The Sopris Sun

Town’s population increases almost 50 percent…

By Lynn Burton

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

But by Sunday morning (June 12), 2,500 Ride the Rockies bicyclists and support crews will be on their way to Aspen for the tour’s second stop, and Carbondale’s population will drop back to about 6,000.

We know a lot about RTR (see ad below) but one question remains for folks who just want to know everything: how will the 2,000 bicyclists weave their way through town on Sunday? In lieu of an actual map, here is a narrative the RTR organizers sent to The Sopris Sun.

• Depart Roaring Fork High School;

• North on Highway 133;

• Northeast on Snowmass Drive;

• West on Main Street;

• North on Eighth Street;

• Merge west on Rio Grande Trail;

• Cross over Highway 133 at Village Road;

• Continue on Rio Grande Trail.

“There won’t be any street closures or detours,” Carbondale Police Chief Fred Williams told The Sopris Sun. “Police will be monitoring traffic, but not directing. People should watch out for bicyclists from 7 to 9 a.m.” (Editor’s note: Fourth Street from Main to Garfield will be closed for the day’s RTR festivities).

After waving goodbye to Carbondale, the bikers continue west and eventually grunt their way up Red Canyon Road (CR 115), south on Coulter Creek Road (CR 113), southwest on Catherine Store Road (CR 100), east on CR 102, southeast on Upper Cattle Creek Road, southeast to Tree Farm Drive, south on Willits Lane, southeast on Hooks Lane.

After that, the upvalley dailies may fill you in.

This is the second time the Denver Post’s annual Ride the Rockies has rolled through town, but the first time it has started here. As befitting such a grand occasion, the opening ceremony at RFHS at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday features the Earthbeat Children’s Choir singing the National Anthem, followed by a color presentation by the Glenwood Springs High School JROTC.

The entire Ride the Rockies takes place from June 12-17, with overnight stops in Aspen, Copper Mountain, Grand Lake, Estes Park and Fort Collins. In all, the cyclists will cover 403 miles and ascend nearly 30,000 vertical feet, according to tour organizers. Mountain passes of note include Independence, Tennessee, Vail and Ute, plus Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park.

“In 2015 our cyclists hailed from all 50 states and 11 countries,” said Chandler Smith, tour director. “We’re truly an international event with deep roots in Colorado’s communities.”

For more on the 2016 Ride the Rockies, check out the ad on this page.

They saw it, now they don’t. Some folks were keeping their eye on this stump in the Roaring Fork River on Two Rivers Road just west of Basalt since it ran aground last winter. The Sopris Sun can’t confirm exactly when the river won the battle and sent the stump on its way to Grand Junction, but it was approximately last weekend. In related news, the Roaring Fork and other rivers are flowing bank to bank, and runoff is reaching its peak; emergency responders are cautioning everyone to be careful on and around the rivers. Photo by Lynn Burton

Published in The Sopris Sun on June 9, 2016.