If you spend time on bikes in the summer and early autumn to pass time waiting for the snow to fly and to have ski-ready legs when the chairlifts open, be sure to check out Roll Massif this summer. The series of nine bike sportives—which are more like festivals than races—take place from early June until late September throughout Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Many of the events tie in iconic ski areas and resort towns along the way.
Roll Massif hosts road, gravel, and mountain bike events. The road and gravel events feature timed “segments” that can challenge riders to go for optional best times. The mountain bike events, on the other hand, emphasize riding as much as possible in a twelve-hour time period.
While individual entries are allowed for the mountain bike events, teams for relays are encouraged. After all, the point of Roll Massif is to have fun outside and help build community.
“Our road, gravel, and mountain bike sportives offer the perfect balance of camaraderie and challenge,” says Roll Massif co-founder Chandler Smith on the Roll Massif website. “With timed segments and varying options of distance and difficulty, Roll Massif sportives are fun for riders new and old.”
While one gravel, one mountain bike, and one road event have already passed in 2021, there is still a lot of time left to ride bikes with friends this summer and fall to get your aerobic base in gear for ski season.
On July 24, Roll Massif will host a gravel ride and a mountain bike ride starting in the town of Winter Park, Colo. The Crooked Gravel event offers a 65-mile ride and a 93-mile ride just north of the Winter Park ski area. The Sunrise to Sunset mountain bike event takes place on the incredible trails just east of the ski area.
Because both Winter Park events take place on the same day, both will end with a fun après party, expo, and BBQ.
The next road event this summer is the classic Copper Triangle on August 7, 2021. The route starts and finishes at Copper Mountain, and the loop ascends and descends three mountain passes. Skiers will recognize Ski Cooper and Vail Mountain from their bike seats, plus many of the great Copper and Vail dining options will be open for refueling along the way and after the ride.
On August 28, 2021, Roll Massif will take over the town of Red River, N.M., at the base of a small ski hill of the same name for the start and finish of the Enchanted Circle road ride. The 85-mile course will head south through the town of Taos before continuing on a loop that passes Angel Fire resort before heading back to Red River.
“The Town of Red River is honored to be part of such an amazing cycling series as Roll Massif,” says Linda Calhoun, Mayor of Red River, in a blog post on the Roll Massif website. “[The event] will place the Enchanted Circle Bicycle Tour in front of a whole new group of cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts.”
The final two Roll Massif events of the season are both road cycling events in Palisade and Grand Junction. While not particularly close to Powderhorn ski resort, they are both great opportunities to soak up some desert sun and get the legs ready for ski season before the flakes start to fly in earnest in the high country. The Tour de Vineyards in Palisade features a 23-mile and a 58-mile course option on September 18, 2021. If you like road and mountain biking, the Tour de Vineyards is an ideal opportunity to spend some time exploring the new Palisade Plunge trail as well.
The final Roll Massif sportive of the season is the Tour of the Moon, which passes through the Colorado National Monument south of Grand Junction. Part of the route was made famous through the classic film “American Flyers” and was a course on the Coors Classic bike racing series. The Tour of the Moon takes place on September 25, 2021.
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