A 30-mile bike ride in search of one answer: Where the Hell’s Maybell?

Dan England
For the Craig Press

A 30-mile bike ride sounds like a long way, and it is, but it’s probably not as bad as you think.

So don’t let that distance, or the slightly profane name, scare you from doing the annual Where the Hell’s Maybell? bike ride. The ride itself is gentle, with one big hill and a few tiny rollers from then on, said Travis Sanford, recreation manager for Craig Parks and Recreation. Cyclists of all abilities have completed it, and casual biking families have turned it into an annual tradition.

“We get older folks, young kids, all kinds of abilities,” Sanford said.

Nothing else would scare you away, right? Oh yeah. The pandemic. Well, the city put it on last year, in the throes of COVID-19, because it’s outdoors and naturally socially distanced. The only adjustment was canceling the shuttle ride back to Craig. This year the city isn’t offering that shuttle ride again: Only a few ride it every year anyway. Most riders will have someone pick them up at Maybell Park, the end point, or they will park a car there themselves overnight (with the city’s permission) and drive back themselves. Some will even stay the night and ride back the next day.

The ride is free, thanks to Memorial Regional Health and no registration is required. There is a $6 breakfast and a t-shirt for $20 for $15 for youths.

“That’s why we like it, it’s very much a go at your own pace kind of thing,” Sanford said.

There is an aid station with water and a portable bathroom in Lay, about halfway through the ride.

The ride falls in mid-May on purpose, as that’s a time when spring is springing, turning plants into a lush green instead of the dormant gray of winter or summer’s fried-chicken-crispy brown. That’s probably a reason why Sanford’s had many calls from Denver or the region from people asking about it, making the 35th-annual ride a good tourist draw. Typically 75-100 come out to do it. The ride should take less than three hours for most.

“I’ve just always thought to Maybell through Craig and out west is a true form of the Wild West,” Sanford said. “It’s a really nice, pristine, high mountain desert feel.”

Go to to register or call 970-826-2006 for more information.

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