Thursday, May 11, 2017

2017 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Event Recap

Anti-epic scenery, including endless miles of Easter Colorado prairie and gravel roads, is par for the course during the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder. Photo: Ben Welnak
On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the RMCC continued the tradition of the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, an event founded by founder, Ben Welnak, in 2012. The AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, as the name implies, is not classic, EPIC Colorado riding. There are no grueling high alpine climbs or breathtaking mountain vistas. In spite of its name, the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder is never short on pastoral Eastern Colorado scenery. Rolling grasslands, picturesque mesas, and miles and miles of endless gravel roads are the norm for the day. Throughout the day, participants also have striking views of the snow-capped Pikes Peak to the southwest while riding with a myriad of wildlife, including pronghorn, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, pheasants, skunks, and badgers.

For 2017, the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder became slightly more epic in nature. The course was lengthened from 168 miles to 200 miles, including a new out-and-back spur through the scenic Castlewood Canyon State Park to the east of Castle Rock before rejoining the original course in the Greenland Open Space. By reaching the double century barrier, the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder is included in this year's alluring Colorado Triple Crown, the RMCC's series of timed double century road cycling tours. The AntiEpic Gravel Grinder also becomes the only gravel road double century on the UltraMarathon Cycling Association's (UMCA) UltraCycling Cup and now serves as the perfect "tune-up" (although perhaps even slightly more difficult tune-up given the altitude and miles of sand and washboard) for the Dirty Kanza 200, undoubtedly the world's premier gravel road cycling race.
And off they go like blazing saddles! Intrepid short course riders charge onto the AntiEpic course. Photo: Mark Lowe
Two courses were once again offered to this year's participants: an anti-epic 200-mile long course with 11,000+ feet of climbing and an (extremely popular) mini-anti-epic short course, featuring 76-miles and 5,600+ feet of climbing. Both courses start and end in Woodmoor, CO (elevation 7,240 feet), traveling north through the Greenland Open Space and returning through the scenic northern perimeter of the Black Forest. During the return route to Woodmoor, participants from both events are tested by a constant barrage of steep rollers and demoralizing southwesterly headwinds. 

Mother Nature was about as cooperative as she could be for early May in Eastern Colorado. This year's event had mild temperatures in the low 70s and beautiful, turquoise skies early, which gave way to unexpected thundershowers that developed in the foothills to the west of Monument and Colorado Spring during the afternoon, producing punishing southwesterly headwinds. Long course riders were especially throttled by the gusty winds during their long, already difficult 86-mile mostly uphill (7,000+ feet of elevation gain) return from Deer Trail, the course's easternmost check point. With two events running simultaneously, this was by far our largest Challenge Series event to date!  This year's event had 16 brave-hearted long course starters and 51 short course starters. Congratulations to all of this year's participants! 

After a blazing start, short course riders stop briefly at he first check point along CR 102 and Maul Rd. (Photo: Mark Lowe)
For complete results: 2017 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Results

2017 AntiEpic Gravel Grinder event summary:

  • Long course: 200 miles, 11,000+ feet of climbing. Time limit: 20 hours
  • Short course: 76 miles, 5,600 feet of climbing. Time limit: 9 hours


Short Course:
  • 57 pre-registered riders, 2 riders who registered day of event, 2 long course registrants switched to the short course prior to the start. 
  • 51 ride starters, 50 official finishers (98% finishing rate) successfully completed the course in less than 9 hours (>8.4 m.p.h.), 1 DNF, 4 early withdrawals, 6 DNS. Of the riders who started, 49 men, 2 women.
  • Congratulations to Brad Mosier and Chris Beaudin who finished neck-and-neck, with Brad throwing his bike over the finish line just ahead of Chris in a blazing time of 4 hours, 9 minutes (average speed 18.5 mph). (It was close! I had to review the video finish several times to determine that Brad had finished first). Brad and Chris's finishing time of 4 hours, 9 minutes is a new course record, beating Kevin Masten's previous best time of 5 hours, 3 minutes (2016). 
  • Congratulations to Kimberly Ober, who posted the fastest woman's time of the day: 5 hours, 54 minutes (13.0 mph). Kimberly was paced by her hubby, super-domestique, Keith Ober. Kimberly's time is a new woman's course record, topping Jane Fredman's time of 6 hours, 14 minutes (2016). 
Chris Beaudin and Brad Mosier celebrate at the finish! Congratulations, guys!
Tim Graczyk is satisfied with the third podium spot in the short course division after a blistering ride! Great ride, Tim!
Long course second place finisher, Tim Dodge (a.k.a, Dodger), spent over $250 for these gloves. But as you can clearly see, they are worth every penny!! 
Long Course:
  • 21 pre-registered riders, 2 long course registrants switched to the short course prior to the start. 
  • 16 ride starters, 10 official event finishers (63% finishing rate) successfully completed the AntiEpic long course in less than 20 hours (>10 m.p.h). Please note the long-course time limit was extended from 19 hours to 20 hours based on finishing times of the fastest riders, 6 DNFs, 3 DNS. Of the riders who started, 15 men, 1 brave-hearted woman! There were also 3 volunteer pre-ride finishers. 
  • Caleb Carl posted the speediest time of the inaugural double century event, posting a time elapsed time of 13 hours, 33 minutes (14.8 mph). Congratulations, Caleb! 
  • Alas, there were no female finishers this season.
Special thanks to this year's volunteers for providing support for this season's event. We cannot run these events in their current timed format without volunteer help! Thanks to Nat Schub, Josh Peter, Corinne Warren, Walter Zitz, and Mark Lowe for a long day of supporting riders! 

Caleb Carl speedily survives his first gravel road double century and professes his newfound love of gravel!  Great ride, Caleb!
Dodger spent the day chasing Caleb but is definitely well-prepared for the Dirty Kanza 200. Congrats on completing your first Triple Crown event, Tim! Kick-ass at the DK200! 
Seasoned Triple Crown veteran, Steve Rudolph, made a smooth transition onto grave roads to complete this year's AntiEpic Gravel Grinder. 
After being throttled by headwinds and hampered by a strained back, Triple Crown and DK200 veteran, Tom Miller. is able to muster a smile (for a brief moment) at the conclusion of the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder!

Ryan Franz, with only 300+ miles in his legs for the season, casually busts out a gravel road double century. One word to describe Ryan: Machine! Great ride, Ryan!
Kieran Johnson rolls in just after sunset to complete the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder. Nice ride, Kieran!
Chris Baker is still smiling at the conclusion of the ride after being throttled by headwinds and then being forced to take shelter in a barn during an evening lightning storm. 
Triple Crown newbie, Ricardo Stephen, is exhausted but happy to have survived his first AntiEpic Gravel Grinder and first Colorado Triple Crown event. Congratulations! 
Josh Peter, recovering from the previous weekend's TransIowa race, spends the day chillin' with Walter Zitz  while providing support to this year's long course riders! (Photo: Walter Zitz)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Pre-ride Instructions

1) Pre-registration is closed. For non-RMCC members who are interested in participating Saturday: 1) Please print out a copy of the RMCC membership application: RMCC membership, 2) Bring your $25 yearly membership dues. You cannot participate without an active RMCC membership. 

2) Please e-mail me to let me know that you are going to participate. Please include name, age, address, phone number, emergency contact name and number:

3) Please arrive as early as possible! I will have check-in set up by 6:30 am on Saturday morning. 

Dear AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Participants,

Here are the instructions for next weekend’s BIG ride:

Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017 

Start/End Location: Monument, CO, Pikes Peak Brewery, 1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument, CO 80132

Check in: Check-in will be located on the south side of the parking lot. All riders need to sign in before the start of their ride. Riders who don't sign in won't receive a finishing time. Please check in as early as possible! It is very difficulty to check in many riders in less than 1 hour before the start of the ride.

1)     Long course: Check in 4:15 am – 4:45 am. Ride starts at 5:00 am. We are starting 1 hour earlier to give riders an extra hour of daylight.
2)     Short course: Check in 6:45 am - 7:45 am. Ride starts at 8:00 am.

Time limit:
1)     Long course: 19 hours (avg speed 10.5 mph). Closing time: 12 midnight. Intermediate cut-off: Checkpoint #2, mile 68.8: 6 hours (11 am). Riders arriving at this checkpoint after 11 am will need to turn around and will not receive a finishing time.  If the B-road is 100% not rideable (i.e., hike-a-bike only), I will add 1 additional hour onto the time limit.
2)     Short course: 9 hours (avg speed 8.4 mph). Closing time: 5 pm.

Cue sheets: Official cue sheets for both courses are attached. Please print these out and bring them with you. You may use the Garmin links to upload the Garmin file to your Garmin computer.

RMCC support vehicles. We will have plenty of support on the course. Support vehicles will be stocked with water, Gatorade, and Coke. Each support vehicles will also have a floor pump. The RMCC support vehicles are—first priority—for safety and emergencies. In the case of an emergency, these vehicles may have to leave the course without any warning. Riders must be prepared for this possibility and need to carry the provisions necessary to successfully complete the event.  The support vehicles do not sweep the course. If you need to abandon, please make arrangements for someone to pick you up.
1)     Long course support: Josh Peter, Corinne Warren, and Walter Zitz.
2)     Short course support: Mark Lowe and Nat Schub

Drop bags. Although this is not mandatory, all riders should consider preparing a drop bag to help complete this event. Long course participants can prepare two drop bags for this event. Short course participants can prepare one drop bag for this event. Drop bags should contain food/beverage items, extra clothing/gear, extra tubes/tires (highly recommended!) that you might need to successfully complete the event. Drop bags should be clearly labeled with your name (BIG LETTERS, EASY-TO-READ). Your drop bags will be stored in the support vehicles prior to the start of each ride. Your drop bags will be available at the official checkpoints listed below. All drop bags will be available for participants to pick up at the conclusion of each ride at the Pikes Peak Brewery. If you are unable to pick up your drop bags after the ride, please contact Mark Lowe to make arrangements to pick your bag:

Official checkpoints. Please check in at each checkpoint along the course. Failure to check in may result in disqualification.
1)     Long course:
a.     Checkpoint #1: Castlewood Drive, 27.8 miles, Josh and Walter, drop bag 1
b.     Checkpoint #2: Maul Rd and CO 86, 68.8 miles, Josh and Walter, drop bag 1
c.      Checkpoint #3: Deer Trail, Shell Convenience Store, Cedar St and 5th Ave, 114.3 miles, Corinne, drop bag 2
d.     Checkpoint #4: County Rd 89 and Country Rd 98 (the B-road), 153.1 miles, Josh and Walter, drop bag 1
e.     Checkpoint #5: County Rd 82 and Elbert Rd, 175 miles, Corinne, drop bag 2 (Please note that faster riders may out run Corinne and not have access to their drop bags at this checkpoint.)
f.      Checkpoint #6: Monument, Pikes Peak Brewery, 200 miles, Mark

2)     Short course:
a.     Checkpoint #1: County Rd 102 and Maul Rd, 32.7 miles, Mark and Nat
b.     Checkpoint #2: Monument, Pikes Peak Brewery, 76.8 miles, Mark and Nat
Personal support vehicles. Long course participants will be allowed to have a personal support vehicle in Deer Trail.  This is the only location during either event that riders can receive personal support. To keep the event fair and safe for all participants AND to keep the event in the spirit of the original AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, riders for both events will not be allowed to have personal support anywhere else on the course. This includes family or friends on the course who are cheering on participants. Any rider who has personal support or a shadow vehicle will be disqualified and will not receive a finishing time!
Course notes:
1)     For long course participants, we will be using County Rd 98 (the dreaded B-road)—rain, snow, or shine! With recent snowfall, please anticipate some muddy conditions. Please be prepared. Please consider keeping an old pair of tennis shoes in the Josh and Walter’s support vehicle that could be used to walk your bike if the B-road is too muddy to ride.
2)     Store support. There are not many convenience stores along either course. However, there are convenience stores in the following locations:
a.     Franktown: C & L Gas along CO-83.  Long course riders can ride into Franktown after passing through Castlewood Canyon for supplies.
b.     Elbert: Hi Test Gas/Convenience. On N. Elbert Road north of Garfield Ave. Short course and long course riders can stop here for supplies.
c.      Deer Trail: Shell Convenience Store (Cedar St and 5th Ave), Deer Trail 66 Convenience Store (7th Ave on the north side of I-70), Brick Oven Pizza (708 1st Ave).
3)     Castlewood Canyon is a state park, but it is legal to ride through the park without paying an entrance fee; however, riders are technically not supposed to stop in the park without purchasing a day pass. Long course rider should keep this in mind.

1)     Please be extremely careful when crossing the following paved roads: Palmer Divide Rd, CO-83, Elbert Rd, and CO-86. Traffic can be extremely fast!
2)     Please try to ride single file AND as far to the right as possible (when possible). Local residents are not used to seeing cyclists on their county roads! 
3)     Long course riders: please bring lights and reflective gear! It is very likely that many riders will be finishing after sunset. Short course riders should not need lights. But if you do, something has gone seriously wrong with your ride! J

Abandonment: If you abandon the ride, please call or text us to let us know that you are dropping out! This will make it easier for us to keep track of riders! Please make arrangements for someone to pick you up as the RMCC support vehicles do not sweep the course. Corinne Warren (cell: 719-963-0440), Mark Lowe (cell: 303-895-9532), Walter Zitz (cell: 845-625-7277).

A few notes about courtesy:
1)     Parking: At the Pikes Peak Brewery, please try to park along the outer perimeter of the parking lot so we can preserve parking spaces for the shopping center patrons! After the ride, support the brewery and other shops nearby! Buy a beer or grab some grub! 
2)     Please try to urinate out of public view. We don't want to attract unnecessary attention to this event. Peeing in someone's front yard is a great way to have the Colorado Highway Patrol crack down on this ride in future years!

Have a GREAT AntiEpic ride! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

2017 Foothills Climbfest Recap

The tricky, serpentine descent down Deer Creek Canyon

Congratulations to the 2017 RMCC Foothills Climbfest finishers! The Foothills Climbfest is the oldest Challenge Series event on the RMCC cycling calendar. The challenging Climbfest features over 8,000 feet of climbing in 80 miles in the foothills to the west of Chatfield Reservoir. To add to the challenge, participants have only 7 hours to complete this difficult, hilly course to receive an official finishing time. For many riders, the Climbest serves as great preparation for some of the upcoming more difficult events on the RMCC calendar, such as the alluring Colorado Triple Crown. For other riders, the Climbfest is an opportunity to spend a solid training day with their riding friends. For all participants--finishers and non-finishers--it is a great workout and cruel reminder that the 2017 cycling season is here!  This was the first time the RMCC has hosted this intra-club gran fondo since 2014. The event was cancelled in 2015 and 2016 due to inclement weather.

Caleb Carl posted the speediest men's time of the day with a total elapsed time of 4 hours, 42 minutes (17.02 mph) and Diane Benoit, recovering well from a nasty accident last season, posted the fastest women's time of 6 hours, 28 minutes (12.38 mph). Congratulations to both riders!! Alas, the course records of Mindy Gehrs (5:06, 15.9 mph, 2014) and Mark Lowe (4:23, 18.48 mph, 2011) remain safe for one more season.

For full results: 2017 Foothills Climbfest

Special thanks to Harris Rosenthal, Jon Sendor, and Corinne Warren for providing support for this year's participants! 

Red rock formations in South Valley Park

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2017 Colorado Triple Crown and Challenge Series Registration

2017 Colorado Triple Crown registration is open! Once again, we will be using Eventzilla to assist with registrations. Riders who wish to participate who are not currently RMCC members can also register for a 1-year RMCC membership during the registration process. Please click on the links below to access the registration links for each event.

  1. AntiEpic Gravel Grinder (Long and short course)
  2. Colorado Mesa Double Century
  3. Colorado Death Ride
  4. Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop
  5. Denver-to-Aspen Classic
Also, we are encouraging registration for the Foothills Climbfest to help out with volunteer planning.

For riders who decide to withdraw, you have until 3 weeks prior to the date of the event to receive a refund (minus the fees for Eventzilla and PayPal). After that time, refunds will not be granted. RMCC memberships are non-refundable.

Please let me know if you have questions!


Monday, January 2, 2017

The 2017 Colorado Mesa Double Century

Cloaked in golden aspen, the Grand Mesa is one of Colorado's shining climbs (and descents)!  (Photo: Mark Lowe)
Early-bird registration ($60) closes on 5/21/17. Late-bird registration ($80) closes on 5/25/17.

The RMCC ventures to Colorado's Western Slope to ride our newest Colorado Triple Crown adventure: the Colorado Mesa Double Century. This challenging double century explores some of the Grand Valley's most challenging and most spectacular climbs, including the monstrous Grand Mesa and the  Colorado National Monument, the showpiece climb of Western Colorado. Here are the highlights for this great new ride: 

Date: Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 27, 2017. (Back-up date for inclement weather: May 28, 2017)

/Start: 4:00 am/5:00 am

Start/End location: Fruita, CO: LaQuinta Inn and Suites, 570 Raptor Rd, Fruita, CO 81521. Phone: 970-858-8850. Please make your reservations early! I cannot stress this enough. Grand Junction will host the Junior College World Series during Memorial Weekend, and hotel rooms are guaranteed to be hard to come by! 

Course Map: Colorado Mesa Double Century

Registration: Please click here to register: Colorado Mesa Double Century. This event has an early-bird entry fee of $60 (3/1/17 - 5/21/17). The entry fee increases to $80 from 5/22/17 - 5/25/17. Please register early. Please note that your registration fee will cover your entry fee into the Colorado National Monument, which will be purchased prior to the start of the event. Registration is limited to the first 50 pre-registered riders. Registration closes May 25, 2017. Participants may withdraw by 5/6/17 for a refund. After 5/6/17, refunds will not be granted. RMCC membership is also required to participate in this event. For more information about membership: RMCC membership. 

The Colorado National Monument, which was including in the Coors Classic and the cycling movie, "American Flyers" during the 1980s, is arguably the "crown jewel" of Colorado's Western Slope! (Photo: Mark Lowe)
Course Highlights:
  • Distance: 200 miles
  • Climbing: 13,500 feet
  • 3 categorized climbs:
Riders will enjoy the sweeping descent down the southern slopes of the Grand Mesa into Cedaredge, CO (Photo: Mark Lowe)
Grand Mesa (elev. 10,839 feet): Hors Categorie (HC). The Grand Mesa is a monster climb, gaining over 6,000 feet in 21 miles! Although the average grade of the entire climb up the Grand Mesa is only 5%, the early sections of this climb are exposed and much steeper, guaranteed to test the best climbers! Many cyclists will argue that the Grand Mesa is an even more difficult climb than Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park. The Grand Mesa is a true grind that will test your mental and physical fortitude!

Reeder Mesa offers a local escape to Western Slope riders who are interested in relatively quick loop from Grand Junction. (Photo: Mark Lowe)
Reeder Mesa Loop/Purdy Mesa/Kannah Creek Loop (elev. 6,170 feet), Category 4. The Reeder Mesa Loop is approximately 30 miles in length and is well-known to cyclists in the Grand Junction area. This scenic loop climbs gently through ranch lands along the Kannah Creek, reaching a high point of 6,170 feet and gaining over 1,700 feet. The steep, twisty descent down Reeder Mesa Road Hill, with grades approaching 10%, will certainly have riders "white knuckling" their brakes as they creep down this short, tricky descent! 

With its moonscape topography, the Colorado National Monument is one of Colorado's premier cycling routes! (Photo: Mark Lowe)
Colorado National Monument (elev. 6,640 feet), Category 2. The iconic Colorado National Monument is the crown jewel of the Colorado Western Slope! It can definitely be argued that if you're going to do one ride in Western Colorado, this is it! The scenery, featuring ubiquitous red rock mesas and stone spires, is simply stunning...unlike anything else in Colorado! The National Monument features a double-peaked climb, climbing over 2,700 feet and reaching its high point along the windy Rimrock Drive at 6,640 feet. Riders will want to keep the digital camera handy while riding the monument. A few picture stops along the way will be worth the memories! 

Time limit: 17.5 hours (to receive an official finishing time and Colorado Triple Crown credit). We don't have data on this course yet, so its possible that the finishing time will be extended based on finishing times of the first riders.

Event organizer: Mark Lowe (e-mail:

Additional Notes:
  1. Some ultra-distance experience is encouraged (but not required) to participate in this event.
  2. Pre-qualification: Please refer to our updated rules regarding pre-qualification: What's new for 2017??
  3. Given the exposure to high altitude, nasty weather can be a major concern with this event. Participants need to be prepared and bring their best winter- and wet-riding gear with them!
  4. Lights and reflective gear are required!
The Colorado National Monument...simply stunning! (Photo: Mark Lowe)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Colorado Triple Crown: What's New for 2017?

1. 2017 Colorado Triple Crown: Back to Basics...with a couple of new twists! 
In 2017, the Colorado Triple Crown is returning to its roots and will include the three original events of the series: Denver-to-Aspen, the Colorado Death Ride, and the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop. Due to concerns about excessive traffic along US-285, Denver-to-Aspen will once again use the new route with lighter traffic along the I-70 corridor, starting in Denver and climbing up Lookout Mountain and Mount Vernon Canyon.

To continue to mix things up and keep things "fresh" for our participants, we are taking a one-year hiatus from the Colorado High Country Double Century (i.e., Boulder to Steamboat Springs), Cycle to Saturn Double Century, and the Cripple Creek Crippler. And we are taking a two year hiatus from the Colorado Classic Double Century while the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) begins a massive paving project on the west side of Cottonwood Pass. So please don't fret! These events will likely be back on the Triple Crown calendar in the near future.

So what are these new twists???

Scenes from the surprisingly scenic AntiEpic Gravel Grinder course (Photo: Mark Lowe)
First, after much contemplation, I have decided to include the Anti-Epic Gravel Grinder on the 2017 Colorado Triple Crown calendar. As the name implies, the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder is not "epic" Colorado road cycling. First, the AntiEpic course does not include the classic high altitude climbs or scenic mountain vistas that Colorado is best known for. However, to imply that this course is flat and boring really does not do it justice. The AntiEpic course has well over 10,000 feet of climbing...nearly all of it coming in the form of steep rollers! And the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, with its wide-open prairie landscapes and pastoral beauty, really captures the essence of riding in eastern Colorado. Second, to break tradition from the other events in the Colorado Triple Crown, >90% of this course is ridden on hard-packed dirt and gravel roads. This is a marked departure from the other events in the Colorado Triple Crown (with the exception of 43 miles of the Colorado Classic Double Century and 7 miles of Cycle to Saturn) which generally traverse beautiful paved roads. So...200 miles of slow-moving gravel roads + 10,000+ feet of steep rollers equals a REALLY HARD double century.....definitely worthy of the Colorado Triple Crown series! For 2017, this AntiEpic course will be appropriately lengthened by 35+ miles to reach the 200 mile barrier, consistent with the other double centuries in the series. It will be an excellent "warm up" for the other events in the Colorado Triple Crown series, as well as for Dirty Kanza (6/3/2017), considered by many to be the "grand daddy" of gravel grinders in the U.S.! More to come soon!

The Grand Mesa is one of Colorado's most challenging climbs (and spectacular descents)! (Photo: Mark Lowe) 
Second, in 2017, the RMCC will venture to western Colorado to tackle a challenging, new course never before attempted by the RMCC: the Colorado Mesa Double Century! Starting (and ending) in Fruita, CO, the Colorado Mesa Double Century tackles some of Colorado Western Slope's finest climbs, including the behemoth, Grand Mesa. The course also explores the lesser known Reeder Mesa to the southeast of Grand Junction, and the Colorado National Monument, arguably the crown jewel of the Western Slope! More to come on this challenging new Colorado Triple Crown event soon.

So, to sum things up, here's the 2017 Colorado Triple Crown calendar:
  1. May 6, 2017: AntiEpic Gravel Grinder, Monument, CO
  2. May 27, 2017: Colorado Mesa Double Century, Fruita, CO
  3. June 17, 2017: Colorado Death Ride, Durango, CO
  4. July 8, 2017: Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop, Golden, CO
  5. July 29, 2017: Denver-to-Aspen, Denver, CO
For the Challenge Series Short-Course Events, we will plan to keep thing simple in 2017: 
  1. April 8, 2017: Foothills Climbfest, Littleton, CO: Hoping to catch a break with the weather in 2017.
  2. May 6, 2017: AntiEpic Gravel Grinder Short Course: For those riders who want a shorter (but timed) version of a 200 mile gravel road sufferfest. 
  3. Sept 2017 TBD: Boulder Fearsome Five: End-of-the-summer challenge for riders as they catch their second wind.
2. Qualification
We will continue to use our current 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 Colorado Triple Crown events within its designated time limit. As in previous seasons, RMCC membership is required to participate! 

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 (16.5 hours for the Cripple Creek 300 km brevet)
  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
For 2017, we will make an exception to the pre-qualification requirements for the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder. Any rider who is up for the challenge can sign up; however, 1) Active RMCC membership is still be required to participate. This is for insurance reasons. 2) There will be an additional small registration fee. This is a cost-recovery fee to cover our expenses for providing support for this event. 3) All riders who cannot complete the event will need to make arrangements to have someone pick them up. RMCC does not provide transportation for riders who cannot successfully complete this ride. Please keep in mind that an "I can do it!" attitude is fantastic, but it may not be adequate to successfully complete this event. Please be forewarned and come prepared!  

Please e-mail me if you have questions about pre-qualification! 

The picturesque Mt Sneffles Range from the Dallas Divide (Photo: Mark Lowe)

3. Registration
  1. Fees. Registration fees will be similar for 2017 (Early-bird special: approx $50/event. Week-of-event registration: approx $70/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! And if we do have funds left over at the end of the season, we will apply these funds toward the cost of the Colorado Triple Crown kits for those riders who successfully complete the series. 
  2. Registration will open on March 1, 2017! 
  3. Withdrawal. For those individuals who have registered for an event and need to withdraw, they can do so up to 3 weeks prior to the date of the event for a full refund (minus our fees for using PayPal and Eventzilla). Within 3 weeks, refunds will not be granted. 
  4. Transfers. Registration fees are NOT be transferrable between events less than 3 weeks prior to the date of the event. So please plan ahead!

Approaching the summit of Independence Pass (Photo: Mark Lowe)

4. Volunteers
We are 100% dependent on volunteer support!!! 
For 2017, 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 12-20+ hours! And it usually involves getting up well before the crack of dawn. But volunteering can be quite a bit of fun too! For 2017, we will continue to provide the following incentives to volunteer:
  1. If a rider volunteers for an event, he/she can participate in that event (as a volunteer pre- or post-ride) OR another Triple Crown event for free.
  2. Riders who volunteer for an event may pre-ride or post-ride that event sometime during 2017 to receive official Colorado Triple Crown credit. This is the only situation that we will allow participants to pre- or post-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.
It's not called Red Mountain Pass for nothin'! (Photo: Mark Lowe)

5. 2017 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 Death Ride
  2. Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop
  3. Denver-to-Aspen

6. Triple Crown Kits

Riders who complete the extremely challenging 2016 Colorado Triple Crown Series are eligible to receive 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 2017! 

Breath-taking views from Trail Ridge Road

Mark Lowe