Ride The Rockies – For Locals

Details for local residents and businesses

This page is intended for local residents of the Roaring Fork Valley. If you are a Ride the Rockies participant, a separate page will detail all that you need to know about your stop in Basalt on Day 2 (coming soon).

On Monday, June 13, 2022, the Ride the Rockies bike tour plans to stop in Basalt at the conclusion of Day Two’s 31-mile route.

Ride the Rockies (RTR) is one of the oldest multi-day bicycle rides in the world. RTR has been operating since 1986. The ride has a different route each year, allowing cyclists to explore different destinations in the Rocky Mountains. Details about the ride, and the organization running it, can be found at ridetherockies.com.

Basalt Chamber and the Town of Basalt are serving as local advisors to the RTR staff. The event is being run and organized by Ventures Endurance, who acquired RTR in late 2021 from the Denver Post Foundation. Ventures Endurance operates more than 150 endurance sports events across North America, including RAGBRAI in Iowa. Locally, our main goal to to have a positive (and safe) experience for the riders, local residents and area businesses. 

EVENT PLANNING CAVEAT: Over the last two years, the execution of any event has had increasing unpredictability; plans are made, but they may change. There are several factors that could impact this ride, including:

  • the pending local, county and state approval of the route;
  • inclement weather that may result in road and bike path closures (I-70/Glenwood Canyon);
  • local construction projects; and
  • the behavior of the cyclists themselves (it is ride, not a race).

Below is general Ride the Rockies information for the benefit of the Basalt community. While it is subject to change, we hope that you can use it to plan accordingly for June 13-14, 2022. This page is updated regularly.

Quick links


Logistics & Timing

Arrival – Monday lunchtime

Based on the departure from Glenwood Springs and the length of Day Two’s ride, Ride the Rockies cyclists anticipated arrival in the Basalt area is around lunchtime on Monday, June 13, 2022. 

RTR hosts an overnight Town Festival at each stop along the route. The Basalt RTR Festival will be held at Lions Park in Historic Downtown from approximately noon – 4 p.m. The Bell Creek Band out of Paonia will be performing, and there are other speakers lined up for the afternoon.

Staying overnight

Cyclists have two types of lodging options:

  • Camping at the RTR campsite, located on the Basalt Elementary School campus (approximately 300 people); OR
  • Staying at area hotels and short-term rentals throughout the Roaring Fork Valley (approximately 700 people). The majority of RTR riders have upvalley reservations and will be staying overnight in Snowmass Village.

Departure – Early Tuesday morning

The next day, Tuesday, June 14, 2022, (RTR Day Three) is a long ride up over Independence Pass, ending in Salida, 107 miles later. This will require a very early departure for riders, approximately between 4-7 a.m. The RTR staff is working on a wave start to spread out riders along the Rio Grande trail as they make their way towards Aspen.

Impact

Over 900 riders are registered for the event. This means there will be a lot of cyclists (and bikes!) around town on Monday, June 13, and early Tuesday, June 14, 2022. The majority of the RTR ride will be on the Rio Grande Trail bike path. Residents who typically commute or exercise on the bike path may want to consider alternative plans. 

Alternative extension (Basalt to Snowmass Village hotels)

 

Monday

RTR participants are scheduled to arrive in Historic Downtown Basalt around lunchtime. Since this is a shorter ride day, cyclists make choose one of many options:

  • Riders may opt to participate in the afternoon RTR Town Festival event in Lions Park (there will be food options)
  • Riders may eat lunch or grab a beer on their own around town
  • Riders may use the additional free time to explore Basalt and its other recreational opportunities
  • Riders may extend their day and continue riding upvalley (with or without stopping in Basalt)

RTR cyclists camping at the elementary school will likely set up camp for the night, then go explore Basalt. All RTR participants will need to find dinner on Monday.

Monday route | The Day Two RTR route takes cyclists from Glenwood Springs, up the Rio Grande Trail, through Missouri Heights, across CO HWY82 in El Jebel, back onto the Rio Grande Trail, and into Historic Downtown Basalt from Basalt High School.

Parking & traffic | There should be minimal impact, as this group is on bikes and not in cars. Please have patience with cyclists on the road. There are RTR logistical vehicles that travel with the group which need to park near the festivities in downtown Basalt. Local residents and employees working in downtown are encouraged to use RFTA.

Camping | The RTR campground will be at the Basalt Elementary School. This may impact surrounding neighbors in the Elk Run and Columbine developments.

Tuesday

Riders are scheduled for a very early start due to the 100+ mile day. Organizers anticipate that cyclists will be heading out between 4-7 p.m.

Tuesday route | The Day Three RTR route requires cyclists to ride from Historic Downtown Basalt up to Basalt High School to connect back to the Rio Grande Trail on the way to Aspen. The RTR route will eventually connect with CO HWY82 near Aspen in order to climb Independence Pass on the way to Salida.  

Parking & trafficMost cyclists will have departed Basalt before rush hour traffic, so there will be minimal impact.

Participant Communication

The Basalt Chamber is working with the RTR staff to ensure cyclists know what amenities are available once they reach Basalt. The chamber is working with the RTR marketing team on pre-arrival communications and the promotion of area lodging, restaurants and post-ride activities for Monday, including lunch and dinner options. We will ensure riders know how to easily move around town, leveraging the Basalt Connect shuttle and RFTA, so they don’t have to get back on a bike to go visit Willits.

The chamber will staff an information booth at the RTR Town Festival.

Volunteer Opportunities

The RTR team needs volunteers to help make this event possible. Volunteering allows you to participate in the ride in a meaningful way while providing crucial support to the RTR participants and staff. RTR needs enthusiastic people to assist with nearly every aspect of the event, including welcoming participants into Downtown Basalt, directing & cheering on the course to keep all ride participants safe and motivated, assisting with the campsite and with the overnight Town Festival in Lions Park. 

This is also a great opportunity for schools, clubs, sport teams, civic organizations and other to volunteer as a group. For volunteer questions or inquiries contact volunteer@venturesendurance.com.

Basalt volunteer shift times

  • Monday, June 13 | 7–11 a.m.
  • Monday, June 13 | 11 a.m.–3 p.m
  • Monday, June 13 | 3-8 p.m
  • Tuesday, June 13 | 4:30–8 a.m.

Volunteer Registration

Business Opportunities

Area businesses, particularly those in the hospitality (lodging, food & beverage) and retail industries, may want to take advantage of this group coming to visit Basalt.

Please let us know if your business plans on adjusting your operating schedule to take advance of this group visit. We will help promote special hours, sales, discounts or anything else you would like to feature about your business (e.g. encouraging dinner reservations). Below are suggestions – ultimately this is a business decision for your consideration.

Ideas

  • Volunteer – Give back and gain visibility for your business by volunteering. Several roles are available, from course marshalling, to assisting with the campsite, to festival volunteers. See Volunteer Opportunities above.
  • RTR Town Festival booth – Limited space is available for businesses interested in having a booth at the Town Festival at Lions Park. Contact the chamber for details.
  • Offering amenities to participants – Bike-related services, including bike parking and water stations, will be welcomed by the riders.
  • Special discounts or promotions – Some communities offer special sales, discounts or happy hours to draw in riders to their businesses. 
  • Monday afternoon – Non-biking activities will be highly encourage. Riders may want to take a break to go shopping, flyfishing or in general, do any activity that doesn’t involve being on a bike saddle.
  • Monday lunch – Not all riders will eat lunch at the RTR Town Festival, and may want different food and drink options. Restaurants who are typically closed on Mondays may want to consider adding lunch service on Monday, June 13, 2022.
  • Monday dinner – Riders are on their own for dinner. RTR will be providing shuttles and educating riders on using Basalt Connects and RFTA to get around town (Downtown to Willits, and beyond). Restaurants who are typically closed on Mondays may want to consider adding dinner service on Monday, June 13, 2022.
  • Tuesday morning – RTR cyclists will be departing between 4-7 a.m. Riders will be looking for coffee, as well light breakfast/snack options before tackling the climb up and over Independence Pass. Restaurants and coffee shops who are open for breakfast may want to consider opening earlier on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.

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