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Small Colorado towns set to benefit from Ride The Rockies blindsided by cancellation

Organizers point to limited registration
Posted at 5:03 PM, Apr 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 17:09:29-04

DENVER — Ride The Rockies, one of the longest and oldest recreational bike touring rides in the country, was canceled for 2024.

Once so popular, riders needed to enter a lottery for the chance to participate, organizers pointed to limited registration in their announcement this week.

"Ride The Rockies is definitely an iconic Colorado event. It's had a 37-year history," said Sabra Nagel of the event that would attract thousands of riders from Colorado and across the country.

Small Colorado towns set to benefit from Ride The Rockies blindsided by cancellation

Nagel was hired to be the Ride the Rockies director in 2022.

"I am now the former director of Ride the Rockies," Nagel said. "When they called to tell me the ride was canceled, they also told me that my job was no longer needed."

Denver7 reached out to the organizers of Ride The Rockies, Ventures Endurance, who declined an interview but sent the same statement that is now posted on the event's website.

"After much consideration and evaluation of the limited registration, we regret that Ride The Rockies 2024 is canceled. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the towns, participants, sponsors, crew, volunteers, and supporters who have had a role in making this ride so special for the past 37 years."

The route would have taken riders through scenic Western Colorado and, for the first time, through Meeker.


"All of our hotel rooms were full, then we extended that. We developed a homestay program so that people who have homes could accept some of the riders. We were expecting a great increase, boosting our economy with them visiting our restaurants and our shops," said Meeker Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stephanie Hanson.

Hanson explained they found out with the rest of the country when the update was posted online. It was a major disappointment.

"Our whole community was getting enthused and getting engaged. We had volunteers that were already signing up. We had two community meals planned. We had students from the high school and the middle school that were volunteering to raise money for some of their school trips. We had some classes planned. We're trying to plan some shuttle routes," said Hanson.

It's an impact that weighs heavily on the former ride director.

"That's the hardest part of all of this, feeling like I've let several hundred people down with this decision. It was not my decision, but I still feel like I've let these people down," said Nagel.

Small towns like Meeker are encouraging riders who already booked their travel to keep their plans anyway. Meeker is offering gift certificates for any registered riders who keep their reservations so they can explore the town.

"We may even plan an impromptu road bike race between the towns, but we really want people to stay and encourage them to come and visit and not change their plans because we have a lot to offer," said Hanson.

The organizers say refunds for the registered riders will be processed automatically. It's not clear if there will be another attempt at the ride next year.

Nagel said she will not speculate on what the owners will decide but is concerned about the current state of organizing the event.

"The big signal is that there's no longer a ride director. These events need three years of constant maintenance. Once you purchase an event, you need to give it at least three years to even start to look at being successful. And we didn't have three years. So, you know, trying to reset would be really hard," she said.

Small CO towns set to benefit from Ride The Rockies blindsided by cancellation

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