This course includes epic trails like the Colorado Trail, Monarch Crest Trail
, and Rainbow Trail.
This course is extremely difficult. Absolute Bikes in Salida, CO puts this event on annually. If interested visit the site and you must apply with a resume to be vetted prior to participat
Start to Aid Station One- 26.5 miles
Between 4000 and 5000 feet of climbing. Took me a little over 4 1/2 hours moving time. Some pavement climbing, then a dirt road climb that is quite mild, but with an increasing grade. Nearly 3000 feet of climbing. Better be there in two hours or less or you're already looking marginal to finish. Then it's Colorado Trail, a very rugged and technical bit of it.
Aid One to Aid Two- 33.5 miles
Between 5000 and 6000 feet of climbing. Took me a little under 7 hours. This is a big section. Through the night, coldest temps, most remote part of the course. This is the first and most important real test of the event. Leave Aid Station #1 ready for a long, cold, dark ride that you'll remember forever.
Aid Two to Aid Three - 14 miles
About 2,500 feet of climbing 14 miles. Took me 2:15. Aid #3 is where you'll have access to your drop bag. This is the Good Morning section. The main feature is the climb to Old Monarch Pass. It'll be getting warm, so you'll have that to get used to. It's a fairly mild climb, but a long one. It's about 2500 feet of gain. Just a little on the tedious side. Wakey wakey!
Aid Three to Aid Four -10 1/2 miles.
About 1000 feet of climbing. Took me an hour and 40 minutes. Monarch Crest Trail
. This is a piece of candy that always seems to go by easily even when exhausted.
Aid Four looping back to Aid Four - 11 1/2 miles.
2,500 feet of Climbing. Took me 2 1/2 hours. It's a little inner loop, so you visit Aid Four on Marshall Pass twice. This loop is what cracks many of the riders who don't finish. Be prepared for a honkin' big effort from a tired body. This little test is probably the most often-discussed part of the course at the after party.
Aid Four to mini-Aid Station at the Rainbow TH - 7 3/4 miles.
About 800 feet of climbing and then a long descent. Took me about an hour 15 minutes. This is mostly candy. The climbing isn't bad, and it's broken up with lots of nice descending.
Last mini-Aid Station to Finish
Rainbow Trail then pavement down the highway to Poncha Springs and on a County Road back to town. Around 20 miles, a little over 1,000 feet of climbing. Took me a little over 2 hours.