Ride for the Pass  |  May 19, 2018

The Ride for the Pass is a recreational ride and road bike race up Highway 82 toward Independence Pass that allows riders to enjoy this beautiful Scenic Byway BEFORE it is opened to cars for the season. The Ride benefits IPF’s restoration work on the Pass.

The Ride has two finish lines: The first at Weller Lake turnout, just over two miles from the starting line for families and recreational riders, and the second at the traditional Independence ghost town site ten miles from the start. All riders doing the 10-mile Independence route are timed and included in the competitive category for their respective age groups; all Weller riders are untimed.

In years past the Ride has attracted almost 500 riders and start-line registration has been crowded, so riders are encouraged to pre-register prior to the Ride. Winning race times to Independence are usually around 40 minutes with most riders finishing in less than two hours.

There are aid stations and turnaround sites at various points along the route. The Ride is followed by a party at the St. Regis in Aspen featuring free beer and other beverages, as well as dozens of fantastic drawing prizes donated by Roaring Fork Valley businesses.


  1. When does the Ride start?  10am for the timed ride to the ghost town of Independence; 10:10am for the recreational ride to Weller.
  2. Where is the shuttle?  The shuttle starts at the pullout across from Difficult Campground approximately 2 miles below the start line – last shuttle leaves at 9:15 a.m.
  3. What is the Ride route?  The start is at the Winter Gate 5 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82. If you enter Aspen from the west and stay on Highway 82, you can’t miss it. There will be two finish lines: The first at Weller Lake turnout, just over two miles from the starting line for families and recreational riders, and the second at the traditional Independence ghost town site ten miles from the start (climbing a little less than 2,300 feet, ending at 11,967elevation).
  4. Where do I pick up my Ride packet?  Walk-in registration and Ride packets as well as number plates will be available in the lobby of the Limelight Hotel in Aspen, 355 S. Monarch St., on Friday May 19, 10am-7pm. You may also pick up number plates on Saturday morning prior to the Ride start. Get there early – registration will close at 9:00 a.m. sharp!
  5. Where is parking available? Only very limited parking is available at the start line and along Highway 82. We recommend car pooling, parking across from Difficult Campground 3.5 miles east of Aspen and taking the free shuttle van from there (runs from 8:15-9:15 am.), or parking in Aspen and riding your bike to the start line.
  6. When does the race end?  The course sweep will start at 1:00 p.m. – we try to have everyone off the course by 1:30 p.m.
  7. When does registration close?  9:00am for riders going to Independence and 10:00am for those going to Weller.
  8. How will timing work?  We are using number plates with disposable chips. The plate will be placed on the front of the rider’s bike.
  9. Do I have to be timed?  The 2-mile ride to Weller is a non-timed event. The 10-mile ride to Independence is a timed event.
  10. Can I ride to the summit?  You are welcome to go where you please, although all IPF’s support ends at Independence and when the course is swept at 1:00 p.m.
  11. What do I do with my warm clothes? Please bring your own labelled bag and bring to the appropriate truck uphill of the start line – look for the signs that correspond to your destination (Weller or Independence)– clothes must be delivered by 9:45 a.m. because trucks need to leave for the aid stations by then.
  12. Where is the after-Ride party?  This year’s after-Ride party will be held at the St. Regis Hotel, 315 East Dean St., Aspen. See “After Party” for more details.
  13. How much does registration cost? We encourage all participants to register online at Fees will be $45 for individuals and $75 for families for the ride to the Ghost Town and $25 for individuals and $50 for families for the non-timed Weller ride through 2pm (for online registration) and 7pm (for Limelight registration) on Friday, May 19 . The morning of the Race, May 20, registration fees increase to $50 for individuals and $80 for families for the Independence ride and $30 for individuals and $55 for families for the Weller ride. Families include children under 15.
  14. Do Aspen Cycling Club dues pay for Ride registration?  No, the two are separate.
  15. Is there an Aspen Cycling Club sign-up spot?  Anyone who participates in the Ride and is not a Cycling Club member will have his/her points counted in the Cycling Club standings if he/she signs up for Cycling Club membership within a week of the Ride for the Pass. For more information on the Cycling Club, contact them via their website,
  16. Where are the aid stations?  There are three aid stations – one at Lincoln Creek, approximately 3.5 miles from the start, one at Lost Man (7 miles), and one at the finish line, (10 miles).  Each aid station has an emergency radio, water, porta-john, some bike repair tools, energy bars, and a first aid kit. Several course marshals will also be stationed along the route in case of problems. EMTs will be riding along – watch for orange bibs with STAFF label on riders – and an ambulance will be posted at the start line.
  17. When will results be available?  Preliminary results will be available at the after-Ride party. Official results will be available within 24 hours, and will be e-mailed to participants and will appear on IPF’s website. Local newspapers should also publish results within five days.

rules of the road

  • Wear a helmet.
  • Watch for water, ice and other hazards – rough spots and water are marked by signs or cones.
  • Be aware of “Road Hazard” and “Wet Pavement” signs.
  • Number plate must be visible on the front of your bike.
  •  If you have any problems, please pull off the road.
  • The first aid station is at Lincoln Creek; second is at Lost Man.
  • Stay in line at the Finish Line if you want to be timed.
  • Obey the Yellow Line – watch out for two-way traffic as some riders will be descending as           others are still ascending.
  • Watch out for the motorcycle rider who will be sweeping the course from time to time.
  • Pass on the left – pull over to the right for faster traffic.
  • Watch out for uphill traffic and pedestrians during your descent – control your speed.