134 mi


52 mi


34 / 46 mi

The What and Why?

We feel that no opportunity should be wasted. You should never look back and wish you could have done more. We think about the future. Our children. This is why we ride the “Westy” or West Elk Bicycle Classic…to help others while challenging ourselves on the bike.

Supporting Western State Colorado University

Western has taken many a young mind and helped it go on to many great outcomes. We hope by coming to Gunnison you will see that it is a great community, high-achieving school and amazing place to recreate in the great outdoors!

Finding a Cure for Type 1 diabetes

T1 diabetes was once called juvenile diabetes. A persons pancreas can stop producing insulin at any age. Without insulin, sugar that we all use for energy can’t get into the cells. If left untreated a person will slowly starve to death. It is treatable but there is no cure. Treating it means constant insulin injections and checking of blood sugars. If the levels fall too low you can go into a coma and die. If it is too high blindness, nerve damage and many other maladies result. Once you have it will never go away. That is what we hope to change.

For the Children

We have supported Sharon’s Kids in the past and will again this year. Sharon is a wonderful woman takes underprivileged kids on trips, camps and other great activities in the Paonia area. Our past donations helped Sharon arrange for them to attend computer camp at Western amongst other opportunities.

We will also be supporting Peak to Peak Cycling’s not-profit called “Bikes and Books for Kids.” This 501c3 is focused on providing bikes, helmets and books to underprivileged kids in need of a home library, a new bike and a helmet for safe adventures.

West Elk Bicycle Classic

The Routes

The West Elk Bicycle Classic covers country that should be felt up close, like on a bicycle. There are several options for most any rider:

  • Do you want a shorter ride on the most beautiful road you’ll be on in some time? Try our 34-46 mi route on the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. This route can be shortened or lengthened as it is a supported out-and-back ride…accessible to all ages and abilities!
  • Do you want something a little longer? With some gravel? Try our 52 mile Raghorn loop.
  • 134 mile WEST ELK BICYCLE CLASSIC route that we all love and fear at the same time.  Come out and tackle this course again, or for the first time, there is nothing like it anywhere!
  • Fully supported and full of fun…join us and register today!

Message from the directors

Jeff Hillis

As a graduate of WSC back in 1996, cycling has brought me full-circle in joining Jarral Ryter as co-organizer of the West Elk Bicycle Classic. The “Westy” was truly missed in 2017, and I am excited to be a part of bringing back this one of a kind event!

The West Elk Bicycle Classic is one of the most unique, beautiful, inspiring and challenging Gran Fondo rides in Colorado. Our 2018 event has something for everyone including the famed 134-mile course around Blue Mesa, along the rim of the Black Canyon and through Crawford and Paonia, before starting the grueling climb up Kebler pass to the mountain top finish. The descent into Crested Butte is perhaps the most gratifying and rewarding stretches of road you will ever ride, having just completed the West Elk Bicycle Classic!

Join us for the first time, to PR the course, to claim your podium spot, to crush the RagHorn Loop, or to ride the rim of the Black Canyon with your family. Don’t forget about the Children’s Museum sponsored scavenger hunt around downtown Crested Butte as well. Join us for the 2018 West Elk Bicycle Classic and help to ensure the continued success of this ride for years to come, while raising money for Type 1 diabetes research/treatment, Sharon’s Kids and Bikes and Books for Kids!

Jeff HillisCo Race Director
Jarral Ryter

Welcome to our world in the Gunnison country! We love to ride, ski, and play in our beautiful mountains. We like to see how far we can go and who can go the fastest. When Dave and I first decided to put this event together, we knew it would be one of the longest rides many of you may have ever attempted. Throw in monster climbs and we have created a challenge that will provide lifelong memories and new friends. In a world where freeways and stoplights are the norm, you also very rarely get to ride 130+ miles on rustic, traffic free roads in amazing surroundings and only a couple of stop signs and no traffic lights. We love this route and know you will too!

Jarral RyterCo Race Director
Skratch Labs Hydration

The Course Maps

Subscribe To Our RIDE Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our ride.

You have Successfully Subscribed!