One year after it was cancelled due to summer forest fires, Colorado’s Triple Bypass Bicycle Ride returns this July with two new routes: a 75- and 30-mile version. The shorter routes will complement the traditional 120-mile route from Bergen Park to Vail. That route covers three of the state’s most challenging mountain passes: Squaw Pass (11,140′), Loveland Pass (11,990′) and Vail Pass (10,560′).
“We want to recruit a new type of rider and motivate them for the 120-mile event without forcing them to commit to that distance,” said event director Nat Ross. “We think the shorter distances will make it easier to share the experience of the event.”
The 75-mile version of the ride removes Squaw Pass and starts in Georgetown. The 30-mile version starts at the Copper Mountain ski resort and sends riders over Vail Pass.
The Triple Bypass debuted in 1988 after a collection of riders from Evergreen, Colorado plotted a grueling challenge from their town to the Vail ski resort. Over the years the vent grew into one of the largest mass-participant rides in the country, with 5,000 participants, aid stations, and a post-ride festival in Vail. Each year several hundred riders then ride back from Vail to Bergen Park the day after the ride. The route takes riders well above 11,000 feet and includes more than 10,000 feet of total elevation gain.
In 2017 the ride had to be cancelled after forest fires near Breckenridge and Avon filled the area with smoke and ash.
“With the forest fires we had to [cancel] and a lot of people were let down,” Ross said. “This year’ there’s a ton of excitement.”
The 2018 event includes celebrity riders Robbie Ventura, Nelson Vails, and Tyler Hamilton.