24th Annual Ride for the Pass

May 19, 2018

The Ride for the Pass is a recreational ride and road bike beginning five miles east of Aspen at the winter closure gate 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 Independence ghost town site ten miles from the start. All riders doing the ten 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 starting 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 Hotel 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, and 10:10am for the recreational ride to Weller.
  2. Where is the shuttle?  The shuttle starts at the pullout across from Difficult Campground approximately two miles below the start line.  The last shuttle leaves at 9:15am.
  3. What is the Ride route?  The start is at the winter closure gate five 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 Independence ghost town site ten miles from the start (climbing 2,300 feet, ending at an elevation of 10,800 feet).
  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 9:00am sharp!
  5. Where is parking available? Only very limited parking is available at the start line and along Highway 82. We recommend carpooling, parking across from Difficult Campground 3.5 miles east of Aspen and taking the free shuttle van from there (runs from 8:15am-9:15am.), or parking in Aspen and riding your bike to the start line.
  6. When does the race end?  The course sweep will start at 1:00pm.  We try to have everyone off the course by 1:30pm.
  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 two mile ride to Weller is a non-timed event. The ten 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 1:00pm.
  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 9:45am because trucks need to leave for the aid stations by then.
  12. Where is the after-Ride party?  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 are $45 for individuals and $75 for families for the ride to Independence, and $25 for individuals and $50 for families for the non-timed Weller ride.  These prices are good through 6pm Friday, May 18.  The morning of the Ride, 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 sixteen.
  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 three and a half miles from the start), one at Lost Man (seven miles), and one at the finish line (ten 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 Aspen Ambulance personnel will be on the course.
  17. When will results be available?  Preliminary results will be available at the after-Ride party. Official results will be e-mailed to participants and will appear on IPF’s website within twenty-four hours. 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 first aid station is at Lincoln Creek; the second is at Lost Man.
  • Stay in line at the finish line if you want to be timed.
  • Obey the center/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.