We interviewed Colorado Springs bicyclist Doug Johnson last month when he and a group of friends did the 73-mile Ring the Peak ride in one day. Not long after ringing the peak, Doug set out to ride the epic Colorado Trail Race, a 470-mile, self-supported back-country race along the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango. In this 15-minute interview, Johnson talks about the technical and mental challenges of an endurance race this long, how he prepared himself and why he does it. It includes a slideshow of stunning pictures from a variety of riders and spectators of sites along the route. We hope it gives some small sense of the vastness of Colorado’s mountains that few of us will ever see in such a short span. Oh, and Doug came in second place in 4 days and 20 hours!

You can relive the race with an animated time-lapse video courtesy of the SPOT tracker GPS devices that kept tabs on the racers in real-time here (note that the exact locations aren’t always accurate when riders are in canyons or other places where GPS isn’t clear):

Colorado Trail Race 2009 – Leaders Only from Scott Morris on Vimeo.

For more pictures, information and stories about the race, we recommend these sites:

Colorado Trail Race Official Site
Scott Morris’ blog
Podcasts, including rider call-ins from the trail

(Thanks for the feedback, friends! Please leave some more or send us an email to thebigsomething@krcc.org. Thanks!)


4 Responses to From Denver to Durango on a Mountain Bike in Under 5 Days

  1. Chris N says:

    Awesome story and beautiful photos! Congratulations Doug! Hey, I know Jason from Salida – very nice guy! I guess he is also from Fort Collins and he rides and raced a Don McClung, hand built, single speed, rigid, 29er.

  2. tonia says:

    I moved out West from Illinois to go to college in 1976 …. won’t go back!! Thoroughy enjoyed the interview and spectacular photos! Living vicariously with bad knees … many thanks!!!!

  3. Bill H says:

    Nice work Douglas! Missed you at Tour De Fat though.

  4. Tom Jensen says:

    Hey Doug! Congratulations on such an amazing ride! 14 hours of sleep! Man…….I managed that in the first 2 of my 10 nights out there!


October 23, 2016 | NPR · Motivational speaker Saed Karzoun has a tough sell in the West Bank as he tries to preach optimism and self-empowerment at a time when pessimism runs high among Palestinians.

October 23, 2016 | NPR · Under threat of wage garnishes and tax liens, the California National Guard is pursuing bonuses it says it never should have paid.

October 23, 2016 | NPR · Multiple people have died after a tour bus collided with a tractor-trailer outside of Palm Springs, Calif. Local hospitals are treating more than two dozen injured people.

Arts & Life

October 23, 2016 | NPR · Sherry Thomas’ new novel presents a gender-flipped Sherlock Holmes tale, with a heroine who must battle not only the bad guys but also the Victorian era’s unfair restrictions on women’s lives.

Getty Images
October 22, 2016 | NPR · Ernest Hemingway’s masterful first novel came out 90 years ago today; the story of aimless American expatriates drinking, fighting and falling in and out of love is regarded as one of his best works.

October 22, 2016 | NPR · We recorded the show in Rochester, N.Y., this week, which is home to the Garth Fagan Dance company. We’ll ask acclaimed choreographer Garth Fagan three questions about really deceitful people.


October 23, 2016 | NPR · Members of the Danish rock band, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, say their unconvential launch strategy will result in an album that may be “totally schizophrenic, but in a really wonderful way.”

Courtesy of the artist
October 23, 2016 | NPR · The singer and lyricist of The Seshen wrote the song “Distant Heart” about the loss of a friend. And while it comes from a place of loss, she says it carries her friend’s joy and light, too.

John Heyn
October 22, 2016 | NPR · Shot outside an arena in suburban Maryland hosting a Judas Priest and Dokken double bill, the short documentary captured something vital about its moment in music history.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac