The Ride Collective gives cyclists access to a secret stash of high desert gravel via Wild Horse Gravel, a 65-mile gravel course with 5500 feet of elevation gain, and the opportunity to compete and win significant prize money. Picked as one of Strambecco’s Best Gravel Cycling Events in Colorado as well as Best Gravel Grinder Events in the Rockies 2023, the event takes place in De Beque, CO, 25 miles East of Grand Junction in Mesa County. De Beque is a quaint and historic community nestled along the Colorado River and Roan Plateau with many area attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
The challenging course starts with an easy ride through De Beque before going into the backcountry of all trail conditions. Expect a little bit of everything, including steep climbs, downhills, and mixed terrain. Riders will enjoy scenic views of rock formations like Valley of the Goblins, and new as of 2022 is a ride around Horse Mountain Range for further visual inspiration. The long course will include several aid stations. Wild Horse Gravel also offers a shorter ride for those who want to stay on a gravel trail for one big loop 30 miles around the High Lonesome Ranch property. There is a climb at a moderate grade for the first 14 miles, with the last half of the ride as a flowy downhill to the finish line. One aid station will be positioned at the high point of the ride.
Registration includes many perks. There are refreshments and support throughout the ride, including an event t-shirt, bike plate, and race bib. Located at High Lonesome Ranch, the event conveniently takes place in one location the full weekend, kicking off Friday evening with an Expo, packet pick-up, bike tech, food trucks, beer garden, and fire pit. For those interested in staying close to all the action, be sure to book lodging through event partner Summit Cycle Solutions. Saturday, race day, offers breakfast, bike tech, and hydration stations before the mass start. The race starts at 8:00 am, but other ranch activities start at 11:00 am with Expo, food truck, and massages, followed by ranch activities available for participants and supporters. Stationary steer roping, fly casting, and swimming are available alongside country BBQ cookout, beer garden, and live music. Podium Presentation and Awards begin at 3:30 pm, where long course participants win cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Sunday wraps up the event with breakfast for purchase, and participants are asked to depart the ranch by 10:00 am. The official 2023 race guide provides all additional details about the race and weekend activities.
The Ride Collective, formally known as the Outside Events Cycling Series, is a portfolio of eight professionally-produced events and races in both Colorado and New Mexico. Host venues and terrain vary from the Front Range to the Rocky Mountains to the High Desert. TRC strives to create an inclusive culture where cyclists of almost all abilities can enjoy the simple pleasures of riding a bicycle. For some, it’s about the challenge, others do it for a cause, but everybody enjoys surfing the energy of the group. The Ride Collective events range from 300 to 3,000 participants, with a portion of event proceeds benefiting local and regional nonprofit organizations. The full calendar of events includes the following: