pring is here, which means outdoor lovers will be storing skis and snowboards and pulling out fun in the form of a bicycle. The temperate weather, coupled with some of the best mountain biking terrain in Colorado, makes Grand Junction a cyclist’s dream destination. From the Kokopelli Trail (142 miles of single-track stretching from Fruita to Moab) to the Tabeguache Trail (extending 100 miles from Grand Junction to Montrose), there are a wide variety of trails to explore, from shorter loops to these epic rides.
Throughout the summer Grand Junction plays host to several biking events, both races and tours, for mountain bikers and road cyclists. Combining camaraderie and a competitive spirit with the scenic beauty of the area, there is an event that will appeal to almost everyone, from the novice rider to the hardcore expert. See below for a list of cycling events taking place in Grand Junction this summer.
April 18 – 20 CMU Maverick Cycling Classic
There’s nothing like experiencing the rush of cyclists whizzing past at the third annual CMU Maverick Cycling Classic. This four-event stage race is open to the public and begins with a criterium in downtown Fruita on Friday, April 18 at 2:30 p.m. The 11.6-mile team and individual time trial takes place in Fruita on Saturday, with the Downtown Grand Junction Criterium blasting through the historic town at 1 p.m. The weekend concludes with an individual road race in Palisade on Sunday.
April 19 Rumble at 18 Road
This cross-country mountain bike race takes place in nearby Fruita at the famous 18 Roads Trail. With a lap stretching 10.6 miles with 700 feet of elevation climb for adults, this course will bring out the best and brightest in racing. The Rumble at 18 Road is open to racers as young as five (there is a modified loop for juniors) and the top 10 riders in each class and category will qualify to compete in USA Cycling National Championships. This race is also an official stop for the Intermountain Cup, one of the greatest mountain bike race series in the U.S.
April 24 – 26 Fruita Fat Tire Festival
For almost 20 years, the Fruita Fat Tire Festival has celebrated the love of all things single-track. Join hundreds of like-minded cyclists to enjoy live bands, cycling expositions and explore hundreds of miles of world-class mountain biking trails. The VIP party starts off the event on Thursday evening and the fun continues through the weekend with instructional skills camps, bike demos, prize giveaways and more.
May 4 Rose Hill Rally
Grab the family and enjoy a recreational bike ride through the scenic farm country around Grand Junction and Fruita during the annual Rose Hill Rally. Cyclists of all ages and abilities can participate, enjoying the scenery of Grand Valley on this non-race ride. Both the 50K (31 miles) and 100K (62 miles) routes are fully supported with rest stops, emergency vehicles and bike mechanics. Breakfast, lunch and a commemorative bike shirt are included. Proceeds benefit Rose Hill Hospitality House, a 20-bedroom guesthouse for St. Mary’s Hospital’s out-of-town patients and their families in time of need.
May 10 LTR Sports Gunny Enduro
A true test of skills and finesse, the third annual Gunny Loop will pit Grand Valley’s mountain bikers against the Gunny Loop, a 4.4 mile course that incorporates 200 feet of climbing and 800 feet of descending on the famous Lunch Loop Trail system. With more downhill than uphill, bike-handling skills are a must.
May 17 L’Eroica Bike Race
Travel back into the past—not in a Delorean, but on a bicycle—at the 4th Annual L’Eroica,, a 102 mile bicycle ride from Grand Junctions to Glenwood Springs. The original race took place between 1899 -1915. L’Eroica is a recreation of the Midland Road Race, with as many of the original elements included as possible. Enjoy the gorgeous scenery along the route and take the train back to Grand Junction after a relaxing stay at the Hotel Denver. The route includes 90 miles of pavement and 12 miles of dirt roads going through Palisade, Plateau City, Collbran, Silt and Newcastle. Historic bikes and attire are welcomed and encouraged!
August 29-31 Grand Junction Off-Road
Celebrate Labor Day by laboring through this endurance mountain biking event that starts and ends in downtown Grand Junction and traverses the Lunch Loops Trail System. Participants of all skill levels will enjoy an assortment of terrain while traversing the Tabeguache trail system to the Magellan loop with three different courses spanning 15, 30 or 40 miles. A community concert will top off the day’s festivities. As with all Epic Rides events, all participants and concert attendees will be required to donate two canned goods upon arrival.
September 20 Tour de Vineyards
Oenophiles and bacchanalians of all sorts will revel in the 25-mile Tour de Vineyards through Colorado’s Wine Country. With the course utilizing paved roads and just a few hills, it’s the perfect outing for those who love to ride by vineyards, as well as imbibe every one in a while. As the event takes place in the Grand Valley on the Western Slope, cyclists will have a view of areas wineries as well as acres of vineyards and fruit orchards. This year’s Tour de Vineyards is limited to just 1,000 riders; registration is required.
October 4 Tour of the Moon
One of the premier recreational road rides in the West, the Tour of the Moon is a Grand Cycling Classic that was made famous as part of the Coors Classic in the 1980s and as part of the cycling movie “American Flyers.” With high desert scenery and beautiful roads, the Tour of the Moon is an epic day of cycling. The course changes this year and will lead all riders, whether on the 62-mile or the 41-mile tour, over the finish line at the Colorado National Monument, a landscape of towering monoliths studded a panorama of plateaus and canyons. The post-ride Harvest Moon Celebration will include music, lunch, prize drawings, and an expo. Registration is limited to the first 2000 participants and is expected to sell out in September, so sign-up soon.
Grand Junction (http://www.visitgrandjunction.com)
Nestled near 11,000-foot Grand Mesa and the 7,500-foot Book Cliffs, Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. At an altitude of 4,586 feet, warm summers and moderate spring, fall and winter seasons allow for year-round golfing, hiking and biking. Boasting more than 275 days of sunshine annually, Grand Junction has been named one of the eight sunniest cities in the United States by TourismReview.com. Among Grand Junction’s spectacular red cliffs and winding canyons are the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain, the Colorado National Monument, Bookcliff Wild Horse Area, two national scenic byways and five golf courses. Grand Junction lies in the heart of the Colorado-Utah Dinosaur Diamond. The area also is home to Colorado’s wine country, with nearly 30 vineyards and wineries.
SOURCE: Visit Grand Junction
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-531-2336
Mistalynn Meyeraan, Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau, email@example.com
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