Sunday, June 23, 2013

2013 Colorado Triple Crown Event #2: The Colorado Death Ride

The picturesque Mt. Sneffels Range, photographed from the Dallas Divide

The Colorado Death Ride is the second stage of the 2013 Colorado Triple Crown. At 225 miles, the Colorado Death Ride is the longest double century event on the UltraMarathon Cycling Association (UMCA) UltraCycling Cup calendar and one of the most difficult single-day events on the RMCC calendar. The Death Ride has LOTS of climbing! The total vertical gain for the Death Ride is 16,000 vertical feet, climbing over three mountain passes that exceed 10,000 feet in elevation and one pass that exceeds 11,000 feet! No other event on the UMCA calendar has so many individual climbs that expose riders to high altitude! The Death Ride has jaw-dropping mountain scenery that is second-to-none! The San Juan Mountains are frequently one of the most-photographed regions in the state of Colorado. After riding this route, you will understand why this is the case. Be sure to keep your digital camera in your jersey pocket. You'll definitely want to have it on this ride!

Spectacular views from Red Mountain Pass

Good luck to all of this year's Death Riders!!

Latest information, 6/27/13 @ 5:26 pm
The West Fork Fire: US-160 remains closed in both directions east of Pagosa Springs to South Fork over Wolf Creek Pass (Milemarker 158-188). Participants will need to get to Durango by driving to Montrose, then proceed to Durango via Red Mountain Pass, Molas Pass, and Coal Bank Pass. This could add an additional 1.5 hours of travel time. 

For the latest on the West Fork fire:

So far, there are no new fires in direct vicinity of any section of the San Juan Skyway. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it stays this way!

General Information:

1) Ride Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013

2) Host Hotel/Start and Finish Location: Durango, CO, Durango Best Western Inn and Suites, 21382 US 160 W, Durango, CO 81303

3) Registration: Riders need to be preregistered AND prequalified to participate in this event. Registration for this event will close at 7:00 pm on Thursday, June 27, 2013. For questions about registration or prequalification, please e-mail Mark Lowe:

4) Ride start/check-in: 1) Pre-ride check-in will be on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm at the Best Western Durango Inn and Suites. If you are unable to make this meeting, please contact Mark Lowe (, 303-895-9532). On Saturday, July 29, 2013, sign-in starts at 1:30 am. Ride starts at 2:00 am sharp. Please be ready to ride 10 minutes early for last minute instructions. (Yes…I know this is really early! But our goal is to have a majority of the riders finish in the daylight. Lights and reflective gear are required!

5) Official support vehicles: We will have two support vehicles for this event. The primary support vehicle will be driven by Charlie Henderson (Charlie's cell phone: 720-480-9714). Participants riding without private SAG support should plan to use Charlie's truck to transport their drop bags. These drop bags will be accessible at checkpoints along the course, including Coal Bank Pass, Ridgway, and Dolores. Our secondary support vehicle will be located at the gas station at Telluride junction. Participants riding with private SAG support need to register their support vehicle with Charlie prior to the start of the ride. Riders with private SAG support may be asked to support other riders in case of an emergency.

6) Time limits: Please keep in mind that this is a timed cycling event! Participants have 19 hours to complete this ride to earn an official finishing time and to receive Colorado Triple Crown credit. Riders can only begin riding at the official start time and must reach all checkpoints before the following time cut-offs to receive an official finishing time: 1) Coal Bank Pass, 5:15 am, 2) Ridgway, 8:45 am, 3) Telluride junction, 2:45 pm, 4) Dolores, 5:30 pm. 5) Durango, 9:00 pm.

7) Additonal Support Points: Riders with private SAG support may also receive additional support at these locations: 1) Silverton, gas station, 2) Red Mountain Pass, 3) Dallas Divide, any safe pull-off, 4) Placerville, store, 5) Rico, convenience store, 6) Mancos, any safe pull-offSpecial notes about support: If the weather turns nasty, support can be anywhere!

8) Abandonment: If you need to abandon the ride for any reason, please call Charlie Henderson at 720-480-9714 as soon as possible! We don't want to spend all night worrying about where you are! Please note that we do not sweep the course.

9) Emergencies: If you have an accident or injury that requires emergent attention, please call 911. Please call Charlie ASAP to let him know!

10) Event Rules: Please review the event rules before the ride on Saturday:

Mountain waterfall, photographed from Imogene Pass, not far from Ouray