The inaugural Leadville Big Friggin Loop will kick off in Cloud City this Saturday, Sept. 18. The ultra endurance mountain bike race will challenge participants to ride over 115 miles of gravel and singletrack within the San Isabel and White River National Forests.
The non-commercial, self-supported race is part of the Colorado Endurance Series, a collection of backcountry mountain bike endurance rides across the state with no entrance fees or aid stations.
Rafael Millan-Garcia, owner of Leadvelo Bicicasa and organizer of this year’s race, has spent two years piecing together scenic and challenging stretches of trail in Lake County to create the 115-mile route. Millan-Garcia also organized this year’s Salida Big Friggin Loop.
“You know your own backyard better than anybody else,” Millan-Garcia said of the opportunity to plan a race route around Lake County.
The route, which includes more than 14,000 feet of elevation gain, starts and finishes in downtown Leadville with resupply options at stores in Red Cliff and Copper Mountain. The course includes various stretches of above treeline riding and all of Segment 8 of the Colorado Trail. The route is not marked, but is available via GPS.
Registration for the Leadville Big Friggin Loop will begin at 5:30 a.m. at Leadvelo Bicicasa, 719 Harrison Ave. Participants will start riding at 6 a.m.
“This race is by riders and for riders, just for the purpose of adventure,” Millan-Garcia said.