Two thousand riders will camp out at Copper Mountain Resort this weekend as part of the annual Children’s Hospital Colorado Courage Classic bike ride.
In its 24-year history, the event has raised approximately $28 million dollars for Children’s Hospital Colorado, said hospital spokeswoman Monique Bronner.
Last year alone, the hospital raised more than $2 million dollars through the event.
“We’re hoping to meet or exceed that total” this year, Bronner said.
Teams and individuals are sponsored for the event. The Wheels of Justice team currently leads with over $200,000 raised. Bryan Warnecke has raised the most as an individual with $63,083.
“Each of our riders have their own personal reason for participating. Some are just out for the challenge, but most have been personally touched by the care provided at Children’s Hospital Colorado,” Bronner said.
Riders will cover 155 miles in three days, pedaling over road courses in and around Summit County. This year, organizers have also added shorter alternate rides and a family ride option, for those interested in covering a little less ground.
All routes start and end at Copper Mountain, with the Burning Stones Plaza serving as base of operations for the event. Cycling vendors will be on hand at the plaza for a bike expo, and there will be free live music Friday and Saturday.
The event is capped at 2,000 riders each year and is currently full. Organizers are encouraging spectators to come out and cheer on the riders.
Most notable among event participants is Team Courage, a team of former and current Children’s Hospital patients and their families. Among the current and former patients on the team are cancer survivors and those who have overcome heart conditions or other ailments. Also riding are 21 “founders” who have ridden in all 24 events.
Day one’s 80-mile course starts at Copper and passes through Leadville and Vail, then up and over Vail Pass on the way back to Copper. There is a 58-mile option through Silverthorne to Ute Pass and back.
Day two includes the 31-mile family ride from Copper to Silverthorne and back along the recpath. The 42-mile course goes around Dillon Reservoir to Keystone and back. The three-day event finishes Monday with a 33-mile ride to Breckenridge and back.
This is the first year the event will be based at Copper. In years past the ride started in Leadville and passed through Copper.
Expect a significant amount of bike traffic on area paths. The westbound lane of Swan Mountain Road will be closed for cyclists on Sunday, July 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Find more information and make a donation at www.couragetours.com.