I have ridden in a fair number of cycling events, such as the Triple Bypass, the Yellowstone Cycle Tour, and the Copper Triangle. While each of these events has it’s own unique characteristics that have the potential to lure me back for a second ride, the only cycling event I’ve done twice is the Icon Tour of the Moon. The ride starts and finishes in Grand Junction, Colorado each fall.
The ride organizers have conveniently created two registration options for riders. The first option is the Classic Loop from Grand Junction through the Colorado National Monument and back to Grand Junction for a total of 41 miles. The other option consists of the Classic Loop plus an additional ~20 miles through the farmlands around Fruita and then returning to Grand Junction. The result is a metric century ride or 62 miles. When my friend was asking which option we should register for, I described it as the pretty part that you’re paying for vs. the afterthought.
What I mean by that is one lane of Rim Rock Drive (the main road through the Colorado National Monument) is closed to non-ride event traffic during the ride. This means that you only have to lookout for oncoming vehicles, and most of those are SAG vehicles or motos anyway. This makes for a fantastic way to experience such a majestic place! In exchange for your quiet riding pleasure, all that is required is lights on your bicycle. Folks, it just doesn’t get any better than this! After exiting the Colorado National Monument, you have the option to return immediately to Grand Junction or take the tour around Fruita. While the country roads offer their own charm and views of the Grand Mesa Book Cliffs, the scenery in the Colorado National Monument is hard to beat. The race organizers have created a segment of road called the “King/Queen of the Flats” to add some excitement to the metric century portion of the ride.
All ride entry fees include a jersey and post-ride lunch. The lunch is typically salad, pasta, and desert. The aid stations throughout the ride are very well stocked with fluids, bagels, cookies, fruit, trail mix, and energy bars. The volunteers are friendly and helpful. Law enforcement is attentive. Overall, if the weather cooperates, this ride is a wonderful way to cap the cycling season.