Dave Wiens West Elk Bicycle Classic
September 1, 2013
Come for the ride of your life with mountain bike legend Dave Wiens. Leave wondering how you can wait another year to try it again. Dave has a great legacy in the racing world. But more importantly, to us, is his integrity and selfless attitude. He spends countless hours making riding a bicycle in Gunnison and in Colorado safer and more enjoyable. Thanks Dave!
The Dave Wiens West Elk Bicycle Classic, WEBC, was started the summer of 2012 as a fundraiser for the Western State Colorado University Mountain Sports by Dave who is the director. The Mountain sports team encompasses all the great mountain sports available at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison CO such as Cycling, Free-ride Skiing, Skier-cross, Boarder-cross and Nordic Skiing.
The Dave Wiens West Elk Bicycle Classic is a demanding 134 mile (with 100mi option) gran fondo or timed tour climbing 9,300ft (209 km, 2700m) from Gunnison to Crested Butte, CO circumnavigating the West Elk Mountains held Sunday of Labor Day weekend. The crux of the ride is a 25 mile 5400' climb over the dirt Kebler pass to Crested Butte starting at the 100 mile mark. The top of Kebler is where your time will stop for this timed event. You then will coast neutrally down to Crested Butte for the official finish and party (Donita's Cantina lunch, New Belgium beer, Third Bowl ice cream and raffle).
The roads around Gunnison and Crested Butte have been home to many races in the past. Much of our route was used in road racing in the 1970s and 80s and more recently with the US Pro Challenge stage race. We feel that our route rivals all other bicycle events in scenery, difficulty, quiet roads, and awesomeness. Check out some pictures and the course here! It also has no left turns or stop lights and only two stop signs!
Is this a race or tour? The answer is yes. In the gran fondo style, you will leave in a mass start from Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado with cyclists ranging from professional racers to recreational cyclists. You can sign up individually or bring your friends and ride as a team. Racing or seeing how fast you can go is a great way to challenge yourself. Of course just riding as a tour and trying to finish is a challenge. It's your option. Do you want to race others on a demanding course? Do you want to just tour and try to finish a demanding course? Or you can start racing and then just try to finish. We are open to all abilities, however you should train hard-it is not easy.
We offer two distances, 100 or 134mi. The 100 mi option will start in Gunnison with the 134mi options. We think you can do the whole thing. We really do. So we want you to ride 100 miles. You have been training hard all year and if you are feeling like you want to push yourself just a bit more you can keep going. If you can't go anymore we will have a van ride to Crested Butte available at the start of the dirt on Kebler pass. The start is at 7:00am at Western State Colorado University Campus Sunday morning (See the Course Page for location).
There will be a police escort out of town and a neutral support car for the lead pack. We have six aid stations with GU products and other goodies and several SAG
vehicles to ensure that you are well fed, hydrated and make the ride
enjoyable if you need a little help on your way to Crested Butte,
Colorado. However, the course is on remote mountain roads at high
altitudes. Be PREPARED. It may rain or become very cold quickly. You
should be prepared to survive if you get stuck in the rain and we can not
get to you quickly.
the ride, you will be treated to a
great meal by Donita's Cantina, Third Bowl Ice Cream, New Belgium beer, Camp 4 coffee, a
raffle and catch some of the great Crested Butte vibe. Top finishers as always get a little extra prize. What else is
included? With registration you will receive a water bottle, great Primal full zip Dave Wiens West Elk cycling jersey and SOS wool socks for
bragging rights. We will also have a great raffle and prizes for top
finishers Click here for sizing charts.
When we first decided to do this event we had to nail down a route. Over
coffee with Dave Wiens, Director of Western State Colorado University
Mountain Sports, and other friends our first idea was a simple out and
back. While this would have been a great ride on our many great roads
around Gunnison and Crested Butte, Dave said, "It's got to be epic.
Let's do the West Elk Loop." Really Dave? Do you think anyone will do
that? That is a long ways and it is not a trivial ride. He said, "It'll
be great. There are people out there that are tough enough." And so it
started. The route follows the north rim of the Black Canyon from
Crawford and Paonia and back to a Crested Butte finish coming down
This is a hidden gem that sees little traffic and is full of amazing
The WEBC is not something you should do "off the couch." You should be a strong rider who has determination and won't give up.
If your significant other and family doesn’t ride, they can stay in one
location in Gunnison or Crested Butte and shop, fish, raft, mountain
bike, swim in our pool, rock climb, play on the largest playground slide
on the west slope of Colorado or go on the zip line on Crested Butte
mountain (The list goes on and on).
Are you tough enough to do this?
Last years report in the Mountain Flyer!
Rules of the road
Please be safe and remember that safety is in your own hands and ride by these rules:
Wear a helmet at all times – NO EXCEPTIONS
Carry ID and relevant medical information
Rules of the road apply; same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle
Ride single file where necessary, maximum of two abreast when conditions allow, do not impede traffic Ride as far right as reasonable
Obey all traffic lights, signs, and regulations
Pass on the left only, announce “passing” or “hello” or “on your left”
Use hand signals to indicate road hazards, stopping, slowing, right, and left turns
Prepare properly: nutrition, hydration, training, and for sudden changes in weather conditions
Respect others: riders, volunteers, host communities, motorists, pedestrians, law enforcement, and the environment
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