Riders in Saturday's Copper Triangle event left Copper Mountain at the first light of dawn, setting off on a "leisure" ride over three mountain passes before returning to the ski resort's Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village.
Cyclists cover 78 miles and 5,981 feet in total elevation gain, while traversing Fremont Pass (elevation 11,318'), Tennessee Pass (elevation 10,424') and Vail Pass (elevation 10,666'). The course passes three ski areas and is littered with historic mining outposts and Camp Hale, the training ground for the famous 10th Mountain Division.
It's considered a "classic alpine ride," event organizers say, and the website touts its scenery: "Graced with breathtaking scenery, gorgeous roads and three challenging climbs, the Copper Triangle exemplifies cycling in the Colorado Rockies."
It's the 7th annual Copper Triangle event this year, drawing cyclists to complete the ride. Some turn their ride into a pledge drive to benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation, which supports Parkinson's research.