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

NASA
October 24, 2014 | NPR · AR 2192, the largest sunspot seen since the beginning of the current 11-year cycle that started in 2008, is producing strong solar flares.
 

MPR News
October 24, 2014 | MPR · If you live in Rochester, Minn., you’ll get used to seeing wheelchairs left in odd places. The city is home to the Mayo Clinic, after all. But some of those wheelchairs venture far afield indeed.
 

NPR
October 24, 2014 | NPR · New research suggests that curiosity triggers chemical changes in the brain that help us better understand and retain information.
 

Arts & Life

Bill Franzen
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Earning honors for fiction, nonfiction and young children’s literature, respectively, the writers are the first to win the award. Also: The Bronx’s bookstore returns, while the U.K. shows off doodles.
 

Other Press
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Reporter Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel, The Four Corners of Palermo, follows an unnamed young reporter during the brutal early days of the mafia’s conflict with the Italian government in the 1980s.
 

Thomas Dunne Books
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Historian Peter Ackroyd’s new book surveys the history of England from the end of the Tudor era to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 — almost a century of war, debate and transformation.
 

Music

Tinnitus Photography
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Our recurring puzzler for careful listeners, this week featuring a selection of handpicked fills from Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. Hear the drum fill (or intro) and match it to the song.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Recorded with Liz Harris’ voice, a piano and not much else, Ruins achieves striking intimacy, its emotional heft commanding attention throughout.
 

October 24, 2014 | NPR · NPR TV critic Eric Deggans looks at the new documentary, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, featuring rare and never-before-seen footage. The film premieres on HBO Monday.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab