80 miles with 5,900 feet of climbing
Copper Triangle • Climbs
Copper Triangle • Description
Copper Triangle, also known as Leadville Loop, is a classic Colorado road bike ride. This ride starts in Vail and follows the loop clockwise, which seems to be the more common direction. Since a few years ago, there is also an organized event, starting at Copper Mountain Resort.
The ride climbs three mountain passes, including Vail Pass (10,666 feet), Fremont Pass (11,318 feet), and Tennessee Pass (10,424 feet), followed by a fourth climb up Battle Mountain.
Between Vail and Copper Mountain Resort the route follows the frontage road and Vail Pass bike path. Then it continues on Highway 91 towards Leadville (the highest city in America). From here the route follows Highway 24 to Minturn. The final miles are again on a bike path that leads to the frontage road and back to Vail.
Event Website: Copper Triangle
Copper Triangle • Interactive Map
Copper Triangle • Pictures
Vail Pass Bike Path
Eagle River Bridge
I rented a bike at Vail Bike Tech (Lionshead Mall) and put on my own pedals and seat. Since the store opens at 8:30 AM, I got a late start. Luckily the weather remained stable.
Stopping at the 10th Mountain Division World War II Memorial on top of Tennessee Pass was an emotional experience, especially since I know the Italian Apennines where almost 1,000 men lost their lives facing German positions.
By: Bernd Straehle
See Also: American & European Rides
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