains, is the start of the 2013 Colorado Death Ride! Durango is one of southwest Colorado's outdoor meccas, attracting thousands of tourists throughout the year for a variety of activities, including cycling, mountain biking, camping, hiking, and skiing. It is also home to several of Colorado's cycling legends, including Tom Danielson, Ned "The Lung" Overend, and Todd Wells. Durango is also the starting location for the Iron Horse Classic. Contested every Memorial Day weekend, the Iron Horse Classic is one of Colorado’s longest standing and most legendary bicycle races!
|Views from Coal Bank Pass, the first high altitude pass that riders will encounter |
during the Colorado Death Ride.
|Views from the spectacular Million Dollar Highway!|
|The historical mining community of Silverton, nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains|
|With its steep drops, Red Mountain Pass is one of the most notorious passes in Colorado!|
From Silverton (elev. 9,300 feet), riders will begin to immediately climb again. Their next climbing challenge of the long day is Red Mountain Pass (elev. 11,019 feet), one of Colorado’s most notorious mountain passes! Known for its breath-taking views, teeth-chattering drops, and ubiquitous avalanche chutes, this pass is not to be taken lightly! And even though the ascent to top of the pass from Silverton is not nearly as difficult as the climb from Ouray on the northern side of the pass, this climb still should not be taken lightly! From either side, Red Mountain Pass is one of Colorado's classic mountain climbs! From Silverton, US 550 will gain 1,800 feet in 10 miles. At the top of the pass (no services), riders will begin an exhilarating (but extremely chilly) 23 mile, 4,100 foot plunge toward Ridgway, passing the historical mining community of Ouray (elev. 7,792 feet) along the way. The descent down the northern side of Red Mountain Pass as it snakes its way down from the stratosphere is truly spectacular…one of Colorado’s finest! Again, a word of caution: Be sure to NOT ride too close to the edge of the road when descending Red Mountain Pass...there is NO shoulder or guardrail and the drops exceed 1,000 feet in places! After what will seem to be an eternity of descending, riders will reach Checkpoint #2 (the gas station on the east side of the highway at the junction of US 550 and CO 62/Sherman Street in the community of Ridgway at the northern edge of the San Juan Mountains.
|The picturesque Mt. Sneffels Range as photographed from the Dallas Divide.|
|The region around Telluride, often referred to as the "Swiss Alps of the Rockies,"|
is never short on pristine mountain scenery!
4) Telluride Junction to Rico, 25 miles.
|The Lizard Head Mountain to the west of CO 145|
5) Rico to Mancos, 56 miles.
|Views from the beautiful Dolores River Valley|
|The scenery becomes noticeably more arid as riders approach Mancos.|
Congratulations on completing the Colorado Death Ride!