A SECRET STASH OF HIGH DESERT GRAVEL
Back for 2020, Wild Horse Gravel showcases the unique high desertscape of the Western Slope. Hosted on the luxury High Lonesome Ranch, riders will be treated to a country cook-out, campfire, cabins, camping – or glamping – and the best local music. In short, there will be a Colorado country party to accompany the ride.
In addition to being hidden well, well off the beaten path, The High Lonesome Ranch and its surrounding area isn’t open to riding year-round, so participants benefit from exclusive access to this secret stash of wild-west gravel. You’ll only be disappointed if you were hoping for a bunch of auto traffic on the route.
We have two routes to choose from, and riders can decide which one on the day – even mid-ride. Feeling strong when you get to back to the ranch? Then turn head back out for another lap. Feeling like 45 miles is plenty? Then rest your legs at the ranch Totally your call.
Held early in the season, Wild Horse Gravel seeks to blow out the cobwebs and blow riders’ minds with a full spread of gravel terrain. There are two timed segments that you can take as seriously or as frivolously as you like — the name of the game is doing a big gravel ride with friends new and old. Even those that hammer away at maximum speed will stop to regroup, taking in the views and the delicious local goodies at the well-stocked feed station. As with all Roll Massif Sportives, you’re going to want to bring your camera.
If you are up for a big day, the 90-mile route will not disappoint. The route is two big loops. How does 7,100 feet of climbing on dirt and gravel sound? We hope you weren’t expecting a bunch of pavement!
Our Wild West gravel goes deep into the backcountry, taking in the full gamut of conditions: smooth, rugged, rutty, rocky, sandy, steep. Be ready for a challenge! On this route we climb up to 7,000 feet – twice.
There are two timed segments. The first – The Valley and the Goblins – starts at mile 5.1 and finishes at mile 11.8. The segment begins on a gentle-grade county road. Towards the top, the road gets steeper, but be careful for the rough descent at mile 10.1. Zoom past the Goblins rock formation on your right (be sure to stop on your way back!), then get ready for the final uphill grind to the finish of the segment. We’d suggest waiting just past the finish for your buddies, taking on some water and taking in the views.
At this point, you’re at the highest point of the day. Be careful on the descent, and enjoy the rollercoaster ride into De Beque at mile 36, where you can enjoy the aid station. Here, you make the Call of the Day: Do I turn around and climb back up to 7,097 feet for 72 miles, or do I want to take the 45-mile route back to the High Lonesome Ranch?
Everyone rolls out together at 8 a.m. for Wild Horse Gravel, regardless of which distance you choose. The first few miles is on a wide gravel road for a good warm-up.
The 45-mile route is one big loop, with most of the climbing coming in the first half as we got deeper into the wilderness before banking back towards the Colorado River.
We will be on the same route as the 90-mile riders all the way into De Beque, climbing up over 7,000 feet and passing some crazy Goblin formations.
There is a timed segment – The Valley and the Goblins – that starts at mile 5.1 and finishes at mile 11.8. If you want to race it, go for it. If you want to ignore it, that is fine, too! It’s a sportive; we’re out here for fun.