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Participants in the first Colorado (L-R):
Sherm Cooper, Dick Singer, Lon Bromley, Wally Dallenbach, Art Lamey, Del Garner, Al Unser, Ed Kretz, Bobby Unser

Wally Dallenbach planted seeds for the Colorado 500 in the fall of 1975, when he and Sherm Cooper enjoyed several days of traveling the Rocky Mountain trails and visiting mining ghost towns in the state. They invited seven friends to join them the following year to ride same backcountry trails. That group of nine, which included auto-racing luminaries Al and Bobby Unser, composed the field of the first Colorado 500 Dirt Bike Ride. Wally and his wife Peppy dedicated themselves to hosting the annual event, and as the guest list grew so did interest in a street bike ride which formulated in 1987 called the Colorado 500 Charity Invitational Road Ride held in June which has grown in the same stages. As of 2018 the Road Ride merged together with the August event creating a ride for lovers of dirt, road and adventure bikes.


Wally never dreamed over the years just how many people the Colorado 500 would touch, and the impressive rider list continues to grow now over 3,000. In 1981 a Charity Fund was established to give something back to the small town communities the ride impacts. He intended for these rides to be a challenge to participants and also an opportunity to raise awareness and support for trails preservation, to support area youth, and fund other important community organizations. He succeeded mightily! Today Colorado 500 is known as the most premier and longest running motorcycle charity invitational event in the nation. 

The Colorado 500 Charity Invitational Ride celebrates it's 47th Annual 2023, and the Board of Directors is committed to continue the annual event into the future. A lot has changed since 1975, but Wally and the Colorado 500 have changed with the times and the riders are true “trail ambassadors.”

Rich in camaraderie, friendships and families, the incredible history, touring/discovering the finest roads and trails in CO, giving charitable kindness back and knowing we are making a difference in so many peoples lives... all of these things are what make the Colorado 500 a great event. 





Join hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts from across the US (and beyond), dedicated to helping schools, youth organizations, humanitarian agencies, trail and forest agency alliances, and more for a five-day tour through beautiful Colorado.

Past attendees include Larry Roeseler, Bobby and Al Unser, Parnelli Jones, Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi, Malcolm Smith, Kurt Russell, Kenny Roberts, Franklin Graham, Pierre Karsmakers, Bubba Shobert, Cameron Steele, Ricky Brabec, and Sara Price, and we've had many participants from around the globe. Factory support provided by Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., KLIM, Kawasaki, KTM, Yamaha, and Honda.

In order to continue donating to worthy causes, we need your help. Some of our funds come from the generous donors throughout the local communities. Donations, ranging from cash, prizes, auction items, food, drinks, and volunteer time are the support that we need each year. These items are what help drive the success of the Colorado 500!

Gold, Silver and Bronze Sponsorships:

Please contact us to learn more about becoming a named sponsor and the benefits and recognition you could receive. 

Colorado 500 Charities Fund Donations: Colorado 500 Charities Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donations to the Charity, Scholarship, Ministry, and Trail Funds are tax-deductible.

Event, Food & Beverage and Other Sponsorships:

While these donations are not tax-deductible, they are vital to our mission. Sponsors will receive advertising and listing on media outlets. We look for everything from food, all types of beverages, energy bars, and other items. We also need goody bags, gear, prizes, silent and live auction items. If you have any questions please reach out. We are thankful for all items donated. 


Since 1981, over 178 organizations and individuals have benefited from Colorado 500 support.  Listed are a few most recent beneficiary's: Basalt High School Project Graduation, and all 3 Basalt Public Schools, Grace Church Basalt, Stepping Stones for Patrick's Place, Roaring Fork Conservancy, Basalt Booster Club's baseball field, Crested Butte Community Schools, Crested Butte Search & Rescue, Ouray Ambulance, Ouray Community Schools, Ouray Mountain Rescue, Hinsdale County EMS, Haven House Montrose, Dolphin House Ouray, Hilltop Community Resources, Lake City Medical Center, Lake City School K-12, Gunnison 4H Club, Silverton Public Schools, Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA), Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), Colorado Backcountry Trail Riders Alliance (CBTRA), Gunnison Valley O.H.V. Alliance of Trailriders (The GOATs) San Juan Trail Riders, Western Colorado Riders & Enthusiasts Public Group (Westcore) Fragile Kids Foundation, Samaritans Purse, Colin Collins Memorial Award to Disabled Veterans, Colorado 500 Ministries, and 10 college scholarship grants.


A total of 2,987,636.00 dollars has been distributed from 1981-2022.  Broken down:

$903,218.00 to Schools, to Local Search & Rescue, Emergency Service Organizations, and many other worthy organizations and individuals throughout Western Colorado. 

$882,527.00 College Scholarship Grants.

$60,000.00 Disabled Veterans Sports Program

$418,312.00 United States Forest Service Grants.

$253,850. 00 Former Legal Defense Fund (currently Trails Preservation Alliance).

$88,729.00 Trail Cubs and Trail Support Organizations.

$381,002.00 Ministries, Missions, Churches, Chaplains.


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