Colorado’s Highway of Legends is the backdrop for 25-, 50- and 102-mile routes.
LA VETA, Colo. (February 12, 2020) — Many people commit to resolutions as the New Year launches, whereas bicyclists begin planning what rides and races to do in summer and fall. Spanish Peaks Cycling Association invites bike enthusiasts to save Saturday, Aug. 8 for the 17th annual Stonewall Century Ride, a 102-mile out-and-back ride between the southeast Colorado towns of La Veta and Segundo on State Highway 12, also known as the scenic Highway of Legends.
Online registration has officially opened on www.active.com for the century ride, which also has 25- and 50-mile options. Or print off a registration form at www.spcycling.org and mail it in by June 1 to benefit from early-bird rates.
The Beautiful Route
The ride follows the Scenic Highway of Legends (State Highway 12) that ties Walsenburg, La Veta, Cuchara, Stonewall, Segundo, Trinidad and Aguilar together with a ribbon of paved road that journeys through some of the United State’s most beautiful national forests, state parks, wildlife areas and mountain ranges. It was designated a Colorado State Byway in 1987 and a National Forest Byway in 1988 for good reason as the route is home to unique geological, cultural and historic features and includes a myriad of legends from the Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, pioneers, miners, trappers and ranchers who explored and settled the region.
Cyclists start in La Veta (elevation of 7,013 feet), climb to the top of Cuchara Pass (9,945 feet) and descend to 8,400 feet before a slight climb again to the second aid station at North Lake (8,600 feet). The route continues to descend to the beautiful town of Stonewall and on to the lunch stop at Segundo, where the route reverses and returns, climbing along Highway 12.
One of the biggest highlights are numerous geologic formations known as dikes, which are sheets of rock formed in a fracture of pre-existing rock body. Up to 400 of these rock formations dot the route and are easily spotted as they extend up from the earth like spokes on a wheel.
“Much of the ride is steady, moderate climbing and descending, however the approaches to Cuchara Pass are steep and challenging. The total elevation gain for the 102-mile ride is approximately 7,500 feet,” says Kent Hay, race organizer. “The unusual stonewalls, beautiful forests, and majestic mountain views will blow you away. Many of our riders consider this ride one of the most scenic rides in Colorado.”
The Delicious Details
There is a reason that the ride’s slogan is “Challenging, Scenic, Delicious.” Regarding the delicious part, friendly volunteers are posted at the aid stations, assisting riders and serving the ride’s famous homemade goodies along with Skratch drink, pickle juice and water. Stonewall Fire Protection District Auxiliary prepares the lunch in Segundo, and post-ride meal in La Veta features barbecue, beer and more.
“We have homemade cookies, brownies, and other goodies at each aid station. Gluten-free treats also are available,” Hay notes.
In addition, La Veta’s town park will be filled with art vendors on the day of the ride, and commemorative 2020 Stonewall Century Ride mugs hand-crafted by a local potter will be available for purchase along with Primal bicycling jerseys. Jerseys should be pre-ordered by June 15.
Lodging options include B&Bs, cabins and RV parks. Plus, Stonewall Century Ride is one of the few bike events where community members open their homes to riders and ask only for a donation to the local library in return.
The early-bird cost is $70 when registering by June 1. Standard registration from June 1 – July 15 is $75 and late registration from July 16 to Aug. 8 is $85. The fee includes six aid/feed stations, a mid-ride lunch and post-ride meal, mechanical assistance, SAG vehicles, and an event T-shirt. A Friday night meal also is available at an extra cost. Proceeds from the ride benefit the La Veta and Stonewall Fire Protection Districts, and donations also are made to La Veta Public Library and La Veta Public School District.
For more information, visit the Spanish Peaks Cycling Association website at www.spcycling.org.