The inaugural race in 2015 was the brain-child of Sydney Schalit and Brink Messick of Salida.  They stitched together the miles of mobius singletrack at Penitnete Canyon near Del Norte, CO to create a 17-mile course which captures the best sections of trail this network has to offer.  Intermediate riders will be delightfully challenged, advanced riders will be completely entertained.  How hard can you push for 12 hours?

Fast forward to 2018, the race has evolved to incorporate all racer camping, entertainment, food/drink, etc. in the main Penitente Canyon campground.  It’s a family-friendly, festival-type atmosphere all day long while racers are racking up miles on the course.  Pack up the tent/van/camper for a fun-filled fall weekend in Southern Colorado.  Proceeds from the event benefit local youth cycling (like the RGC Rattlers high school MTB team) and outdoor recreation initiatives in the San Luis Valley.

Have Questions? Want to Volunteer? Want to Sponsor? Email the Race Director at 12HoursofPenitence@gmail.com for all your answers.



Jerry Duran has been a core advocate of cycling in the San Luis Valley for 30+ years.  His success as race director of Riders Del Norte in the ’90’s and early 2000’s laid the foundation for mountain biking trails and advocacy around Del Norte, CO.  Currently Jerry is the Head Coach for Adams State University’s collegiate road and mountain cycling teams.  We are excited to have him on board as the 2018 race director!



Friday: Racer arrival, registration, test rides, and campsite designation

  • Packet Pick-Up & Camping Registration/Check-in
  • 8PM: Pre-Race meeting with all Racers (meet at the main stage)

Saturday: (RACE DAY! Final registration & results/awards)

  • 5AM-6AM: Late Registration
  • Up to 6:45AM – Pit setup*
  • 6:45AM: Racers start lineup at entrance to Penitente near CR38A
  • 7AM: Race START
  • 5:30PM:Final lap cutoff (No Exceptions!)
  • 7PM: Race END
  • 8:30PM: Results/Awards

Sunday: Course and campground cleanup (8am-2pm)

*Any vehicles that will not be parked in the canyon ALL day must be out of the canyon (i.e. past the cattle guard) by 8AM on Race Day!!.  After that, the canyon is bike traffic only.


  • Racers shall complete the entire race on the same bicycle upon which the race was begun.
  • Be kind to everyone. Nobody likes “that guy”. Don’t be that guy.
  • If somebody is hurt on course and you find them, it is YOUR responsibility to find a course marshal and let them know. We have an advanced medical team with helicopter and ambulance support if needed, but we need to know of the injury before help can be summoned.
  • Only registered racers may compete in an event. Each racer must display an official race number plate.
  • All competitors must wear a properly secured helmet, complying to DOT or CPSC Standards at all times during competition.
  • Competitors are responsible for having their bike in good operating condition. The racer or a 3rd party may make repairs during the race.
  • Deviation from the marked course will result in disqualification unless the competitor reenters the course at point of exit.
  • Designated aid stations are available; please try to use them to avoid interference with other racers; there are no restrictions on when or where you eat or drink on the course.
  • Do not litter the course with a gel packet, food wrappers or other waste. Use designated waste receptacles within the campsites. Keep our trails beautiful.
  • A competitor on their bike has the right-of-way over one pushing their bike.
  • It is the responsibility of an overtaking rider (or passer) to pass safely. No racer is expected to stop their race to allow other racers to pass. However, no rider shall intentionally impede the progress of another. A rider should make his/her presence known when overtaking a slower rider (i.e. “On your left. Please!” – remember rule #1).
  • The race director, in case of severe injury to a rider, threatening weather or emergency issue, may stop the race.
  • Racers must heed the instruction of medical personal and/or course marshals attending to an injured rider or in the case of extreme weather.
  • Protests must be reported to or filed with timing official within 30 minutes of your race completion. All results become final as of the presentation of awards.
  • Racers must notify the timing crew when deciding to end their race.  No racer may begin a final lap after 5:30pm – no exceptions!
  • Final interpretation of the rules is up to the race director. These individuals have control over all competitors, scorers, and officials at their event and their decision on these rules, and any situations not specifically covered by these rules is final.



From Monte Vista, travel north on US-285. Continue for about six miles and turn left onto G Road. At the fork in the road after the La Garita Trading Post, bear left onto County Road 38A. Continue for about 0.5 miles and follow the signs to the turnoff for Penitente Canyon Recreation Area.

From Salida, travel south on US-285. Continue for 57 miles turn right onto County Road G, (La Garita Trading Post is on County Road G and is <1 miles before Penitente Canyon entrance). Continue for 5.5 miles on G, stay left at the fork in the road, Penitente Canyon Recreation Area is on the right.

Our friend Ryan Michelle {instagram: @ryoutside} took this sweet shot of her pal killing it on Rock Drops at Penitente Canyon.

Sam Scavo (12HOP Team Member) killing it on Rock Drops at Penitente Canyon.

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