IMPORTANT NOTICE - THE 2021 DEATH RIDE TOUR CYCLE2CONQUERALS HAS BEEN CANCELLED. WE ARE HOPEFUL TO BRING THIS EVENT BACK IN 2022.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO READ THE STORY BELOW.
In 2009, Barry Sopinsky, a somewhat recreational cyclist who had done many other charity cycling events, decided he would form his own Non-Profit the, (DEATH RIDE Tour Inc. TAX ID 27-1823372), now named Challenge2Conquer ALS Inc.
Barry’s Dad, Irvin Sopinsky, died of ALS when Barry was 13 after a 7-year battle and now it was time for Barry to get off the couch and do something in memory of his Dad.
Why The “DEATH RIDE”?
Barry knowing how challenging it was individuals and families to deal with ALS, wanted his cycling event to be a challenge and push participants to their limits. He came across a book he got at Campus Cycles from Steve Bell, written by cyclist Michael Seeberg, ROAD BIKING COLORADO, The Statewide Guide.
This book had all the great cycling routes of Colorado which Michael had personally experienced. On pages 232-233, Barry came across a route called the DEATH RIDE LOOP, listed as MOST DIFFICULT.
It is a 235-mile grueling course in the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado over 5 mountain passes with 17,000 feet of elevation gain and ONLY 4 left turns.
Michael called this an “insane” one day ride which he had accomplished 5 out of 6 times he attempted it.
Why named the DEATH RIDE?.
Well back in 1979 a small group of Durango cyclists led by a couple of natives, known as “Bicycle”Bob Gregorio and Blake Knowl set off to ride this 235-mile loop, just for the hell of it. They completed the loop in two days which at that time was pretty remarkable. With the 235 miles completed over two days and the group back in Durango, Blake Knowl named the accomplishment the “DEATH RIDE”. Blake said “it was like going to the edge of death, making a deal with the devil and returning to Durango as Zombies”.
For this group of extreme cyclists, this achievement was not quite enough. In 1980, a handful of the initial 1979 riders decided that if they could do the loop in two days, was it possible to accomplish the now DEATH RIDE in one day. They chose the “full moon in June” as a good day for the challenge. Those riders who completed the first one-day DEATH RIDE were Gerry Roach, Andy Schoembs, Forest Yelverton, Pete Willing and “Bicycle” Bob Gregorio. It took them 18 hours. They gathered together and started before dawn. It would be after sunset when they finished. It then truly earned its name of the “DEATH RIDE”.
Fast forward to 2009, Barry and his best friend Skip Carthcart, (aka Charles Homer Cathcart III, CHC3), as Barry called him and would later make him a logo for the event jerseys, chose to do this DEATH RIDE LOOP as their challenging ALS event. There wasn't then, and still isn't today, any other ALS charity cycling event in Colorado.
Barry’s wife Deborah said “are you guys fricking crazy!”. Barry, not being an” insane” cyclist told her “heck no”, I"ll set up the ride as a three-day recreational tour through the San Juan’s – hence the DEATH RIDE Tour came to be.
Not sure a 235 mile ride over five mountain passes and 17,000 feet of climbing should be called a recreational tour!?
Since 2009, over 1500 adventurous and committed to the cause cyclists have ridden the DEATH RIDE Tour and helped to raise just shy of $300,000 for ALS research and awareness.
2021 will be the 11th DEATH RIDE Tour
Now, it’s your turn to ride this awesome event.
The 2021 event will take place June 9-11, 2021 starting in Silverton, Colorado.
The DEATH RIDE Tour is a 3 day, 235 mile treck through the beautuful Juan Mountains in Southwestern Colorado. You will climb up and over 5 mounatin passes. The first day will be 73 miles over Red Mountain Pass, then Dallas Divide. Day two is the longest day, 111 miles with only 1 pass, Lizard Head. You'll finish your treck with 51 miles over 2 really grueling climbs, Colbank and Molas with a exhilarating 8 mile decent to your finish. Truely an accomplish you won't ever forget.
Group rates for lodging have been set up at these hotels which have been valued supportors of the DRT for many years. Please inform them you are part of the DEATH RIDE Tour.
In Silverton -
The Grand Imperial Hotel - 970-387-5527
The Avon Hotel - 303-910-2960
In Telluride -
The Mountainside Inn - 844-875-2801
In Durango -
The Strater Hotel - 970-247-4431
The Holiday Inn & Suites - 970-385-6400
The schedule of events will be as follows:
Rider Check-In - June 6, 2021
Tuesday evening from 5pm-8pm at the Avon, 144 E. 10th St, Silverton and then again Wednesday morning from 6am-7:15am at the Grand Imperial Hotel, 1219 Greene St. All participants need to be checked in by 7:15am on Wednesday June 7th.
Day One Ride Day - June 7, 2021
Continued rider check in - Grand Imperial Hotel - 6am-7:15am
Why We Ride & Safety Talk:
On the side of Grand Imperial Hotel - 7:30-7:50am.
Rider Mandatory Group Start - 8am
Please note that the DEATH RIDE Tour, Cycle2ConquerALS is a Rules of the Road cycling event and governed by all State of Colorado traffic laws. There is a stop sign at the end of town as you head right to climb up Red Mountain Pass. Please be sure to stop at the sign to avoid any issues with law enforcement.
Arrive in Telluride 73 miles from Silverton:
Since each cyclist has different abilities, completion times for Day One will vary. Support will be available on the course until 3pm. All riders should be able to complete Day One within this 7 hour window. As noted in your registration there will be limited SAG Support during the 3 days of the DEATH RIDE Tour so it is reccommended that you carry what you need to complete each day. On day one there are multiple places to get food, water and potty breaks. The DEATH RIDE Tour team will have at least 2 SUVs with bike racks, water, snacks & some bike supplies with them on the course. Their will also be a mechanic & two motor cycle medics availbale each day.
Group Dinner at Rustico Ristorante:
There will be a nice group dinner at this great Italian restaurant had has supported our event since the start. It will be an off the menu affair with everyone responsible for their own tab.
Day Two June 8, 2021 - Telluride to Durango
This is the longest day of the tour - 111 miles. It is NOT a group start, however, we reccomend you get going early - at least by 7am. There will be a quick review of the day's ride at 6:45am in the parking lot of the Mountainside Inn. Support will start on the course living Telluride at 8am.
Limited Sag Support will be ....
Limited Sag Support will be ....
Even though fundraising is not mandatory, it is very much appreciated. The DEATH RIDE Tour Cycle2ConquerALS is funded 100% by contributions and sponsorships in order to provide even the limited support mentioned.