OVERVIEW OF ASPEN
Located along the Roaring Fork River in a remote area of the Sawatch and Elk Mountain Range, Aspen was founded as a mining camp during the “Colorado Silver Boom.” An internationally known ski resort and cultural center, Aspen boasts a number of historical landmarks, from the Hotel Jerome to the Wheeler Opera House.
Aspen is equally known for its exquisite food, incredible environment and big city features with small town charm. Although it’s most popular for its champagne powder, Aspen was recently recognized by the League of American Bicyclists in 2012 as a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community. Aspen celebrates bicycling and bicycling culture in a variety of ways and affords some of Colorado’s best rides in Independence Pass, Maroon Bells, Ashcroft and the Rio Grande Trail.
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Birthplace of Olympic Gold Medalist and United States Bicycling Hall of Fame member Alexi Grewal, Aspen has a long and storied history of bike racing dating back to 1898 were an annual bike race from Basalt to Glenwood Springs lasted until 1914. This event was then followed by the Aspen Alpine Cup, a 200 mile race that locals fondly referred to as “a two day torcher on wheels.” From 1975 to 1980, Aspen hosted a three day stage race called the Red Zinger Classic. This event became wildly popular, quickly grew to a weeklong race and was renamed the Coors Classic. More recently, Aspen has played host to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, a weeklong stage race that brings some of cycling’s most decorated athletes to its community via a trek over Independence Pass.