Thursday, September 10, 2015
Due to the lack of pre-registered riders, the Telluride 200 Double Century bike ride has been canceled on 9/26/15. Our apologies for those riders who were planning on using this non-RMCC event for Colorado Triple Crown credit. The event organizers are hoping to bring back the 200 mile event in 2016. Sorry for the inconvenience!
Sunday, September 6, 2015
|Spectacular views from Independence Pass, one of Colorado's best high alpine climbs!|
For 2015, Denver-to-Aspen participants made the single-day pilgrimage to Aspen along a new course which presented many of the same challenges of the original Joe Lookingbill course, including stunning mountain scenery and LOTS of climbing! Starting with the difficult climb up Lookout Mountain to the west of Golden, the new route the traverses the lightly traveled frontage roads along the I-70 corridor, rather than the highly trafficked US-285. The new course features 16,000+ feet of climbing in 181 miles, including three challenging high-altitude climbs: Loveland Pass, Fremont Pass, and (like the original Joe Lookingbill course) ending with a climb (and exhilarating descent) of the stunning Independence Pass. As one nine-time Denver-to-Aspen veteran noted after the ride, "it's what Denver-to-Aspen was meant to be!" Congratulations to all of this year's participants who tackled this new, intimidating Denver-to-Aspen course!
|Billy Edwards leads the charge up Lookout Mountain en route to Aspen. Photo by S. Legagnoux.|
2015 Denver-to-Aspen Event Summary:
- 181 miles, 16,000+ feet of climbing
- 5 categorized climbs:
- Lookout Mountain: Cat 2 (Golden to I-70 entrance)
- Loveland Pass (elev. 11,990 ft): HC (from Georgetown)
- Swan Mountain Road: Cat 4
- Fremont Pass (elev. 11,318 ft): Cat 1 (from Copper Mountain)
- Independence Pass (elev. 12,095 ft): HC (from Twin Lakes)
- 2 crossings of the Continental Divide: Loveland Pass and Independence Pass
- 20 pre-registered riders
- 18 ride starters, 1 early withdrawal, 1 late withdrawal. Of the riders who started, 17 were men, 1 (brave-hearted) woman (You go, Diane!)
- 14 official finishers (78% finishing rate), successfully completing this epic course in under 16 hours, 15 minutes (>11.1 m.p.h.).
- The trio of Mark Lowe, Stephen Strayer, and Walter Zitz recorded the fastest finishing time of the day, completing the new Denver-to-Aspen course in a total elapsed time of 11 hrs, 3 min (17.1 mph).
- Congratulations to Diane Benoit of Morrison, our lone female finisher. Diane finished this year's Denver-to-Aspen with a time of 13 hrs, 46 min (13.1 mph).
|Mark Lowe, Stephen Strayer, and Walter Zitz pull into the checkpoint on top of Fremont Pass. |
Photo by S. Legagnoux.
Special thanks to the following individuals from giving out their valuable time to support this year's Denver-to-Aspen. We simply cannot run these events in their current format without their help! Thanks so much to each of you!
- Corinne Warren
- Amanda Strayer
- Also providing support on the course:
- Rick Melick
- Scott Grow
- Special thanks to Susanne Legagnoux, who provided some wonderful action-packed photos for our blog!
|Strayer, Stephen||37||Noblesville, IN||11:03|
|Zitz, Walter||29||Englewood, CO||11:03|
|Lowe, Mark||41||Arvada, CO||11:03|
|Edwards, Billy||37||Boulder, CO||11:20|
|Horwood, Josh||35||Loveland, CO||12:04|
|Franz, Ryan||37||Boulder, CO||12:14|
|Rudolph, Steve||55||Westminster, CO||12:19|
|Rondon, Janz||36||Denver, CO||12:29|
|Kaminski, Jason||45||Longmont, CO||12:49|
|Miller, Tom||45||Denver, CO||12:59|
|Johnson, Kieran||37||Denver, CO||13:37|
|Sendor, Jon||58||Denver, CO||13:37|
|Benoit, Diane||57||Morrison, CO||13:46|
|Legagnoux, Thierry||44||Ableiges, FR||13:46|
|Baker, Chris||44||Firestone, CO||DNF|
|Rosenthal, Harris*||53||Denver, CO||DNF|
|Nelson, David||60||Greenwood Village, CO||DNF|
|Shannon, Kelly||54||Denver, CO||DNF|
*Wishing you a speedy recovery, Harris! I hope to see you back out on the road soon!
By completing the challenging, new Denver-to-Aspen course, the following riders have successfully completed the 2015 Colorado Triple Crown:
- Diane Benoit (4th Triple Crown)
- Ryan Franz (3rd Triple Crown)
|Jon Sendor and Kieran Johnson crest the spectacular Loveland Pass. Photo by S. Legagnoux.|
|Jason Kaminski is feeling a little shy on oxygen on top of Loveland Pass! Photo by S. Legagnoux.|
|Feeling the lack of oxygen, Thierry Legagnoux summits Loveland Pass en route to Aspen. Photo by S. Legagnoux.|
|Janz Rondon summits Loveland Pass on his way toward completing Denver-to-Aspen and his first Colorado Triple Crown event. Photo by S. Legagnoux.|
|Mark Lowe, Walter Zitz, and Stephen Strayer arrive at the Woody Creek Tavern, |
relieved to have completed the new Denver-to-Aspen course!
|Flexing some muscle at the end of day, Billy Edwards used Denver-to-Aspen as a warm-up |
for the Ultraman World Championships in November. Great ride, Billy!
|Josh Horwood arrives at the Woody Creek Tavern, relaxed and composed at the end of this year's ride.|
|Ryan Franz stands by his trusty Litespeed steed at the Woody Creek Tavern!|
|Steve Rudolph is exhausted (but still smiling) at the end of Denver-to-Aspen.|
|Janz Rondon rode admirably to complete Denver-to-Aspen and his first Colorado Triple Crown event. Great ride!|
|Jason Kaminski is relieved to be back at the Woody Creek Tavern! Great ride, Jason!|
|Tom Miller finds his climbing form during this year's Denver-to-Aspen.|
|Kieran Johnson is all business at the conclusion of Denver-to-Aspen! Great ride, Kieran!|
|Jon Sendor successfully completes his first Denver-to-Aspen! Great ride, Jon!|
Time to take a breather (to get ready for next season, of course!)
|Thierry Legagnoux (visiting from Ableiges, France!) and Colorado Triple Crown veteran, Diane Benoit, worked together to complete the challenging new Denver-to-Aspen course. Great ride to both of you!|
|Mark Lowe and Thierry Legagnoux at the Woody Creek Tavern. (Rumor has it that Thierry was going to throw in the towel at Twin Lakes, but decided to press on toward Aspen. And he finished in plenty of time! Great ride, Thierry!)|
|Corinne Warren and Amanda Strayer are exhausted after a long day of supporting riders! |
Thanks so much for your help!!!
Thursday, August 6, 2015
|Independence Pass, the final BIG climb of Denver-to-Aspen!|
1) Due to concerns about the safety of the current course, specifically regarding worsening traffic along US-285 (the major east-to-west corridor for the current course), we will NOT be riding the Joe Lookingbill-designed course in 2015. We will instead be using a route that parallels the I-70 corridor, including Lookout Mountain and Loveland Pass to Copper Mountain. From Copper Mountain, the course will venture south along CO-91 over Fremont Pass to Leadville, then along US-24 toward Twin Lakes. The route will then turn west along CO-82 to climb Independence Pass before reaching Aspen and the cycling haven of Woody Creek. We feel this course change is essential to keep the event safe for all participants! Although the new course avoids the highly-trafficked US-285, it does present additional climbing...nearly 2,200 feet, for a grand total of 15,965 feet in 180 miles. But we do feel the new course will be a much safer and a more enjoyable experience for all participants. For a sneak-peak of the new course: 2015 Denver-to-Aspen (prelim. route)
2) This event was originally slated to be run in brevet (i.e., unsupported) format. Several individuals have graciously stepped forward to provide event support for this year's ride. So the 2015 Denver-to-Aspen will be fully supported with RMCC-provided support vehicles. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered!! As with all other Triple Crown events, participants may choose to ride with a personal support vehicle as well.
3) The event will still start at 4:00 am sharp. On August 29, 2015, civil twilight begins at 5:57 am, meaning the first two hours of the ride will be ridden entirely in the dark. Civil twilight ends at 8:04 pm. In traditional Denver-to-Aspen fashion, we do NOT want riders descending Independence Pass in the dark. Participants must finish by the end of civil twilight, 8:04 pm. Riders will therefore have 16 hours, 4 minutes (>11.20 mph) to successfully complete this event and receive Colorado Triple Crown credit. Consider this a "race against the sun!"
Please pay attention to this blog for additional changes. Come out and experience the final Colorado Triple Crown event of 2015!
Sunday, July 26, 2015
|Stunning views of Rocky Mountain National Park from the famed Trail Ridge Road, |
North America's highest paved highway (Photo by Tim Schaefer)
For the first time since the epic Front Range floods of September 2013, members of the RMCC embarked on a single-day pilgrimage of the Colorado Front Range's most classic cycling loop, the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop. The Grand Loop is an epic cycling loop that climbs into the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park over the spectacular Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous highway in North America. The course returns with a stunning ascent (and even more exhilarating descent) of Berthoud Pass to the south of Winter Park as participants make the long journey back to Golden, CO. Breathtaking, rugged high alpine scenery, dense pine forests, and roadsides draped with wildflowers were the norm for the day as participants climbed over 16,000 feet in 200 miles. This year's event, which had 22 riders starters (tying our largest field ever!), featured sunny skies, (very) warm temperatures, and generally light winds...a great day to ride Colorado's grandest loop!
The Grand Loop is ridden in memory of RMCC member, Tim Kalisch (1967 - 2011). For Tim, the Grand Loop was his epic ride...a ride that he looked forward to completing each season! This year, we were honored to have Tim's daughter, Kimberly, at the finish. Kimberly greeted riders in Golden as they completed the Grand Loop, her father's favorite cycling loop and most epic cycling adventure. Kimberly writes:
Dear 2015 Grand Loop Participants,
Thank you all so much for your kind words. But most of all, thank you for keeping my dad's name alive. It means the world to us, as cycling was his world.
Cheers to him,
|A herd of Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park at 12,000 feet|
(Photo by Tim Shaefer)
- 200 miles, 16,000 feet of climbing
- 8 categorized climbs:
- Wyoming Circle Climb (Golden): Cat 4
- 93 Climb (North of Golden): Cat 4
- US-36 (Lyons to Estes Park): Cat 1
- Trail Ridge Road, from Estes Park (elev. 12,183 ft): HC
- Victory Highway Climb (North of Tabernash): Cat 4
- Berthoud Pass, from Fraser (elev. 11,307 ft): Cat 1
- Floyd Hill: Cat 3
- Soda Creek Climb: Cat 4
- 2 crossings of the Continental Divide: Milner Pass (elev. 10,758 ft, RMNP) and Berthoud Pass (elev. 11,307 ft)
- The courses traverses Rocky Mountain National Park via the spectacular Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in North America
- 23 pre-registered riders
- 22 ride starters, 1 early withdrawal. Of the riders who started, 21 were men, 1 (brave-hearted) woman.
- 21 official finishers (95% finishing rate), successfully completing this epic course in under 18 hours (>11.1 m.p.h.).
- Mark Lowe recorded the fastest finishing time of the day, completing the Grand Loop in 11 hrs, 31 min (17.4 mph). Billy Edwards holds the course record, 11 hrs, 4 min (2013).
- Congratulations to Diane Benoit of Morrison, our lone female finisher. Diane finished this year's Grand Loop with a time of 15 hrs, 37 min (12.8 mph).
|Views of RMNP from the valley before the start of the climb up Trail Ridge Road|
(Photo by Tim Schaefer)
Special thanks to this year's volunteers. We simply cannot run these events in this current timed format without their assistance! Thanks again to each of you for your valuable time and efforts!
- Charlie Henderson and Corinne Warren: Charlie and Corinne drove our lone support vehicle, providing front-end support in Lyons, Estes Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Beth Long and Brent Myers. Beth and Brent ran a fantastic aid stations in Granby and on top of Berthoud Pass, respectively.
- Jim Kraychy. Jim helped record finishing times in Golden and was our official club liason with guest of honor, Kimberly Kalisch.
|Trail Ridge Road climbs into the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park|
(Photo by Tim Schaefer)
By completing the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop, the following riders have successfully completed the 2015 Colorado Triple Crown. Congratulations to each of you!
- Chris Baker (1st Triple Crown)
- Graham Barnes (1st Triple Crown)
- Josh Horwood (2nd Triple Crown)
- Harris Rosenthal (1st Triple Crown)
- Tim Schaefer (1st Triple Crown)
- Steve Schroer (3rd Triple Crown)
- Vernon Smith (1st Triple Crown)
- Colin Stokes (1st Triple Crown)
|Guest of honor, Kimberly Kalisch and significant other, greet Grand Loop finishers at Golden High School|
|Mark Lowe at the conclusion of the Grand Loop. This was Mark's sixth Grand Loop|
|Eric Nelsen had a strong day on the bike to complete his fourth Grand Loop! Congratulations, Eric!|
|Looking fresh at the finish, Colorado Triple Crown veterans, Steve Rudolph and Ryan Franz, are ready for a second lap!|
|With his nutrition dialed in, Josh Horwood completes his first Colorado Triple Crown series since 2012.|
|Tim Schaefer survives the Grand Loop to complete his first Colorado Triple Crown series. |
|In spite of a frustrating day of flats, Walter Zitz keeps a bright attitude and smile on his face. |
(I've been there myself, Walter. On to the next one...)
|Harris Rosenthal is exhausted at the finish, but is glad to have completed his first Colorado Triple Crown series!|
Great series, Harris!
|Stephen Strayer is relieved to have survived his first Grand Loop after spending a week at sea level |
in his home state of Indiana. Great ride, Stephen!
|Steve Schroer completes the 2015 Grand Loop and his third Colorado Triple Crown series! Great ride, Steve!|
|Chris Baker takes a breather in the grass at Golden High School after completing his first Grand Loop! |
Excellent ride, Chris!
|Vernon Smith felt like he struggled a bit on the bike, but still had a stellar Grand Loop!|
Congratulations on completing your first Triple Crown series, Vernon!
|Colin Stokes and Michael Henderson at the finish. Colin, from Mission Viejo, CA, becomes the fifth rider from out-of-state to complete the Colorado Triple Crown series! Great ride to the both of you!|
|Keith Jensen used some creative navigating to find his way back to Golden. |
(I am relieved that you made it back safely!)
|Jeffrey Hulett and Kale Olson survive a frustrating day of flats to successfully complete the Grand Loop! |
Great ride to the both of you!
|John Flanigan successfully completes his first Grand Loop and Colorado Triple Crown event! Great ride, John!|
|David Nelson is exhausted, but relieved to have survived his first Grand Loop! Great ride, David!|
|Colorado Triple Crown veteran, Diane Benoit, survives another Grand Loop and remains in good spirits |
at the end of the ride. Congratulations, Diane!
|Graham Barnes completes his first Grand Loop and Colorado Triple Crown series on a modified mountain bike! Congratulations, Graham!|
|Mike Turek sticks to the moto that it's better to be the "Lanterne Rouge" than the "Lanterne DNF!" Great ride, Mike!|
|Brent Myers and Beth Long provided support for this year's Grand Loop participants in Granby and on top of Berthoud Pass. Thanks again for your help!!!|
|Jim Kraychy and Charlie Henderson at the conclusion of the Grand Loop in Golden|