The West Elk Bicycle Classic is a yearly fundraiser event that happens in Gunnison, Colorado. It is a Gran Fondo style timed road ride, right from Gunnison to Crested Butte. Participants can take either a 130-mile or 100-mile route. The 130-mile route features 10,000 feet of climbing.
A Grand Fondo literally means “big ride”, which originated in Italy. With such style, participants leave in a mass start with the cyclists ranging from varying ability levels. Professional racers and recreational cyclists will join together, giving the best of both worlds. There will be official timing and scoring, turn marshals, epic start and finis lines, equipped with barricades, banners, music, and even an announcer.
The proceeds for the event will go to the Western State College of Colorado Cycling Team, which will help fund scholarships for athletes and helping offset travel, coaching, as well as equipment costs.
- What: West Elk Bicycle Classic
- Where: Gunnison, Colorado
- When: September 01, 2013
- Contact No.: 970-318-6783
- Email Address: email@example.com
- Official Event Website: www.westelkbicycleclassic.com
How It Started
The West Elk Bicycle Classic started in the summer of 2012, just the previous year, as a fundraiser for the West State Colorado University Mountain Sports. The team covers all the great mountain sports available in Gunnison, which include cycling, free-ride skiing, skier-cross, boarder-cross and Nordic skiing.
The roads all over Gunnison and Crested Butte are both home to several races in the past. Majority of the route had been used in road racing during the 1970s and the 80s, more recently, the US Pro Challenge Stage Race. The route boasts a beautiful scenery, varying difficulty levels, quiet roads, and just pure awesomeness.
A Race and A Tour
Some people often ask, is the West Elk Bicycle Classic a race or a tour? Well, it is actually both. For a Gran Fondo style, people will leave in a mass start. You can sign up with friends or take the lone road and be there individually. Considering it a race can be really fun since you will see how fast you can go and it certainly pose a challenge to yourself. But considering it as a tour is somehow great too, where trying to finish the entire route is already a challenge.
Rules of the Road
- Be safe and always remember that safety is in your own hands.
- Wear a helmet at all times.
- Carry identification cards and significant medical information.
- Ride in a single file when necessary.
- Follow all traffic lights, signs and regulations.
- Pass on the left only. Announce your “passing” by saying “Hello” to the other rider. Simply be polite.
- Make use of hand signals for stopping, slowing, turns and the like.
- Prepare yourself properly. Eat well and hydrate yourself before the race. This is definitely going to be a long ride.
- Respect other riders.
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