When: The race is June 9–15. Registration opens February 5 and closes on the 24th. (Too late? See “Tour Mania" for more tour options.)
How many: Two thousand participants are decided by lottery March 2.
How much: $400, which includes transportation of one bag during the tour, shuttle services during the ride, aid station support, bike techs, sag vehicles, and camping spots.
Extras: Charter transport to and from Denver International Airport is available. Accommodation in hotels or local homestays along the route costs extra (prices vary), but it’s worth it for the hassles you’ll save.
If you aren’t prepared, getting your bike to the start line can be tougher than riding the tour. The smart option is to box your frame (bike shops often have leftover cardboard boxes) and ship it with FedEx ground, which is usually cheaper than airline fees, and you’ll be able to insure it. Still insist on flying with it? Check airlines’ policies carefully before buying your tickets: Frontier doesn’t add a surcharge for bikes, while United and Delta tack on oversize fees ($100 and $150, respectively). Also, avoid hard-sided cases, which typically put you over the standard 50-pound weight limit (often $100 or more). Instead, invest in an Aerus Biospeed travel case ($375), which will pay for itself in no time.