The 31st Ride the Rockies long-distance bike race begins Saturday, June 11. The six-day race covers 399 miles and 29,311 feet of elevation gain.Riders will ascend Independence, Tennessee, Fremont, Vail and Ute passes and will cut through the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park. Host communities include bike-crazy Carbondale and Aspen, plus Copper Mountain, Grand Lake, Estes Park and Fort Collins. The route begins on June 11 from Carbondale to Aspen, and will follow the Rio Grande Trail all the way into town. From Aspen cyclists will continue on to Copper Mountain, Estes Park, Grand Lake and finish in Fort Collins. Created by the Denver Post in 1986, Ride the Rockies has become so popular that a lottery system was created in 1989 so participants could be limited to 2,000. This is the first year since 2009 that Aspen is one of the host cities, and we're looking forward to greeting everyone involved.