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Ride Rating System

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Fall Colors of Carbondale, CO

  • Arrival
  • 9/27/2023
  • Departure
  • 10/4/2023
  • Ride Director
  • Huey Hurst
  • Ride Co-Director
  • Twain Berg
  • Starting Location
  • Carbondale, CO
  • Finishing Location
  • Carbondale, CO
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $1200
  • Deposit
  • $1200
  • Number of Riders
  • 19 (min. 16 /max. 22)
  • Space Available
  • 3
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

3C  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 $85 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

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 America.

RIDE RATING:  We have listed this ride as 3C because of the higher altitude starts and finishes, with grades of 8%+ for 3 or more miles. All rides can be shortened up by the riders themselves, but the prescribed ride will be as rated. Because this is a fixed based ride there will always be something for everyone. 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, Ashcroft and Maroon Bells. For the extra credit, a person can ride the famous Independence Pass out of Aspen.

Tandems, gravel and e-bikes (pedal assist) are welcome. E-bike riders should be experienced with riding an e-bike and with the "rules of the road" as well as being prepared to ride in a group setting. A caution to e-bike riders; hopefully your bike can attain the distance and elevation gains of a 3C ride.

Most routes start directly from the hotel, but we also include choices with optional remote starts. (for this reason, a car or carpooling is recommended for the trip.

Acclimatization:  Because Carbondale is at 6100 ft. altitude, it would be wise to arrive in Colorado a few days before to adjust to the high country. That way you can enjoy the higher altitude rides even more. 

WEATHER:  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 can experience anything from warm weather to snow!!!

LODGING & MEALS:  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 . 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. There is a complimentary breakfast every morning.

We will have three 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 Johns and a special Andy Warhol.

LOGISTICS:  The Comfort Inn allows free parking and storage of your bike in your room.  Carbondale is located 3.5 to 4 hours from Denver, 40 minutes from Aspen, and 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. The easiest flights would be to Aspen and then by public bus to Carbondale (RFTA), taxi, Uber, or car rental.

This time of year, the local bike shops are selling their bikes, so 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. However, this year it is recommended as a 3C ride.   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 combos 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.

Health and Safety:  Participants should be vaccinated for Covid and be prepared to present vaccination documentation for viewing by the Ride Leader, if requested. Participants are expected to come to the tour in good health and ready to ride. Prior to the final payment for the tour, an infectious disease plan will be developed and communicated. The plan will identify possible actions for dealing with persons with an infectious disease on the tour that could affect their ability to ride or the health of others in the group. The plan will include items such as isolation protocols, testing, masking, distancing, and leaving the tour.

COST & ADMINISTRATION:  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, 3 group dinners and a possible concert. Also included are GPS tracks. Maps and cue sheets will not be provided, participants will need to print their own. It is assumed that the individual participants have operational knowledge of their respective GPS units. The minimum number of paid riders is 16 and the maximum is 20. A deposit of $500 will be due when you sign up, and the remaining  $700 will be due on July 31, 2023. Solo supplements will be available for $720.

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY:  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 July 31, 2023 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 $720 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 July 31, 2023 to find a roommate or pay the solo supplement. There are only two solo rooms available. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office by July 31, 2023. 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.

CANCELLATION POLICY:  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.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITIES:  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, you should assess whether your medical and travel insurance coverage is sufficient. BAC maintains insurance that covers expenses related to accidents. This coverage applies when touring inside the US, regardless of your nationality. It’s assumed that members’ personal insurance will cover medical emergencies such as sudden and unexpected sickness, so these have not been included in the BAC policy. Coverage is subject to a $1000 deductible. You may want to consider personal coverage for emergency evacuation, as this is not included. The costs of treatment or quarantine for Covid and other unexpected illnesses are not covered. You should ensure that your vaccinations are up to date.

SIGN-UP:  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 $500 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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