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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Ride the Fall Colors of Carbondale Colorado

  • Arrival
  • 9/20/2021
  • Departure
  • 9/27/2021
  • Ride Director
  • Michael Ballinger
  • Ride Co-Director
  • Huey Hurst
  • Starting Location
  • Carbondale Colorado
  • Finishing Location
  • Carbondale Colorado
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $1200
  • Deposit
  • $600
  • Number of Riders
  • 23 (min. 16 /max. 23)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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This ride is a fixed-base or semi-fixed-base ride, please read the ride description for more details.

† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description


Enjoy the change of colors of Fall in the heart of the Western Slope of the Rockies with 6 days of riding a fixed based tour out of Carbondale, Colorado. Sights will include the Aspen trees changing to different shades of yellow and orange, to the buck brush turning red, and the distant mountains with a white dusting of snow. You are sure to see some great scenery and snap a few memorable photos!

The town of Carbondale is located in the Roaring Fork Valley, downstream from Aspen and upstream from the mouth of the Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs. The town proper sits on the south bank of the river at the confluence of the Crystal River. The scenery is spectacular and the ride is during leaf change peak season.  Carbondale's horizon is dominated by the 12,953 ft. (3,952 m) tall Mount Sopris several miles to the south of town.  The base altitude is 6100 ft. so flat-landers may want to arrive a few days early to acclimate.  The town of Carbondale has been named several times as one of the top ten small towns to live in in America.


We have listed the ride rating as 2B, which translates to a distance of 35-50 miles per day, with 1500 to 2500 ft. elevation; however, a few of the rides have sections with steeper grades (8% +. ) that go for various distances. Because this is a fixed based ride there will always be something for everyone. All rides can be made easier or more difficult as we have designed routes that are longer and shorter on many of the days. You can pick your options each day, or take the day off.  All riding days have a ride option that meets the 2B criteria.

Riding surfaces include everything from bike paths to roads with shoulders. Ride routes included are Missouri Heights, Frying Pan, Redstone and Marble, McClure Pass, Woody Creek and Aspen, Spring Gulch, Sunlight, Ascroft and Maroon Bells. For the extra credit, a person can ride the famous Independence pass out of Aspen.

Tandems and e-bikes are welcome. E-bike riders should be experienced with riding an e-bike and with the "rules of the road" as well as prepared to ride in a group setting. 


The weather for Carbondale in late September averages in the high 60's to the low 70's during the day with the nights cooling off to the 40's and 50's.


We are staying at the Comfort Inn, about one mile from the historic downtown. With a 4 star rating from trip advisor, and quite a few amenities, it will be a pleasant stay.. Amenities include abundant parking, indoor pool and hot tub, conference room, fridge and microwave, and full breakfast (Covid-19 may change that amenity). Currently the hotel is NOT providing complementary breakfasts so we have budgeted $15 per person per day for breakfast expense.  If the hotel returns to complementary breakfast this expense ($105 per rider) will be refunded after the ride.  

The hotel is located near a great bus system which is free for seniors, making it easy to get around town and see the sights.

We will have four dinners and a daily happy hour. We may also do a group visit to the Powers Art Museum which has beautiful architecture and is located on a ranch setting featuring Jasper Jones. 


The Comfort Inn allows free parking and storage of your bike in your room or a storage closet.

Carbondale is located 3.5 to 4 hours from Denver, 40 minutes from Aspen, 20 minutes from Glenwood Springs. There are several airports:  Aspen (ASE), Eagle Vail (EGE), Grand Junction (GJT) or Denver (DEN). There are transportation services provided to Carbondale from those destinations, including limo shuttles.

There is also an Amtrak train to Glenwood Springs. Easiest flights would be Aspen and then the public bus to Carbondale (RFTA), taxi, Uber, or car rental.

This time of year, the local bike shops are selling their bikes, and rental bikes may not be available. Possible options include Sunlight Ski & Bike Shop in Glenwood Springs 970 945 9425, Aloha Mountain (970 963 2500) and Basalt Bike & Ski (970 963 0128) in Carbondale. It would be wise to reserve early. 

Each day there will be a recommended road ride and a choice of many other rides to suit your fitness level.   This area is also a Mountain Bike Mecca and there are countless trail rides close by. There are also gravel rides to be had or combo's of road and gravel. You may also want to take a day or two off and explore this area on your own.  There’s fishing, rafting, hot springs, and gourmet restaurants in every direction including the famous town of Aspen.

There also might be the Aspen film festival (uncertain with the pandemic) which also shows in Carbondale. 

NOTE:  If we still have a Covid 19 risk, we will obey all the necessary rules, and change activities as needed to remain Covid compliant, so we can keep the tour as safe as possible.  We will invite participants to a Zoom meeting about 30 days prior to the tour start date to finalize our COVID protocols. You may be asked to wear PPE in public, maintain social distance in public and limit social gathering in public according to the state's mandate.  


In addition to the $50 non-refundable BAC fee, the estimated tour cost of the ride is $1200 based on double occupancy, and includes 7 nights lodging, 7 breakfasts, 7 BAC happy hours, and 4 group dinners. Also included are cue sheets, route maps, and GPS tracks.  It is assumed that the individual participants have operational knowledge of their respective GPS units. The minimum number of paid riders is 14 and the maximum is 18. A deposit of $600 will be due when you sign up, and the remaining $600 will be due on May 25, 2021. Solo supplements will be available for $460.


It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until (insert date) to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $460 solo supplement and stay on the ride.  If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.  The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.  A single participant has until August 1, 2021 to find a roommate or pay the solo supplement.  Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office by August 1, 2021. Checks should be made out to BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check.  They should be mailed to:  Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box  23998, San Diego, CA 92193.


The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is canceled due to participation below stated minimum requirements. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the canceling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the canceling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the canceling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.


Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

Before participating in any BAC tour, members should review their medical coverage and assess whether what you have is sufficient. If it isn’t, you should purchase additional travel medical coverage. BAC maintains a policy that provides limited coverage for medical expenses associated with accidents incurred by US residents when on tours within the US.  The policy does not cover costs associated with self-quarantines that may be government mandated. Members should also ensure that vaccinations are up to date (e.g., annual influenza, tetanus, etc.). If traveling outside your home country you may wish to consult with a travel physician or nurse to ensure that the appropriate vaccinations are up to date.


To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description.  When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Wait list to the Pending List.  At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $600 by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.




Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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