Sunday, November 25, 2018

2019 Colorado Tour de Moose

Participants will be on the lookout for moose during the 2019 Colorado Tour de Moose.

The RMCC will explore some new terrain in northern Colorado during the 2019 Colorado Tour de Moose. This challenging double century climbs into the heart of northern Colorado Rockies via Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Willow Creek Pass, and Cameron Pass. Here are the highlights of this great new ride: 
Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019

Start: Tortoises: 3:30 AM. Hares: 4:00 AM.

Start/End location: Loveland, CO: Big Thompson Elementary School

Course Map: Colorado Mesa Double Century: Colorado Tour de Moose

Registration: Colorado Tour de Moose Registration

This event has a registration fee (i.e., cost-recovery fee) of $25. Registration fees will be collected the morning of the ride. Registration is limited to the first 24 pre-registered riders. First come, first serve! Registration closes 7/26/19. RMCC membership is also required to participate in this event. For more information about membership: RMCC membership. 

Course Highlights:
  • Distance: 205 miles
  • Climbing: 15,000 feet
  • 5 categorized climbs:
With its wide shoulders and spectacular canyon walls, Big Thompson Canyon is one of Colorado's best cycling canyons. 
Loveland to Devils Gulch Road: Category 2. The gradual 20 mile, 2,800 foot climb from Loveland to Glen Haven are an absolute joy to ride. The steep switchbacks in the final mile of this climb is guaranteed test the best climbers!

Amazing views of RMNP to the east of the Alpine Visitor Center at the top of Old Fall River Road
Old Fall River Road (elev. 11,796 feet): Hors Categorie (HC). Old Fall River Road is one of Colorado's understated cycling gems. Climbing nearly 3,200 feet in 9 miles on well-maintained gravel roads, Old Fall River Road is a must-do Colorado Cycling experience!

Walter Zitz at the top of Willow Creek Pass during the 2018 Tour de Moose reconnaissance  ride.
Windy Gap Reservoir to Willow Creek Pass (elev. 9683 feet): Category 3. The gradual climb up CO-125 to the top of Willow Creek Pass is a lightly trafficked and gains 1600+ feet in 21 miles.

Cameron Pass provides spectacular views of the Never Summer Mountains in Northern Colorado.
Cameron Pass (elev. 10,276 feet): Category 3. CO-14 is another relative gentle climb that ascends Cameron Pass from the west, gaining 1400+ feet in 11 miles.

Stove Prairie climb: Category 3. The climb up to Stove Prairie from Poudre Canyon is well-known to RMCCers. This steep climb gains over 1200 feet in under 3 miles and is guaranteed to test riders near the end of the Tour de Moose.

Time limit: 18.5 hours to receive an official finishing time and Colorado Triple Crown credit. We don't have data on this course yet, so its possible that the finishing time will be extended based on finishing times of the first riders.

Jackson CR 27 is a 17-mile well-maintained gravel road that is an unexpected gem during the Tour de Moose. 
Event organizer: Mark Lowe (e-mail: mvlowe5@comcast.net)

Additional Notes:
  • Moose time bonuses. We didn't name this event the Colorado Tour de Moose for nothing! Northern Colorado is home to a dense population of moose. In fact, it's almost guaranteed that you're going to encounter a Bullwinkle at some point in time while riding in this part of the state. Because of this, we will be offering a 15 minute time bonus if you successfully take a picture of a moose during this ride. These pictures must post to your Strava ride data to receive credit for your sighting! If you don't have a Strava account, it's time to get with the times and sign up!
    • Each moose picture = 15 minute time bonus. However, groups of moose only count for 1 moose sighting. Moose must be greater than 1 mile apart to get another time bonus. Max: 2 time bonuses.
    • Moose are moose. Deer, elk, horses, cows are not moose. If you post a picture of an animal that is not a moose and ask for a time bonus, you will be penalized 15 minutes.
    • Attempting to upload a picture of a moose from the internet will result in DQ. Please don't do this. 
  • 24 rider limit. Registration cap is dictated by Rocky Mountain National Park. 
  • This course passes through Rocky Mountain National Park. Participants will need to pay the $10 entry fee OR use their National Parks Pass to ride through the park. 
  • 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.
  • Lights and reflective gear are required!
  • Some ultra-distance experience is encouraged (but not required) to participate in this event.
More views of Jackson CR 27.

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