Sunday, December 31, 2017

Kebler Kamikaze Double Century

Cloaked in one of the largest aspen groves on the planet, Marcellina Mountain is one of the most prominent climbs along Kebler Pass Road as it winds its way from Paonia to Crested Butte.

The RMCC returns to the heart of the Colorado Rockies to ride the Kebler Kamikaze Double Century. This challenging double century reinvigorates life into the (saddly) now defunct West Elk Bicycle Classic, which was one of Colorado's most beloved gran fondos for several years!  The Kebler Kamikaze, as it's name implies, climbs the alluring Kebler Pass, a dirt road pass that has been featured in numerous bicycle events, from amateur tours to professional races. The RMCC has also previously ridden Kebler Pass as part of the Colorado Classic Double Century, an extremely long and difficult double century that has been on hold since 2016 due to a massive paving project on the west side of Cottonwood Pass. The Kebler Kamikaze Double Century has a unique twist compared to these other events! Whereas these other events cross Kebler Pass once from west to east, the Kebler Kamikaze Double Century, in true kamikaze fashion, dares to summit Kebler Pass twice, once via Kebler Pass Road and the second time via the lesser known (but equally spectacular) Ohio Pass Road. The Kebler Kamikaze Double Century has the potential for glory or heartbreak! Will you test your cycling fortitude.....and luck???

Date: Back in the near future!

Sign-in/Start: Early sign-in/start: 4:45 AM/5:00 AM. Late sign-in/start: 5:15 am/6:00 am.

Start/End location: Crested Butte, CO, Old Town Inn, 708 6th St, Crested Butte, CO 81224. Phone: 1-888-349-6184.

Course Map: Kebler Kamikaze Double Century (Preliminary route)

Registration: This event preliminarily has a registration fee (i.e., cost-recovery fee) of $60. Please register early. Registration is limited to the first 50 pre-registered riders. Registration closes 8/23/18.  Participants may withdraw by 8/11/18 for a refund. After 8/11/18, refunds will not be granted. RMCC membership is also required to participate in this event. For more information about membership: RMCC membership. 

Dense aspen forests line Kebler Pass Road.
Course Highlights:
  • Distance: 209 miles, 44 miles of unpaved roads
  • Climbing: 13,000 feet
  • 3 categorized climbs:
Amazing views of Black Canyon of the Gunnison from CO-92 to the west of Blue Mesa Reservoir. 
North Rim Climb, Category 3. 
This relatively short 4+ mile climb gradually ascends 1,000+ feet from the west end of the Blue Mesa Reservoir to the western margins of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, providing brief glimpses of the spectacular canyon below. After reaching the "summit" of this climb, CO-92 continues to undulate upward for another 10 miles before making the exhilarating, long descent to Crawford.

Kebler Pass is one of Colorado's finest autumn passes! 
Kebler Pass, Hors categorie.  Kebler Pass is a bohemeth, unpaved climb, ascending just under 5,000 feet as it winds its way through the West Elk Mountains from Paonia to Crested Butte. Kebler Pass is actually a double peaked climb consisting of two category 2 climbs; however, these two climbs collectively make Kebler Pass a hors categorie (HC) climb!  Many of the "flatter" sections of Kebler Pass Road mid-way into the climb are enshrouded in one of the largest aspen groves on the planet. In the autumn, the spectacular colors of these aspen come to life! 

Ohio Pass is a lesser known, rugged aspen-viewing pass and a challenging way to conclude a double century! 

Ohio Pass, Category 2. Ohio Pass is a true gem! Ohio Pass Road climbs 2,400 feet in 23 miles. The lower sections of the road are paved; however, as the road continues to climb toward the summit of Kebler Pass, the surface turns to a mixture of gravel, dirt, sand, and some rocks. Grades become steep as well, pitching up to 12-14%.

Time limit: 18 hours (to receive an official finishing time and Colorado Triple Crown credit).

Bike selection: In dry conditions, this course is entirely rideable on a standard road bike with 23-25 mm tires; however, if the weather is wet and the dirt roads become muddy, wider tires on a cross/gravel bike would be much preferred. Participants must ride the same bike for the duration of the event. Please plan ahead!

Event organizer: Mark Lowe (e-mail:

Additional Notes:
  1. Some ultra-distance experience is encouraged (but not required) to participate in this event.
  2. Pre-qualification: Please refer to our updated rules regarding pre-qualification: What's new for 2018??
  3. Given the exposure to high altitude, nasty weather can be a major concern with this event. Participants need to be prepared and bring their best winter- and wet-riding gear with them!
  4. Lights and reflective gear are required!

The stunning Blue Mesa Reservoir at sunset!