20th Mountains to the Desert Classic Set for September 23, 2023 in Telluride, Colorado

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Gran Fondo Fundraiser for Just For Kids Foundation Seeks to Raise $200,000

TELLURIDE, Colorado (September 12, 2023) — On September 23, approximately 200 cyclists will enjoy the perfect 74, 103, or 133-mile fully supported ride from the high alpine of historic and stunning Telluride, Colorado, to the landmark desert red rock canyons and palisades of Gateway, Colorado. The cool early morning start on Colorado Avenue, where the hard rock gold and silver mining Town of Telluride was carved into the most scenic ski resort Town in North America, is just the beginning.

Scenes from the Mountains to the Desert Gran Fondo. Photo courtesy M2D
Scenes from the Mountains to the Desert Gran Fondo. Photo courtesy M2D

The ride is a fundraiser for the Just for Kids Foundation (JFK). JFK is a 501(c)(3) established in 1999 that is based in Telluride, Colorado. It serves the San Miguel Watershed region and provides essential scholarships, operating grants, program support, capital and start-up funding, and equipment to deserving youth and youth organizations throughout the county.

The ride meanders down along the wild and scenic San Miguel River for the first 33 miles (if you’re riding the 103 miler) before a two-mile climb up to Wrights Mesa and the western ranching Town of Norwood. 20 miles of flat cruising brings you to Naturita, where mountain and gravel bikes are finding a whole new world of endless high desert roads and trails. Here you begin the gentle descent into Canyon Country. The road is super quiet and the road surface is in excellent condition. At about mile 74 you enter the heart of the scenic Unaweep-Tabeguache Byway as you drop into the steep red walls of the Canyon. Cruising here along the mellow Dolores River, you feel like you’re in a National Park that no one goes to. The last 10 miles open up into a valley of desert palisades as you come to the very small community of Gateway, the finishing point for all the ride distances.

The M2D bike ride is JFK’s only funding event, and JFK’s fundraising goal for the 20th M2D ride is $200K. Thanks to generous support from sponsors and donors, M2D 2023 has raised $150K so far – please consider a donation today to support the youths of San Miguel County! To see JFK’s full list of grant recipients, see upcoming grant deadlines, and read more about the history of the organization, visit www.justforkidsfoundation.org. Donate to M2D here: https://runsignup.com/teamjfk.

The aid stations are superb, the cyclist’s swag is first class, medals are won, a fantastic lunch is served, and there is live music. Go to http://www.m2dclassic to learn more.

Scenes from the Mountains to the Desert Gran Fondo. Photo courtesy M2D
Scenes from the Mountains to the Desert Gran Fondo. Photo courtesy M2D
Scenes from the Mountains to the Desert Gran Fondo. Photo courtesy M2D
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