The Game Plan In Detail - Expanded Slumgullion Tour 2009 - CycleBlaze

The Game Plan In Detail

Hello All,

Here's where we're at on this season's Slum. For those who have a busy summer, we've chosen a start date of Monday, July 6th. It's a bit later than I had originally planned. However, Jacinto is planning to ride both Ride the Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado in June. He'll have legs of steel for the Slum. I might give him a trailer with all of the gear in it!

Jacinto and I will be doing a credit card/hotel trip. There are multiple people interested in having a SAG. We don't want to take a turn driving, so will be carrying our own gear. I believe the SAG interested people could get together. There are also multiple people interested in camping/cooking. I think it can all work out nicely - we'll all be on the same road at the same time - just having different sleeping accommodations.

For those driving in, you can park at our house. If anyone is flying in, we should be able to pick you up at the Grand Junction airport.


Rifle - Carbondale 36 flat miles. This is more populated riding. A travel day to get to the good stuff.

Carbondale - Crystal Meadows Campground - 56 miles following the Crystal River gradually uphill to McClure Pass which is a 3 mile climb. It is probably the steepest climb of the trip. At least it's a short one. Redstone is a very charming little town near the base of the pass. There are picnic tables next to the river in Redstone for a lunch spot before attacking the pass. Then it's up and over the pass, downhill past the reservoir to the campground. It has been a couple of years since we've stayed there. I look forward to returning. They have fully equiped cabins for the hotel folks plus a FABULOUS restaurant. Tent camping here or just a half mile down the road is a basic state campground (no showers, potties).

CMC - Gunnison via Cty Rd 12 to Crested Butte - 57 miles over Kebler Pass - Now we are into real Colorado riding. Tall pine trees, alpine flowers, lakes. What's not to like? ~25 miles of hard packed dirt road. Regular wide touring tires will do just fine. It's 31 miles from the campground to Crested Butte ( a left over hippie skiing town which until the past couple of years had a ski naked day the last day of the season). Hang out in CB a bit before the cruising 28 miles downhill to Gunnison.

Gunnison - Saguache 72 miles via North Pass. Great, remote Colorado riding. A bit of everything here - sagebrush and aspen trees. Although the hotel in Saguache has greatly improved over the years - it is not the Hilton by any stretch of the imagination. The new owners have made many improvements. We did not have any kittens fall out of the ceiling on us this past summer. The bathroom had all new fixtures. Camping and a restaurant on site.

Saguache - Creede - 74 miles Downhill cruising through wetlands to breakfast at Boogie's Diner in Del Norte. Slight rollers to South Fork. We always stop for a sub sandwich on the corner before tackling the gradual climb to Creede through the canyon along the river. Cyclists have been known to stop and soak their feet in the river along the way. We always stay at the Snowshoe Lodge. They love to see us. I haven't found camping in town here. There is a campground past town.

Creede - Lake City - 51 miles over Spring Creek and Slumgullion Passes. Wonderful mountain riding. This is what you are on the tour for! Nothing too difficult - pick your low gear, spin, and watch for moose. Be sure to stop at the Continetal Divide. The downhill on the Slum is twisty with some hairpin turns. Don't let your bike get away from you. We've always stayed here at the Moose Lodge. I was quite disappointed last summer with the condition of the room. We'll be chosing a new hotel. Camping is right in town. We'll have a day off here also.

Day off in Lake City.

Lake City - Gunnison - 54 miles This feels like a payback day. It starts off with an easy down river cruise. Ah, ha - but we are in Colorado. Climbing is involved! There's two nasty hills that really should have names. Not too long, but a shock to the legs after coasting along the river. After cresting the second climb, you can see a great rock formation that I'm sure has a name. It's another downhill cruise to highway 50 and on into Gunnison alongside the reservoir. I like to eat pizza at Mario's in Gunnison. Yum, yum!

there are several choices on how to return to Rifle.

If our legs are feeling strong we could tackle the dirt climb to Cottonwood Pass. Ride the Rockies has gone this way twice - it's very good, hard packed dirt. Overnighting in Buena Vista, then a doozie of a climb over Independence Pass into Aspen. On home the last day via a new bike path that runs clear to Glenwood Springs.

Or from Buena Vista we could head up to Leadville, over the pass and take the infamous Glenwood Canyon bike path.

We could climb over Grand Mesa (the land of 10,000 lakes). An extended climb, but not too difficult after what we've already completed.

One of my most favorite touring roads is the back side of the Black Canyon. A totally deserted paved road - scenic - lots of rollers. Very remote - bring as much food and water as you'll need for the day. The downside to this route is that we would repeat the ride from McClure Pass on home.

There are just too many choices, they all have strong points. Allow three days for the return trip home. We'll figure it out when we get there.

Let me know if we should put you on the short list. Right now we have about 10 people strongly interested.


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