As you may know, Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the US and south western Colorado is spectacular when it comes to a place to cycle. One day at my local bike shop – Campus Cycles in Denver, www.campuscycles.com, I picked up a book called "Road Biking Colorado The Statewide Guide" www.roadbikingcolorado.com by Michael Seeberg. This is a great book and for anyone wanting the perfect guide for cycling in Colorado, I highly recommend it. In the book the rides are listed by level of difficulty – Easy –Moderate –Difficult – Very Difficult. Personally wanting to conquer the most difficult ride in Colorado, I found what is called the DEATH RIDE LOOP – page 232-233 – listed Very Difficult. This is a spectacular loop made up of several highways in southwestern Colorado called the San Juan Skyway including US Highway 550 known as the Million Dollar Highway which you will experience right away on Day One from Silverton to Ouray over Red Mountain Pass.
The book calls the DEATH RIDE LOOP one of the INSANE - one day rides and is listed as one of the finest in the country. Well I would agree, however, I am not insane so my idea was to make this a pleasurable tour – not an insane one day ride. Remember we are calling a three day tour, 232 mile ride over 5 mountain passes with 16,500 plus feet of climbing – a pleasurable tour. Anyone who has done this loop before knows just how pleasurable it was. Maybe rewarding – I just wouldn’t call it really pleasurable.
The Story of the Death Ride by Bicycle Bob Gregorio
Durango Telegraph story – July 1 – 7, 2004
So now this annual event is known as the DEATH RIDE Tour …Ride For Life…For Those Who Care.
To make this tour even more worthwhile, I decided to make it a fund raiser in memory of my Mom, Rhoda Sopinsky who passed away suddenly at the age of 80 on November 16, 2008 and in memory of my Father, Irvin Sopinsky who died of ALS ( Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at the age of 45 when I was 13.
In 2009 to honor my parents, we planted flags in each city’s cemetery – Silverton, Telluride and Durango to honor their memory.