The 719 Ride is a Colorado Springs original cycling event in the draft of many tremendous and long-established Colorado events. The 719 Ride is named after the region’s area code and is organized to support local charities that benefit the community. Its mission is to become a positive part of the Colorado Springs tradition and identity while celebrating the tradition, lore, and culture of cycling and helping set the pace for cycling fun in the Rocky Mountains region. The 719 Ride is also a Gran Fondo National Series and Gran Fondo World Tour event. Strambecco rates 719 as one of the best road cycling events in Colorado and the Rockies.
The ride takes participants through scenic areas such as Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Canyon, and Broadmoor. Although there are several ride options, there is one loop route for all participants of 14 miles and 1800 feet of elevation gain. The signature long “Course That Cannot Be Defeated” route is 5 loops measuring 72 miles and 9,200 feet of elevation gain. Shorter route options have fewer laps, and the organizer encourages you to ride whatever is most comfortable. To prepare for this memorable event, be sure to check out the official TrainingPeaks plan and also enjoy the custom Zwift workouts that mimic the 719 Ride’s effort and climbs from wherever you are.
The 719 Ride attracts cyclists of all levels, from beginners to experienced riders, and offers a beautiful route that showcases the natural beauty of Colorado Springs. Along the route are aid stations where cyclists can rest, refuel, and receive medical attention. The event also includes a post-ride celebration where participants can enjoy food, music, and other activities. The proceeds from the event go to support local charities that assist those in need in the Colorado Springs area. The event is truly a fan favorite with many testimonials that mimic this five word summary given by one rider, “GLORIOUS. PAINFUL. FUN. SUFFER-FEST.” If you want to learn more, have a listen to this podcast episode that is fully dedicated to the 719 Ride.
Sitting near the base of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs offers a wide range of outdoor activities for adventurers to enjoy. With its stunning natural landscapes of the surrounding Rocky Mountains, it is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. Favorite trails are the Manitou Incline, Garden of the Gods, and Barr Trail, which leads to the summit of Pikes Peak. These trails offer breathtaking views, unique rock formations, and opportunities to spot wildlife. Colorado Springs is also a fantastic destination for mountain biking, thanks to its diverse terrain and well-maintained trails. The North Cheyenne Cañon Park and Palmer Park are popular spots for mountain biking, offering a mix of technical trails and scenic beauty. Lastly, known for its iconic rock formations, Colorado Springs provides excellent opportunities for rock climbers. Garden of the Gods is a renowned climbing destination, featuring towering sandstone spires and challenging routes for climbers of all abilities. The nearby Red Rock Canyon Open Space and Shelf Road also offer great climbing options. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, there are routes to suit your skill level.
The Gran Fondo World Tour is a series of long-distance cycling events held worldwide and open to amateur and professional cyclists. These events typically cover distances of over 100 km and often include challenging terrain and climbs. Participants compete against each other for personal achievement and can earn points towards a global ranking system. The events are often organized with a festival-like atmosphere and allow participants to experience some of the most scenic and iconic cycling routes in the world.
The Gran Fondo National Series was established in 2012 and comprised 10+ European-style rides/races staged in the United States. Every GFNS event offers courses covering 30, 60, and 100-mile journeys through some of the most beautiful and challenging terrains in endurance sports. Timed sections allow riders to compete in specific course segments, while casual cyclists can ride at their own pace. Participants can ride as individuals or on teams. GFNS awards special prizes to the top riders in every age and gender category.
For the most competitive cyclists, the series partnered with USA Cycling to bring the one-day Gran Fondo National Championship into the portfolio of official USA Cycling National Championship events. The event is held annually, and a national championship jersey and medal are awarded to the overall winner in each Gran Route age group category. The 2023 National Championship event will be held at Gran Fondo Maryland in Frederick, Maryland, on September 17. To compete in the National Championship category, riders must qualify by meeting specific criteria, including results and rankings in Qualification Events. However, all riders are welcome to participate in Gran Fondo Maryland and ride any of the normal Maryland Gran Fondo routes (Gran, Medio, and Piccolo), regardless of qualification status.
GFNS-owned events include Gran Fondo Florida; Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo; Highlands Gran Fondo; Gran Fondo Asheville; Boone Gran Fondo; Golden Gran Fondo; Gran Fondo Maryland. Partner events include Cheaha Challenge; Vermont Gran Fondo; Utah-Cache Gran Fondo; Virginia’s Blue Ridge Gran Fondo; 719 Ride; Mt Evans Hill Climb Gran Fondo.