It’s not a professional sporting event, nor is there any prize money, nor is there any reward beyond bragging rights and having done it. Yet the 500-mileColorado Trail Race (you can watch a narrated slide show with last year’s second-place rider Doug Johnson HERE) is, in our humble opinion, even more fascinating than the Tour de France. It’s entirely self-supported (i.e. you can’t have any help beyond what you encounter along the way, e.g. you can stop at the grocery store in Buena Vista to buy food, but you can’t have someone meet you and bring you food); it’s ridden on mountain bikes along single-track trails mostly in the Colorado backcountry; and it covers, “65,000′ of elevation gain winding through the Colorado Rocky Mountains from Denver to Durango… at elevations ranging from 5500′ to a gasping-for-breath 13,200′”. To put the CTR in perspective, The Tour de France covers 2,200 miles over a period of three weeks and the mountain stages have only slightly more elevation gain at lower altitudes.

All that said, even though you can’t watch it on television or listen to it on the radio, you can follow the racers, all of whom have GPS SPOT Tracking devices, on the map above, or HERE at the official Spot Tracker page, which also has standings for each stage. There are great features on the page that allow you to isolate individual riders and see their ride history, see different views of the terrain. You can also see the current weather at the Spot Tracker page.

If the map isn’t enough, there’s a thread of running commentary by the race organizer Stefan G. with reader comments HERE at bikepacking.net and you can also listen to voicemails called in by the riders from the towns along the trail HERE at MTBCast.com.

Be sure to root for the riders from SoCo: Jon Csakany (JC) and Jesse Jakomait (JJ) (sadly, we just learned that Doug Johnson (DJ) had to bail out due to the rain and lack of sleeping bag), both of whom are doing quite well. For an added sense drama and excitement, keep in mind that sometimes the spot trackers don’t work/won’t refresh for many hours or will show that someone has gone way off course when they haven’t. Also keep in mind, that because the trails are not always clearly marked, that sometimes people DO go way off course and/or have to bail out because of mechanical failures or injuries.

Enjoy. It’s addictive and it’ll keep you hitting the refresh button all day.

 

6 Responses to Follow the Colorado Trail Race Here on TBS

  1. Nancy Atherton says:

    What are the race’s start/stop dates?

  2. Noel Black says:

    It started Mon a.m. at Roxborough Park near Castle Rock and ends whenever they get to Durango. The winner will most likely be there by Friday.

  3. Erin Hannan says:

    Thanks for the great post! Am sending a ton of positive thoughts and energy to my husband, Jon Csakany, who’s in the race, and to his fellow riders. Direct your good thoughts to these folks, who represent the best in human endurance and spirit. Will be glued to the refresh button. :)
    Erin

  4. chris fiedler says:

    go csakany go!!

  5. Nancy Atherton says:

    I don’t ride a bike and I don’t know anyone riding in the CTR, but I’m finding the whole thing RIVETING. Thanks, TBS, for the links and the map. And a great big thanks to the riders. I’m cheering for all of them!

  6. doug johnson says:

    Thanks for the support everyone!! You can read about my demise here http://pedalsnotpistons.blogspot.com/ The racers are getting hammered by the weather this year. The leaders are out in the “black hole”, a stretch from BV to Silverton with no chance for resupply.

News

AP
August 22, 2014 | NPR · The death of Eric Garner, like the shooting of Michael Brown, sparked protests. But the reaction in New York has been entirely peaceful, thanks partly to quick responses by police and civic officials.
 

MCT/Landov
August 22, 2014 | NPR · As the situation quiets down in Ferguson, Mo., some political observers are asking why it took President Obama so long to publicly weigh in on events there.
 

AFP/Getty Images
August 22, 2014 | NPR · Food shortages are emerging in the wake of West Africa’s Ebola epidemic. Market shelves are bare and fields are neglected because traders can’t move and social gatherings are discouraged.
 

Arts & Life

August 22, 2014 | NPR · The scent of fresh pencils is in the air, and homework assignments are around the corner. In honor of back-to-school season, author Alexander Aciman recommends The Lost Estate by Henri Alain-Fournier.
 

August 22, 2014 | NPR · Katy Simpson Smith’s novel, set during the American Revolution, was inspired by her research on mothers in the South. “Death was sort of the specter that haunted every aspect of life,” she says.
 

Courtesy of The Shout! Factory
August 22, 2014 | NPR · The 71-year-old German filmmaker made daring movies in the 1970s that pushed viewers into unsettling mental spaces. The tremendous boxed set Herzog: The Collection highlights his authentic style.
 

Music

August 22, 2014 | NPR · Our puzzler for careful listeners: This week, featuring fills and intros selected by Joe Easley, drummer for The Dismemberment Plan. Hear the fill (or intro) and match it to the song.
 

KCRW
August 22, 2014 | KCRW · One of the first big blog-rock bands visits Morning Becomes Eclectic to perform “Coming Down,” the first single from its new fourth album, Only Run.
 

August 22, 2014 | NPR · The 25-year-old guitarist-singer-songwriter has already served as an opening act on Jack White’s recent tour, and he may be ready for headliner status.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab