Thursday, April 21, 2016

RMCC Foothills Climbfest Update

Update 4/28/16

Due to the inclement weather forecast for Saturday, May 30, 2016, we are canceling this year's Foothills Climbfest. Mother Nature is having here way for the second straight year! It is possible we will attempt to reschedule the event for later in the summer, so please pay attention to this blog, the RMCC Meet Up site, and the RMCC main page in the weeks ahead! 

1) The RMCC Foothills Climbfest is coming up on Saturday, April 30, 2016. Keep your fingers crossed that this year's weather is better than last year's weather! 
2) To pre-register for this ride, simply acknowledge that you're going to attend the Climbfest Meet up.
3) Please remember: RMCC membership is required to participate in this club event.  This is for insurance purposes. Only riders who have active RMCC memberships will have access to the RMCC-provided water support on the course. And only RMCC members will have their times recorded. RMCC membership is cheap: $25/year! To activate your membership:
4) Here is the official route on
5) As in previous years, this year's ride will be run in pseudo-brevet format. Participants will carry event passports (available at the start of the ride) with them and these will be initialed and timed by a RMCC volunteer at check points along the course and at the finish. Participants will need to turn these passports in at the end of the ride to receive an official finishing time. 
Stay tuned for additional details. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 AntiEpic Day: Event Recap

In spite of the recent heavy snowfall, AntiEpic riders experienced a nearly perfect early April day with bright blue skies, generally light winds, and easy-to-ride packed dirt and gravel roads.

The RMCC took the reigns of the 2016 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, an event founded by founder, Ben Welnak, in 2012. Two courses were offered to this year's participants: an epic 176-mile long course with 10,000+ feet of climbing and a mini-antiepic 76-mile course with 5,800+ feet of climbing. Both courses start and end in Monument, CO (elevation 7,000 feet), traveling north through the Greenland Open Space and returning along the northern perimeter of the Black Forest. During the return route to Monument, participants are tested by a constant barrage of steep rollers. The long-course riders have the added bonus of riding 100 extra miles on the peaceful ranching roads to the northeast of the Greenland Open Space to Deer Trail before making the long journey back to Monument. In spite of its name, the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder is never short on beautiful Colorado scenery, including tranquil prairie vistas, picturesque mesas, and tantalizing dirt roads that disappear over every horizon. Throughout the day, participants also have striking views of the snow-capped Pikes Peak to the southwest. This year's event had 13 brave-hearted long course riders and 21 mini-AntiEpic riders. Congratulations to all of this year's participants! 

God made dirt. Dirt don't hurt...well, maybe a little bit! 
2016 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder event summary:


  • Long course: 176 miles, 10,000+ feet of climbing. Because of the recent heavy snowfall, this year's long course used the alternate course, which has an eight-mile detour around the dreaded (muddy) B-road, Co Rd 98. Time limit: 16 hours
  • Short course: 76 miles, 5,800 feet of climbing. Time limit: 9 hours


Short Course
  • 21 preregistered riders, 6 non-preregistered rides (C'mon, guys! You're killing me!)
  • 21 ride starters, 1 DNF, 1 DNS,  Of the riders who started,  14 were men, 7 women (You go, girls!)
  • 20 official finishers (95% finishing rate) successfully completed this mini-AntiEpic course in < 9 hours  (>8.4 m.p.h.) 
  • Congratulations to Kevin Masten, who posted are speediest men's time of the day: 5 hours, 3 min (15 mph...that's pretty damn quick on this course!) 
  • Congratulations to Jane Fredman, who posted the fastest woman's time of the day: 6 hours, 14 min (12.2 mph)
Long Course
  • 21 preregistered riders 
  • 13 ride starters, 7 finishers (54% finishing rate) successfully completed the AntiEpic long-course in < 16 hours (>11 m.p.h), 6 DNF, 2 DNS, 6 no-shows
  • Paul Galliart and Trent Hovenga completed the epic AntiEpic course with the day's fastest time: (Trent insisted that Paul was actually the fastest rider of the day!) Congratulations to both of you! 
  • Kami White, riding tandem with her husband, Andy, was our lone female long-course rider! (Great ride, Kami!)
Complete results are posted on the Triple Crown Blog and will be posted RMCC website soon! 

Special thanks to this year's volunteers! We can't run these events in their current timed format without your help!

  • Corinne Warren: provided water support for both courses and fortified riders with home-made cookies and muffins and helped record finishing times for long-course riders. She also helped with emergency SAG support at the end of the day.
  • Mark Warren: recorded finishing times for short-course riders
  • Mark Lowe: official ride starter and time recorder for long-course riders. 

Photo gallery: (If participants have other photos, please forward them to me and I can post them!)

Poised to start epic AntiEpic day, long-course riders face chilly 34 degree temperatures at the crack of dawn.
Short-course riders are prepared to start their mini-AntEpic ride! 
Girls on dirt: Laura Costantini, Annie Fox, Mindi Hoffmaster, and Kimberly Nuffer use the AntiEpic short course to prepare the Dirty Kanza 200 in early June. 
Heath Holmes and Timo Haugen savor a picturesque April day!
Long-course podium: Trent Hovenga, Paul Galliart, and Blair Kin. Great rides, guys! 
Tom Miller is all smiles (well, sorta) at the conclusion of his AntiEpic day!
Harvey Kramer completes his first AntiEpic Gravel Grinder. Great ride, Harvey!
Corinne Warren provided water (and cookie and muffin) support for this year's event.
Thanks for your long day of help, Corinne! 
The Pikes Peak Brewery: a welcome sight for thirsty riders with weary legs! 
The sun sets in Monument on an epic AntiEpic day! 
Tantalizing dirt roads (Photo: Timo Haugen)
Scouting out the short course, Mark Lowe sneaks up behind Timo Haugen

Sunday, March 27, 2016

2016 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Update

In spite of last week's snowfall, we're still planning to proceed with the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder on Saturday, April 2, 2016. There is another potential for light snowfall this week prior to the event. But we're keeping our fingers crossed that Old Man Winter won't throw a monkey wrench into our plans! Obviously, if this week's snow showers turn into a major snow event, we may be forced to "pull the plug" on this year's ride. So please pay attention to this blog for last minute details!

Here are a few updates for next weekend's ride:

1) Because of last week's snow, the long course will be using the alternate route, bypassing the dreaded B-road. Please note that the alternate route adds an additional 6+ miles to the course, but will hopefully make the AntiEpic experience more enjoyable for this year's participants! All participants should be prepared for the fact that the course will likely be wet and may have a few hike-a-bike sections to avoid snow drifts along the course.

Here's the link for the alternate route:

2) We will have water support on the course!
  • For long course riders, water support will be located where the long course intersects CO Hwy 86 at mile 44 AND mile 117. If long course riders require additional support, they can either 1) ride into Deer Trail along Woodis Rd and self-support at one of two convenience stores in Deer Trail (Deer Trail 66 or Awful A's Auto...both near the intersection of 7th Ave and Cedar St) OR 2) cache additional water and supplies along the course. Personal support is NOT allowed for this ride! 
  • For short course riders, water support will be located at mile 33 at the intersection of Maul Rd and County Rd 102. 
3) Temperatures will be cool but rideable. Temperatures at the start will be below freezing for long course riders, but high temperatures will reach the 50s. Please plan ahead and bring your cool weather riding gear! 

4) The official cue sheets for both courses will be mailed out later this week (hopefully by Thursday, March 31) to all riders who are officially registered. 

5) Registration: Several riders have attempted to sign up for this event on the RMCC Meet-up site without actually using the Eventzilla link. Please use the Eventzilla link when you register or you will not receive an official copy of the cue sheet when I mail these out later this week! Because we are limiting this event to pre-registered riders, official cue sheets will not be available at the start of the ride. To access this link: AntiEpic Registration

6) RMCC Membership: There are several riders who are signed up for Saturday's ride who don't have active RMCC memberships. Please remember that you must have an active RMCC membership to participate. I hate to be a stickler about this, but this is for insurance purposes and this was the only way the Colorado State Patrol would allow us to proceed with the event without going through formal permitting! Riders who choose to ride without having an active RMCC membership will not have access to our water support, will not have their times recorded, and are not officially part of this event. If you have registered for the RMCC in the past 2 weeks or plan to sign up this week, please forward me your receipt for RMCC Membership so I can make you official! The roster on the right side bar of this blog is updated so you can check to see if your name is on the roster. 

Please let me know if you have other questions!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Colorado Triple Crown Registration Update

Update: Colorado Triple Crown registration is now open! 

I'm running a bit behind with the official links for registration for the Colorado Triple Crown events. I am hoping to have the links open by Friday, March 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm. For this season, we will be using Eventzilla to manage our registrations. This should simplify the registration process. Registration fees will still be managed and payed through Paypal. Registration fees will be similar to last season ($41 to $51/event), just a tad bit higher to cover the fees charged by Eventzilla and Paypal. For riders who choose to withdraw from an event (>/= 2 weeks prior to the date of the event), they can expect a refund, but there will be a $3 cost recovery fee to cover fees charged by Paypal. Sorry about the inconvenience!


Friday, February 5, 2016

New Challenge Series Event: 2016 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder

RMCC will makes its last-minute foray into the gravel scene in 2016 with the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, carrying on a tradition started by gravel aficionado, Ben Welnak. (Photo: Ben Welnak)

Since 2006, the year of the inaugural Dirty Kanza 200, the popularity of "gravel grinders" has exploded in the U.S. and is the now the most rapidly growing genre in cycling. The inaugural Dirty Kanza 200 in Emporia, Kansas had only 34 participants. Fast-forward 10 years and the DK200 now attracts over 1,600 participants from all over the U.S.! In addition to Dirty Kanza, dozens of endurance gravel events have popped up throughout the country over the past decade, including the Almanzo 100, Trans Iowa, Odin's Revenge, Crushar in the Tushar, and Gravel Worlds, just to name a few. It's clear that endurance gravel riding is here to stay!

A rider travels one of many sections of washboard during the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder (Photo: Ben Welnap)
The AntiEpic Gravel Grinder was created by gravel aficionado and founder, Ben Welnak, in 2012. This event rapidly gained popularity in Colorado as many Front Range riders used it as preparation for the DK200, which is still considered the "grand daddy" of endurance gravel events. The AntiEpic gravel grinder explores some of the rural dirt and gravel roads to the east of Monument and Castle Rock. Not surprisingly, these serene prairie roads are some of Colorado's lesser traveled thoroughfares. The AntiEpic is not classic, "epic" Colorado riding.....hence the name! There are no epic high altitude climbs or jaw-dropping alpine vistas, which is what Colorado is best known for. In spite of this fact, the AntiEpic course is never short on beautiful, panoramic views of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains to the west. And the AntiEpic course instills participants with a different appreciation for the beauty of riding in rural eastern Colorado.

Unfortunately (for us), life's opportunities forced Ben to relocate to North Dakota early in 2015, forcing him to leave behind the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, which is perhaps Colorado's most challenging endurance gravel cycling event and its best preparatory ride for the Dirty Kanza 200. For 2016, Ben has given the RMCC permission to carry on the tradition of the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder in its previous timed, semi-competitive format. So please join us as we embark on our first foray into the endurance gravel scene!

Gravel roads with open vistas certainly have an anti-epic nature to them! (Photo: Ben Welnap)

Like other RMCC Challenge Series events, the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder is a grass roots event, organized by members of the RMCC who are passionate about cycling and epic cycling adventures. These events are created for the purpose of providing life-enriching cycling experiences for our club members.  So come out and challenge yourself! I think you'll find the AntiEpic gravel experience more EPIC than its name could ever imply!

For more information about the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, please check out AntiEpic 160

Chris Case is the managing editor for Velo News. Check out his experience with the 2013 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder: A Case for Suffering: When Epic Isn't Enough

Also, check out Andrew Schuhmann's EPIC experience with the 2014 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder:
Single Track Stories

The dreaded, extremely challenging B-road, Co Rd 98, with areas of snow and mud (Photo: Ben Welnap)

2016 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder

Date: Saturday, April 2, 2016

It's early April, so please expect rain, snow, wind, cold and mud! Please bring the appropriate riding gear, a good attitude, and a smile!

Course: We will offer two courses for 2016:
Course Notes:
  • The AntiEpic Gravel Grinder starts and ends in Monument, Colorado, traveling northeast along undulating country roads through the town of Elbert en route to Deer Trail just off of I-70. The course then makes the challenging return to Monument via a different route, gaining a majority of its 8,400 feet of climbing en route back to Monument.
  • The 2016 Long Course is the same course used during the AntiEpic from 2012 - 2014 and includes the potentially challenging B-road, County Road 98. As past AntiEpic participants know, this 3+ mile B-road has the potential to make the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder truly EPIC in nature.....some would argue perhaps even too EPIC at times! That being said, we have created an alternate route to bypass the B-road if it is covered in 3 feet of snow, so muddy that a tractor cannot pass, or simply not passable. We will make a decision in the week prior to the event if we will use the alternate route. 
  • As in previous years, the course will be unmarked. Riders are responsible for navigating the course using either the official cue sheet (which will be e-mailed to pre-registered riders during the week prior to the event) OR the Garmin file, which can be downloaded from the links above.
Start/End location: Pikes Peak Brewery, 1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument, CO 80132

Start time:
  • AntiEpic Long Course: Sign in: 5:30-6:15 am. Ride starts at 6:30 am
  • AntiEpic Short Course: Sign in: 8:00-8:45 am. Ride starts at 9:00 am
Note: 1) We do our best to start our events on time. Please arrive early to get yourself prepared to ride and please sign in early! Our ride starters may not be able to check you in after the sign-in period closes. 2) Official sunrise on April 2 is 6:41 am and sunset is 7:24 pm. Please plan ahead a bring lights and reflective gear.

This event is a timed, unsupported, single-day tour on dirt and gravel roads. Results will be posted in order of finishing time. Riders must successfully complete the course that they have signed up in the time limit listed below to be listed as an official finisher. Riders who deviate from their selected course will not receive an official finishing time. There are no prizes or awards for top finishers...only the bragging rights and the life-enriching experience of completing an AntiEpic day on the bike! 

Time limit:
  • AntiEpic Long Course: 16 hours
  • AntiEpic Short Course: 9 hours
Registration: To register, click here: AntiEpic Registration

Pre-registration is required to participate in this event. Pre-registration closes on 3/31/16 at 10 pm. This event is FREE to RMCC members. RMCC membership is required to participate. RMCC membership has an affordable $25/year fee and gives members access to other club events, including the challenging Colorado Triple Crown Series and the Colorado Brevet Series. For more information: RMCC membership  

The withdraw, please e-mail Mark Lowe:

Bike selection:
You can ride whatever bike you would like: gravel-specific, mountain, or road. But please choose wisely! The B-road will be extremely difficult to navigate on a road bike!

This event is unsupported. Participants must be self-sufficient when riding this event. There is no SAG support and participants may NOT ride with a personal support vehicle. Riders caught using personal support will be DQ'd. This is part of the epic nature of the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder. It keeps the event in its original format created by and follows the rules of the Colorado Endurance Series. However, riders may cache water and other supplies along the course prior to the start of the ride. If we are able to secure volunteers for the ride, we will provide water support. But as of right now, please plan on riding this event in its traditional format as an unsupported timed ride. 

Event Roster:
Please pay attention to the event roster on the Colorado Triple Crown Blog on the right-hand side bar. Once you see your name on the roster, then you know you are officially registered!

Post-ride festivities:
Please join your friends at the Pikes Peak Brewery for some lunch or dinner after the ride. Riders will be trickling in all afternoon and evening after 1 pm. 

Questions? Please contact event coordinator, Mark Lowe, e-mail:

Riders en route to Deer Trail (Photo: Ben Welnap)
AntiEpic scenery makes for an EPIC day on the bike! (Photo: Ben Welnap)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

What's New for 2016?

1. 2016 Colorado Triple for the climbers! 
Okay...maybe this statement isn't 100% accurate since all of the events of the Colorado Triple Crown have an incredible amount of vertical gain. But the 2016 Colorado Triple Crown does include three of the most challenging double centuries in the world: Cycle to Saturn Double Century, Colorado Classic Double Century, and the Cripple Creek Crippler. And for comparison, the 2016 series has about 7,500 more feet of climbing than the 2015 series. So the 2016 series definitely has the greatest amount of vertical gain to date!

We are taking a one-year hiatus from the Colorado Death Ride and Denver-to-Aspen. The reasons for this are multi-fold, but the primary goal is to keep the series "fresh" for our participants as we continue to infuse the series with EPIC, new events! So please don't fret! The Colorado Death Ride and Denver to Aspen will be back in 2017, along with at least one (if not two!) fresh new rides! Our wonderful state simply has too many spectacular places to explore!

2. Qualification
We will continue to use last season's pre-qualification guidelines, which give more riders from outside the RMCC access to the series.

Participants who have not met the pre-qualification requirements listed below can still register and participate, but they will need to ride with a personal support vehicle until they can demonstrate that they can safely complete at least one of the Triple Crown events within its designated time limit. 

To pre-qualify, prospective participants must complete one of the following events in the previous 24 months:
  1. Any Colorado Triple Crown event
  2. A mountainous double century (or longer) event in another part of the country (time required for verification)
  3. One of the RMCC-sponsored 300 km brevets in less than 14 hours
  4. Successful completion of another extreme endurance event of at least 12 hours duration:
    • Ironman Triathlon < 14 hours (time required for verification)
    • 50+ mile mountainous running ultra-marathon < 12 hours
As in previous seasons, RMCC membership is still be required to participate! 

3. Registration
  1. Fees. Registration fees will remain the same for 2016 ($40-50/event). Please keep in mind that these are cost recovery fees for running these events. These fees barely cover our expenses for supporting these rides. We do not turn a profit for running these events!  
  2. Registration is now open! Click on the links below to register. Once you see your name on the appropriate roster on the right tab of this blog, you'll know that your registration is complete:
    1. Colorado High Country Double Century
    2. Cycle to Saturn Double Century
    3. Colorado Classic Double Century
    4. Crippler Creek Crippler
    5. Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop
  3. Withdrawal. For those individuals who have registered for an event and need to withdraw, they can do so up to 2 weeks prior to the date of the event for a full refund. Within 2 weeks, refunds will not be granted. 
  4. Transfers. Registration fees are NOT be transferrable between events less than 2 weeks prior to the date of the event. So please plan ahead!

4. Volunteers
We are 100% dependent on volunteer support!!! 
For 2016, we are continuing to ask (i.e., beg) for volunteer help!  I'm not going to lie! Volunteering for one of these events is a long day...usually between 12-21 hours! And it usually involves getting up well before the crack of dawn. But volunteering can be quite a bit of fun too! For 2016, we will provide the following incentives to volunteer:
  1. If a rider volunteers for an event, he/she can participate in another Triple Crown event for free.
  2. Riders who volunteer may pre-ride that event up to 3 weeks prior to the event or 1 week after the event to receive official Colorado Triple Crown credit. This is the only situation that we will allow participants to pre-ride and receive credit for completing the event.
  3. Volunteers who provide SAG/driving support for the event will be reimbursed for their mileage  accrued during the event (at the current Federal rate). We will also reimburse for volunteer motels and food/snack purchases accrued during the event. 
  • If we are unable to secure volunteers for an event, the event will still be contested in brevet format (i.e., without support). Please be aware of this! If this situation does occur, participants can expect to receive a partial refund for that event.

5. 2016 Colorado Triple Crown Stage Race
The following Triple Crown events are included in next season's stage race. The rider with the fastest cumulative time for the following three events wins the series:
  1. Colorado High Country Double Century
  2. Cycle to Saturn Double Century
  3. Cripple Creek Crippler

6. Triple Crown Kits

Riders who complete the extremely challenging 2016 Colorado Triple Crown Series are eligible to purchase one of our stealthy Colorado Triple Crown kits. If we have registration funds left over at the end of the season, I will apply these funds toward the purchase of next season's kits.

Happy holidays and bring on 2016! Let the climbing begin!!!

Mark Lowe

Sunday, December 13, 2015

2016 Colorado Triple Crown and Challenge Series Calendar

Okay...anticipation is already building for the 2016 season! Here's the preliminary Colorado Triple Crown and Challenge Series schedule. The 2016 Series is definitely a climber's series, so get ready to climb! 2016 Colorado Triple Crown calendar:

  1. June 11, 2016: Colorado High Country Double Century (Boulder to Steamboat), 207 miles, 12,000 feet. (This is the only point-to-point event on the calendar next year. Please start making arrangements for transportation back to Boulder ASAP!) 
  2. June 25, 2016: Cycle to Saturn Double Century, 200 miles, 20,000 feet, 7 miles of (tricky) dirt/gravel roads
  3. July 9, 2016: Colorado Classic Double Century, 241 miles, 17,000 feet, 41 miles of dirt/gravel roads. (Back-up date: July 10, 2016 if weather conditions are not rideable on July 9)
  4. July 30, 2016: Cripple Creek Crippler, 207 miles, 19,000 feet
  5. August 20, 2016: Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop, 200 miles 15,500 feet
A few notes:
  • These events and dates are subject to change depending on road conditions and construction projects. 
  • We are taking a year off from the Colorado Death Ride and Denver-to-Aspen for 2016. These two events will be back in 2017, along with at least one new event!
  • The information contained on this blog for each event has not been updated yet. I will be updating these over the next few weeks! 
  • We are still uncertain if the Just for Kids Foundation in Telluride will host the Mountains to Desert/Telluride 200 in 2016. Last year's double century event was cancelled due to lack of pre-registered riders. If the Telluride 200 is contested on September 24, 2016, riders hoping to complete the Colorado Triple Crown will receive credit for the event if they successfully complete the ride within the challenging time restriction. 
2016 RMCC Challenge Series Events
These events are timed events, shorter than the Triple Crown rides, but meant to help prepare riders for the rigors of the Colorado Triple Crown.
  1. April 29, 2016: Foothills Climbfest, 80 miles, 8000 feet. We have traditionally contested this timed ride during Memorial Day weekend in May. But in order to avoid conflict with other events on the RMCC calendar, we will likely hold this ride in April this season. 
  2. May 28, 2016: Boulder Fearsome Five, 100 miles, 15,000+ feet of climbing...back for the first time since the epic floods of 2013!
  3. Sept 2016, TBD. Gold Belt Century, Colorado Springs. If you don't have a gravel or cross bike, you will need one for this incredible century! More details to come soon! 
Guanella Pass will be entirely paved from Georgetown to Grant for 2016,  making this year's Cycle to Saturn Double Century perhaps a bit easier?!? Come and find out for yourself!