Cycling: Two Wheel Wonders

Salida was already known as a cyclist’s paradise before mountain bikes hit the scene. The long, lonely, wandering blacktops that weave their way through the surrounding valleys and mountains make for some of the most beautiful and challenging road biking in the country. Throw the thousands of miles of dirt roads, doubletrack, and mountainous singletrack into the mix, and it’s easy to see why Salida has become a bucket list destination for roadies and trailhounds alike. Feel like rubbing cassettes with some other riders while you spin the grinders and bomb the downhills? Here’s a list of road races, enduros, cyclocross, and trail races for bikers of all shapes and sizes!

Salida Bike Fest – This annual bike festival held annually in September in Salida includes the Chainless Bike Race, the Banana Belt Mountain Bike Race, and the Monarch Crest Crank road race, among others. Experience great racing, and even better times, over the course of this three day fall fest.

Salida Classic Time Trial, Criterium, and Road Race – Now in its 13th year, this is a three-day winner-take-all celebration of road racing in, around, and through Salida, Colorado.

Vapor Trail 125 – This invitation only, 24 hour enduro mountain biking race starts at 10 p.m. and finishes the following day, having covered 125 miles, over 17,000 feet of elevation gain, and is known as one of the most brutal, demanding, and rewarding mountain bike races in the country. Participants bike, walk, and carry (yes, carry) their bikes across some of the most challenging and beautiful country in Colorful Colorado.

FIBArk Mountain Bike Races – Yes, it’s a whitewater festival. But it has mountain bike races too.

The Whole Enchilada Enduro – A tiered mountain biking race out of Salida, the Whole Enchilada Enduro features races ranging from 13.5 to 37 depending on your personal penchant for pain and levels of biking experience.

Land Races: Keep Your Feet on the Ground!

If you prefer pounding the pavement to paddling the surf, Salida has more than its fair share of race options for you as well. There are over 300 identified hiking trails, run courses, bike paths, and roads in the immediate vicinity of Salida, and thousands more miles of trails to explore in the surrounding Sangre De Cristo mountain range and the San Luis Valley. You could run your entire life and not run the same route twice. But what if you’re looking for more than rock-hopping and frolicking through the forest? Here’s a list of road races, trail races, and ultras that are within a stone’s throw of Salida, CO.

FIBark 5K & 10K Road Races, and 10K Trail Race – A great way to kick off a day of whitewater hijinks!

Run Through Time Marathon, ½ Marathon, and 2 Mile Fun Run – 26.2 miles, 11.7 on singletrack mountain trails, 4,750 feet of climbing, and 450 runners. May the best runner win!

Two Turkey Relay – Find a friend and run back to back legs on this 2 mile course through downtown Salida.

Sleeping Indian Hill Climb and 28K – the Sleeping Indian takes place during the annual 14er fest held every September in neighboring Buena Vista. The hill climb is an intense 5.8 mile “sprint” on local trails, while the 28k is a challenging ½ marathon through the surrounding mountains.

Collegiate Peaks Trail Run – Collegiate Peaks Trail Run starts out of Buena Vista, CO and includes grueling 25 and 50 mile runs through some of Colorado’s most pristine mountain landscapes.

National High School Trail Running Championships – a 6 mile trail race out of Salina that is open to all comers entering grades 8-12 in the next calendar year.

High Lonesome 100 – If you’re a glutton for punishment, the High Lonesome 100 is a 100 mile trail race through the beautiful Sawatch Mountains. Topping out at 13,150 feet of elevation, and with more than 24,500 feet of vertical climbing, this epic ultramarathon trail race draws elite runners from across the nation and the globe.

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