New Sopris Century Ride Spins Through the Best of the Roaring Fork Valley

Home to the mountains of Aspen, the Roaring Fork Valley is best known as a world class ski destination. But locals here, including several former and current professional cyclists, know that the valley also features some of the country’s best road riding in the summer. On Saturday, June 20, the first annual RIDE for the CHILD, a supported bike ride benefiting Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), features 100-mile, 100-kilometer and 50-kilometer loops on the scenic country roads of the Roaring Fork Valley.

“Events like Ride the Rockies, Bicycle Tour of Colorado and even the US Pro Cycling Challenge come through our valley, but they’re just getting a small sampling of the amazing riding here,” says event organizer Melissa McPherron. “We’ve created this ride to showcase the quiet country roads and spectacular views of the Roaring Fork Valley, all to support a critically important organization in the community. We firmly believe this event will quickly grow to be a ‘must-do’ for riders across the country.”

Founded in 1977, CASA provides well-trained court-appointed volunteer advocates to abused and neglected children across the country. CASA’s goal is to provide a safe, permanent, nurturing home for every child it serves. RIDE for the CHILD supports CASA in Colorado’s Ninth Judicial District, which serves children in Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties.

All three distances in RIDE for the CHILD start and finish near the base of Mt. Sopris in Carbondale, which was recently featured on the cover of Men’s Journal as one of the country’s “10 Best Places to Live Now.” From Carbondale, the ride heads east up the valley with miles of riverfront riding on the renowned Rio Grande recreation path. Riders eventually depart from the path, riding along gently rolling terrain, meandering through farm and ranch land with outstanding views of the Elk Mountain Range. All three courses provide various amounts of elevation gain, with climbs of four to eight percent grade, punctuated by bursts of 10 percent. The entire course is mapped via Ride with GPS here.

The ride will include several fully stocked aid stations as well as support vehicles circulating the course. A post-ride party with live music, food and a prize giveaway will take place at the Roaring Fork High School. Registration is limited to 350 participants. Sign up online here.

RIDE for the CHILD sponsors include Key Elements Construction, Aloha Mountain Cyclery, Backbone Media, Dolomite Designs, Alpine Bank, 1st Bank, Pediatric Partners, Personal Rehabilitation Center, Garfield & Hecht, Berthod Motors, SGM, and SHANE Aspen Real Estate.