Are you riding?
Are you participating in this year’s Denver Post Ride the Rockies? Call Ben Bulkeley at 875-1795.
25th annual Denver Post Ride the Rockies bike route
Date — Destination — Miles
June 13 — Grand Junction loop — 46
June 14 — Grand Junction to Delta — 90
June 15 — Delta to Ouray — 67
June 16 — Ouray to Durango — 70
June 17 — Durango to Pagosa Springs — 85
June 18 — Pagosa Springs to Alamosa — 90
June 19 — Alamosa to Salida — 84
When Marilynn Hill told her kids she was going to participate in the 25th annual Denver Post Ride the Rockies bike ride, she received the extra push she needed.
“They said ‘We’re behind you all the way,’” she said. “Now, when I go to the gym and workout, they ask me how it went. They are my best little trainers.
“Now, I need to follow through not just for me, but for them.”
Hill’s first Ride the Rockies also will be one of the most challenging.
The ride will feature 2,000 riders making their way through what tour director Chandler Smith called one of the toughest rides in the tour’s 25-year history.
The ride will bring the riders 532 miles over four mountain passes and one divide.
“This is probably the hardest ride in our history,” Smith said.
But, Hill said it will be worth it.
“I’ve been trying to get back in shape,” she said. “I saw Ride the Rockies and thought it would be the perfect crescendo to get back to where I need to be.
“I’m scared, nervous. It’s a big goal.”
For Terry Carwile, it will be his 13th year participating in the ride.
Carwile, an avid cyclist and Craig city councilor, said this year’s ride, which starts June 13 in Grand Junction, will be one of the hardest in which he has participated.
“This is the longest ride I can remember,” he said. “I think the longest one before was 450 miles.
“This is going to be the most demanding year.”
The ride, which spans a week, will begin in Grand Junction, then proceed to Delta, Ouray, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa and Salida.
The money raised from the ride will benefit Denver Post charities, with a $5,000 grant for a nonprofit organization in each host town.
Cyclists ranging in age from 7 to 85 have participated in the ride in the past.
Ride the Rockies has not disclosed the full roster of this year’s riders.
During the off-season, Carwile keeps in shape by running and working on calisthenics.
Now that days are becoming longer, Carwile said he will get back on the bike to start preparing for his trek.
On a ride that features 532 miles and untold elevation changes, Carwile said riders must push on with pain.
“You just need to find that level of discomfort and exertion,” he said. “That’s what you look for when you start, and you find your exact level.”
Aiding in his quest for the finish line will be other riders Carwile has befriended during his 13 years riding the Rockies.
There is a certain level of camaraderie on the course, Carwile said.
“You get to know a lot of the people who do it year after year,” he said. “There’s usually a number of people from Craig who do it, too.”
The scenery isn’t bad, either, Carwile said.
“You miss so much when you go by at 65, 70 miles and hour,” he said. “When you’re going 15 or 20 miles an hour, you notice a lot more, too.”