Friday, December 16, 2011

Colorado Triple Crown Kit

The RMCC is very proud to present our new Colorado Triple Crown cycling kit!




Members of the RMCC have been riding the original events of the Colorado Triple Crown--Joe Lookingbill Denver-to-Aspen Classic, Colorado Death Ride, and the Grand Loop--since the club's inception in 1993 as preparation for longer ultracycling events. We didn't formally organize the events into the Colorado Triple Crown until 2009.  To date, there are only 13 riders in RMCC history who have successfully completed all three of these events in a single calendar year. The list of Colorado Triple Crown finishers includes:

Rex Farnsworth: pre-2009
Carol Hvrada: pre-2009
Charlie Henderson: pre-2009
Michael Henderson: 2011
Andrea Koenig: 2009
Gary Lancaster: 2011
Mark Lowe: 2009, 2011
Jerry Mack: pre-2009
John Mangin: 2009
Tom Miller: 2011
Patrick Nourse: 2009
Ray Rupel: 2009
Dick Wiss: 2009

(*The Grand Loop was cancelled in 2010 because of road construction on Trail Ridge Road. Because of this, there were no official Colorado Triple Crown finishers in 2010.)

To recognize our Colorado Triple Crown finishers for their accomplishments, Jeff Wu and Clair Lochridge at Team Alchemist in Boulder helped us design a new Colorado Triple Crown cycling kit for our Triple Crown finishers. Team Alchemist is Boulder's finest custom cycling clothing designer, and Jeff and Clair did a stellar job on our design...very classy! Thanks to Jeff and Clair for their hard work on our Triple Crown kit!!! Additionally, we would like to thank Hammer Nutrition, whose donation helped make this possible. Look for these kits out on the road by spring 2012!


Congratulatons to all of our Triple Crown finishers!


We're hoping that more of you will attempt to be come Colorado Triple Crown finishers in 2012!!!









Denver to Aspen Classic

The beautiful Maroon Bells, Aspen's signature alpine peaks.
Denver to Aspen is regarded by many people to be the signature event of the RMCC. Since the club's inception in 1993, club members have been riding Denver to Aspen as preparation for much harder events such as Paris-Brest-Paris and Montreal-Boston-Montreal, some of the longest, most difficult timed bike events in the world. The original Denver-to-Aspen course started in the Denver Tech Center, climbing Deer Creek Canyon until it reached US-285 near what is now Aspen Park. From Aspen Park the course turned west along US-285 toward Kenosha Pass and the dreaded, wind-laden South Park Valley, eventually reaching Buena Vista. Riders then faced the final lung-searing climb over Independence Pass before making the exhilarating descent into Aspen.

The original course was created by Joe Lookingbill, one of the founding fathers of the RMCC. Joe was the mastermind behind the Denver to Aspen Classic and was one of the event directors when Denver to Aspen was organized as a public ride during the 1990s. Because of the extreme difficulty of this event, Denver to Aspen was never wildly popular; however, this incredibly challenging event did possess a certain mystique that would attract up to 190 riders each year. It also attracted many strong riders, including former US professional racer and Giro d'Italia contestant, Michael Carter, who to this day still holds the fastest mile-per-hour average speed. In 2015, the RMCC board of directors approved a complete revision the of Joe Lookingbill-designed course, creating an entirely different Denver-to-Aspen route to bypass the increasingly dangerous US-285. The new course climbs the iconic Lookout Mountain to the west of Denver and then ventures west along the lightly trafficked frontage roads along the I-70 corridor to the base of Loveland Pass, making the course safer for participants. The final defining climb from the beautiful Twin Lakes to the summit of Independence Pass as well as the brilliant descent into Aspen is fortunately preserved for participants.

Joe Lookingbill passed at an early age after a battle with cancer. Although we are no longer using the challenging double century course that he created, his memory and the mystique of the Denver to Aspen course that he created lives on.

The stair-step approach to Independence Pass.
Date: Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sign-in/Start: 3:00 am/4:00 am

Start location: Sloans Lake Park, 26th and Tennyson St., Denver, CO

End location: Woody Creek Tavern, Woody Creek, CO.

Map: Denver to Aspen

Registration: To register, click here: 2017 Denver-to-Aspen Classic. This event has an early-bird $50 registration fee (3/1/17 - 7/23/17. From 7/23/17 - 7/27/17, the registration fee increases to $70. Please register early. Registration is limited to the first 50 pre-registered riders. Registration closes June 27, 2016 at 10:00 pm. Participants may withdraw by 7/8/17 for a full refund. After 7/8/17, refunds will not be granted. RMCC membership is also required to participate in this event. For more information about membership: RMCC membership. 

Dense aspen forests line sections of Independence Pass during the screaming descent
into Aspen. 

Brief description: Denver to Aspen is an EPIC single-day adventure from the Colorado's capital city, Denver, into the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Starting at Sloan's Lake Park, the course ventures west, initially climbing Lookout Mountain and Mount Vernon Canyon, the eastern gateway from Denver into the Colorado Rockies. The course undulates as it passes through the historic mining communities of Idaho Springs and Georgetown before starting the long, steep climb up the rugged Loveland Pass, one of Colorado's most spectacular mountain passes. The course then traverses into Summit County, passing the ski resorts at Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, and Copper Mountain. Participants then climb the beautiful Fremont Pass, riding past the historic Climax Mine en route to the silver mining town of Leadville, the nation's highest incorporated city. From Leadville, participants venture south and west, passing the scenic Twin Lakes before tackling Colorado's famed Independence Pass, reaching a lung-searing altitude of 12,095 feet! Riders then make the twisty descent down the western slopes of Independence Pass to the ritzy mountain resort town of Aspen, ultimately ending at the cycling-friendly community of Woody Creek.  

Course Highlights:
  • Distance: 180 miles, a point-to-point route from Denver, CO to Woody Creek, CO
  • Climbing: 16,000 feet
  • 3 crossings of the Continental Divide: Loveland Pass, Fremont Pass, and Independence Pass
  • 6 categorized climbs:
To the west of Golden, CO, Lookout Mountain and Mount Vernon Canyon is the eastern gateway
into the Colorado Rockies.

1) Lariat Loop Climb (Lookout Mountain Pillars to I-70 entrance): Category 2: The signature climb out of Golden, CO with spectacular views of Denver skyline to the east. 
2) Floyd Hill, east to west: Category 3: A moderately steep "grunt" of a climb. 

Loveland Pass always provides captivating Colorado scenery!
3) Loveland Pass (elev. 11,990 ft): Hors Category, from Georgetown: A spectacular high alpine climb with rugged mountain sides and jaw-dropping panoramic vistas...one of Colorado's finest! 

Riders roll into the checkpoint at Fremont Pass during the 2015 version of Denver to Aspen. 
4) Swan Mountain Climb: Category 4
5) Fremont Pass (elev. 11,318 ft), Category 1: Another beautiful high altitude climb that rides past the Climax Mine, a major source of molybdenum in the US.



6) Independence Pass East (elev. 12,095 feet), Hors category, from Twin Lakes: One of Colorado's best known passes, Independence Pass is the spectacular defining climb (and descent) of Denver to Aspen.

Time limit: 16.5 hours (to receive an official finishing time and Colorado Triple Crown credit)

Event organizer: Mark Lowe (e-mail: mvlowe5@comcast.net)

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, severe weather is a major concern with this event. As such, riders need to be prepared, bringing their best winter- and wet-riding gear with them!
  4. The RMCC is not responsible for transportation back to Denver from Aspen. Please start working on arrangements ASAP to get you and your bike back to Denver after this event! 
  5. Lights and reflective gear are required!

Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop

Trail Ridge Road is the defining climb of the Grand Loop
and perhaps of all the Colorado Triple Crown events!


Date:  Saturday, July 8, 2017

Sign-in/Start Time: 2:15 am/3:00 am

       Start/End Location: Golden, Coors Tek Parking Lot

Distance/climbing: 200 miles/16,000 feet


Brief description:  The Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop starts in Golden and passes through Boulder, Lyons, Estes Park, Granby, Winter Park, and Idaho Springs. Climbing over 15,500 vertical feet in 200 miles, the Grand Loop isn’t called "grand" for nothing! The Grand Loop is indeed one of Colorado's most EPIC cycling loops. This route, which traverses Rocky Mountain National Park's famed Trail Ridge Road (from Estes Park, CO in the east to Grand Lake, CO in the west), covers 48 miles of the most majestic scenery in the entire state of Colorado. Bring your altitude lungs as well as your climbing legs! Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous highway in the United States, with more than eight miles lying above 11,000 feet and a maximum elevation of 12,183 feet. Not to be outdone, the route also climbs Berthoud Pass (11,307 feet), one of Colorado's most spectacular mountain passes, during the return from Winter Park. Each year, only a few handfuls of riders can claim they have successfully finished the Grand Loop. Well...here's your chance to add your name to the list! But you better bring your "A" game. This ride is not for the faint-of-heart! 


Course map/Cue sheet: 2017 Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop


Registration: To register, click here: 2017 Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop.
 This event has an early bird $40 registration fee (3/1/17 - 7/2/17). After 7/2/17, the registration fee will increase to $60. Registration is limited to the first 50 pre-registered riders. Registration closes on July 6, 2016. Participants may withdraw by June 17, 2017 for a full refund. After June 17, refunds will not be granted. RMCC membership is also required to participate in this event. For more information regarding membership: RMCC membership

Time limit: 18 hours. Participants must finish in 18 hours or less to receive an official finishing time and Colorado Triple Crown credit. 

Event organizer: For specific questions about the event, e-mail Mark Lowe. (mvlowe5@comcast.net).



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, severe weather is a major concern with this event. As such, riders need to be prepared, bringing their best winter- and wet-riding gear with them!
  4. Lights and reflective gear are required!

Course Description: The Grand Loop can be broken down into six segments:

1) Golden to Lyons, 34.5 miles.



Golden, CO, the western suburb of the Denver area, still has rustic reminders of the "Old West."

Rustic Golden, CO (elev. 5,675 feet), the western-most suburb of the Denver metropolitan area, is the starting (and ending point) for the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop. Originally founded as a mining community in the mid-1800s, Golden is a popular tourist destination with a flare for the "Old West." It is home to the Colorado School of Mines, and the famous western showman "Buffalo Bill" Cody is buried on nearby Lookout Mountain. It is also home to the world famous Coors Brewery. In spite of this fact, a cold, refreshing Coors beer is going to have to wait until after the ride. Your quest to conquer the Grand Loop is just beginning!


Starting very early in the morning in downtown Golden, participants will ride north along Washington Street, turning north onto CO 93. Highway 93, which skirts along the eastern edge of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains between Golden and Boulder, is a scenic, hilly route with views of the mountains to the west. As riders venture north along CO 93, they will pass the inoperative Rocky Flats Arsenal. After passing through the intersection with CO 128 (120th Ave.), riders will begin a quick three-mile descent as CO 93 plunges toward the sleeping town of Boulder, CO (elev. 5,430 feet). Be wary of road debris, potholes, and even deer while making this descent in the dark! Good lights are strongly recommended!



Boulder, CO is a true cycling gem! It has a little bit of everything for the cycling enthusiast.

As riders approach Boulder from the south, CO 93 turns into Broadway Street. Boulder is one of nation's true cycling meccas, featuring an array of riding experiences for riders of all capabilities, including insanely steep mountain climbs, scenic scrambles along the eastern Colorado plains, and easy cruiser rides along an elaborate network of bike trails. And Boulder is never short on things to do!! From riding (both road and mountain), to hiking, to camping, to riding, to kayaking, and to experiencing an endless array of dining and shopping experiences, Boulder is always a bustle with activity!! And Boulder, with its vast number of professional cyclists, runners, and triathletes, has more professional athletes per capita than any other city in the U.S. (However, even the pros would be impressed by any rider attempting to complete the Grand Loop, one of Colorado's most difficult single-day cycling adventures!) As participants cruise through Boulder, they will ride past the amazing Flatirons rock formations to the west of Boulder, the University of Colorado campus, and Boulder's famous Pearl Street Mall. At the northern outskirts of Boulder, participants will make a left-hand turn onto US 36, tackling a series of moderate rollers as US 36 veers north toward the community of Lyons, CO at the northern outskirts of Boulder County. Riders will turn west onto US 36 (also CO 66) toward Lyons (elev. 5,371 feet) to reach their first checkpoint and complete the first section of this ride. Checkpoint 1: Lyons, Diamond Shamrock, south side of US 36. This is a very popular cycling route, used by amateur and professional cyclists alike! Surrounded by red sandstone rock formations, Lyons is also extremely beautiful! Unfortunately, riders won't be able to appreciate the beauty of the sandstone rock formations as they will still be riding in the dark.


Tip: The section from Golden to Lyons is relatively "flat," gaining only 2,000 vertical feet from Golden to Lyons, all of it via punchy rollers along CO 93 and US 36. Because it is relatively flat, riders should not dilly-dally! This is your best opportunity to put time in the bank before the real climbing begins!


2) Lyons to Estes Park, 20.6 miles.



Surrounded by beautiful sandstone rock formations, Lyons, CO is an excellent starting point for many excellent Front Range rides! 

After riding through Lyons, US 36 turns northwest toward the foothills community of Estes Park, CO and Colorado's spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). From Lyons, participants will begin the first major climb of the day, a 3,000 foot, moderately steep ascent toward Estes Park. As road undulates upward, riders will catch the first glimpses of light as daylight begins to set in.



Estes Park, the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, is always a popular tourist destination!

At the top of this long, 17-mile climb, participants will catch their first glimpse of the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park to the west with its beautiful snow-capped 13,000 foot peaks. Participants will also appreciate the beautiful Long's Peak to the southwest of Estes Park, which is one of the Colorado Front Range's most accessible 14ers. US 36 then makes the brisk three-mile plunge into Estes Park (elev. 7,522 feet). Estes Park is a community with true Colorado charm and has much to offer in terms of activities and shopping. More importantly, it is the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, one of Colorado's largest natural (and rugged) outdoor playgrounds. Once in Estes Park, participants will turn right onto US 34 (East Wonderview Ave.), and stop at their next checkpoint, Checkpoint 2Estes Park, the Safeway (US 36 and US 24/Wonderview Ave).


3) Estes Park to the Alpine Visitors Center via Trail Ridge Road,  28 miles.




The climb up Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park is never short on scenery, but becomes increasingly short on oxygen as the road ascends into the stratosphere!

From Estes Park, riders will continue west along US 34, climbing almost another 1,000 feet before reaching the Fall River Road park entrance. As participants continue west through Estes Park along US 34, they will pass the historic Stanley Hotel, made famous in the classic 1980 film, The Shining, a psychological horror film starring Jack NicholasAs participants ride past the notorious hotel, the word "REDRUM" will come to mind, as participants begin the murderous, 5,000 foot ascent the top of Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park! (Okay...it's not quite that bad, but it truly is an EPIC climb!)


Tip: Okay...here is an incentive to push yourself a bit from Lyons to the Fall River Road park entrance. Riders who reach the eastern park entrance before 7:00 am should be able to ride into the park without having to stop at the gate to pay the entrance fee. However, riders who reach the eastern park entrance after 7:00 am will be required to stop at the RMNP Fall River Road entrance to pay the $10 bicycle fee. Please bring your National Parks Pass to avoid having to pay the fee.



Views from the high point of Trail Ridge Road at 12,183 feet are breath-taking (literally!)

Trail Ridge Road, which traverses RMNP from Estes Park in the east to Grand Lake, CO in the west, is a one of Colorado's most spectacular mountain roads. The ascent up this amazing 48-mile stretch of highway is truly a monster climb! It is the defining climb of the Grand Loop...the climb that makes the Grand Loop truly EPIC! Some would argue that Trail Ridge Road--next to the amazing high-altitude climbs up Pikes Peak (which opened to cyclists in 2013!) and Mt. Evans--is Colorado's most classic bicycle ride, an experience that every rider will remember for a lifetime! From Estes Park, the climb into RMNP is the longest sustained climb of any event in the Colorado Triple Crown Series. Reaching an elevation of 12,183 feet, it is also the highest point of all the events in the Colorado Triple Crown (and as far as I know, the highest elevation of any double century event in the world!) I won't go into exquisite detail about the climb up Trail Ridge Road as it has been described in many locations. Probably the best cycling description of this classic Colorado ride is in author Michael Seeberg's Road Biking Colorado: The Statewide Guide. If you don't own a copy of this most-excellent book, please pick up a copy. It contains excellent details regarding the climb up Trail Ridge Road, but as also many other spectacular cycling routes in Colorado...it's a must-have for any Colorado cyclist!! Here are a few important notes about riding Trail Ridge Road: 

  1. Trail Ridge Road is 48 miles long from Estes Park in the east to Grand Lake in the west, crossing Iceberg Pass (elev. 11,827 feet) and Fall River Pass (elev. 11,796 feet) near the summit of the climb. 
  2. The air is very thin at the top of RMNP. As previously mentioned, riders can expect to spend over seven consecutive miles above 11,000 feet, making Trail Ridge the highest paved highway in North America. Participants need to be adequately prepared to ride at very high altitude!
  3. Given the very high altitude, weather conditions can be very unpredictable at the top of this climb (i.e., chilly temperatures and blustery winds)! Please be prepared and bring an assortment of cold weather riding gear (e.g., jackets, arm and leg warmers, and full-fingered gloves) that you can access from your gear bag at the checkpoint at the Alpine Visitor Center.
  4. The descent down the western side of Trail Ridge Road is an absolute hoot! But it is twisty and a bit technical. Please descend carefully! Riders should be a bit leary of oncoming traffic as it is not unheard of to have a car on the wrong side of the road as drivers gawk at the splendid mountain scenery. Additonally, riders should be on the lookout for wildlife that may wander into the road.
  5. RMNP is a very popular with tourists! As a consequence, traffic can be a bit heavy at times and there is not much shoulder to ride on. However, traffic does generally move slowly and most of Trail Ridge Road has been repaved over the past few years, so the road is in excellent condition.


The Alpine Visitor Center in RMNP is a welcome sight after 10,000 feet of climbing!


After climbing for what seems to be an eternity, riders will reach the spectacular High Point of Trail Ridge Road (elev. 12,183 ft.). At that point, participants will begin the blazing descent down the western slopes of RMNP to the next checkpoint, Checkpoint 3: RMNP, Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass (elev. 11,796, feet). At this point in time, riders will have climbed over 10,000 feet in 83 miles! Riders should grab any cold-weather riding gear they will need to complete the chilly descent down the western side of Trail Ridge Road.


The views from Grand Lake, Shadow Moutain Lake, and Lake Granby continue to be stunning. However, headwinds off of the lakes can make  riding a bit slow going at times!

4) Alpine Visitor's Center, RMNP to Granby, 37.4 miles

From the RMNP Alpine Visitor's Center, riders will continue the blazing, windy descent down the western slopes of Trail Ridge Road as it plummets over 4,000 feet toward the Middle Park (Frasier) valley below. During this descent, riders will cross the Continental Divide for the first time at Milner Pass (elev. 10,758 feet). As riders approach the lower sections of Trail Ridge Road, the road will flatten out considerably and riders will face on onslaught of downhill rollers as they approach the western entrance to RMNP. The more daunting factor that riders will face, however, is the wind. Brisk headwinds blowing off Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Lake, and Lake Granby to the south can make this section very challenging, especially as fatigue sets in! Riders should keep their fingers crossed that headwinds are gentle! In spite of the wind, views across the lakes are truly beautiful! Riders will cruise through Grand Lake, CO (elev. 8,437 feet), and turn east onto US 40 toward Checkpoint 4: Granby, Cum and Go along US 40.




Mountain views from the Middle Park (Frasier) Valley are always spectacular, but temperatures can be quite chilly, even during the summer months! 

5) Granby to Berthoud Pass Summit, 32.7 miles 

From Granby (elev. 7,935 feet), participants will turn left (south) onto US 40, beginning the long, gradual ascent toward the base of the next big climb of the day...Berthoud Pass. The mountain views through the Frasier Valley are truly spectacular, but temperatures are often on the chilly side! (In fact, during the winter months, the Frasier Valley can be one of the coldest places in the Continental U.S., with temperatures dipping to 50 degrees below zero!) Traffic along US 40 can be a bit heavy at times as well, but there is a decent shoulder to ride on for most of this section from Granby to Winter Park. From Granby, participants will continue riding south along US 40 as it undulates upward through the valley towns of Tabernash (elev. 8,333 feet) and Frasier (elev. 8,574 feet). After a short series of climbs, participants will reach the ski town of Winter Park (elev. 9,052 feet). Winter Park is the self-proclaimed "Mountain Bike Capital" of the U.S. And after riding through town, you will understand why as riders of all ages will be using their two-wheeled mountain rigs to cruise around town. Continuing south on US 40, riders will cruise past the Winter Park and Mary Jane ski resorts before road pitches upward and riders begin the final 8-mile, switch-back laden ascent up Berthoud Pass (elev. 11,307 feet). Note: Please use caution when climbing Berthoud Pass. There is no shoulder in several places and traffic can be heavy! After grinding up this scenic mountain climb, riders will reach their next checkpoint, Checkpoint 5: Berthoud Pass Summit, where they can appreciate the views of the old Berthoud Ski Resort.


Mountain vistas near the summit of Berthoud Pass are spectacular.  From the time riders reach Winter Park, they can expect another 2,300 feet of continuous climbing in 11 miles to the top of the pass. Thin air and weary legs can make this climb very difficult!

6) Berthoud Pass Summit to Golden, 47.2 miles.

After riders have reached the summit of Berthoud Pass, they will have covered 153 miles! Riders will once again cross the Continental Divide as they descend down the southeastern slopes of Berthoud Pass toward the town of Empire, CO (elev. 8,615 feet). The descent down US 40 to the east of Berthoud Pass is incredible...one of the most exhilarating descents in the state! This section of pavement has been repaved in recent years and has a wide, safe shoulder for cycling. With a bit of a tailwind, it is not unheard of cyclists reaching speeds of 50+ mph as US 40 plunges downhill. Riders will cruise through Empire (Tip: watch for police attempting to ticket speeding cyclists!) and then will navigate the series of frontage roads and service roads in the eastbound direction until they reach Idaho Springs, CO (elev. 7,526 feet). Idaho Springs is also a popular tourist destination, so please be a bit wary of traffic while riding through town! From Idaho Springs, riders will continue to navigate in the eastbound direction along a second series of frontage roads and bike trails.

Tip: Riders are encouraged to pre-ride the section from Idaho Springs to Floyd Hill in advance as it can be a bit confusing to navigate the series of bike trails and frontage roads on this part of the course. Bottom line: keep your bike moving east, whether you're on frontage road or bike trail and you'll (likely) end up where you're supposed to go!

Weary-legged riders will be relieved to reach final descent down Lookout Mountain to the west of Golden. Riders can now start thinking seriously about a nice, cold Coors beer or some fabulous pizza from Woody's pizzaria!

After navigating through Idaho Springs, riders will begin the final return back to Golden. At the eastern end of the Idaho Springs bike trail, riders will make a right-hand turn onto US 6 (at I-70, Exit 244). Riders will then make an immediate right-hand turn onto the I-70 Frontage Road toward the dreaded Floyd Hill. (Tip: do NOT miss this turn and continue on US 6!) At 1.9 miles, Floyd Hill is not a long climb, but at a constant eight percent grade, the climb up Floyd Hill can be extremely challenging for weary-legged riders. And coupled with the heat of afternoon sun, the climb up Floyd Hill can truly become a daunting task! At the top of Floyd Hill, the I-70 Frontage Road reconnects with US 40 and riders will make a quick descent down the eastern side of Floyd Hill (US 40) toward the scenic community of Soda Springs. Riders will continue eastbound on US 40 as it undulates upward to Bergen Park, CO (elev. 7,798 feet). Riders will then make a left-hand turn (northeast) onto the Evergreen Parkway, which connects with the eastbound lanes of I-70. Participants will ride on I-70 for 1.5 miles to the Genesee Park (Lookout Mountain) Exit. (Note: This is one of the few sections of I-70 where it is still legal for cyclists to ride without being ticketed. Riders can expect that the traffic along the interstate will be heavy and fast, but the shoulder is very wide. Riders need to stay as far to the right as possible!) After exiting I-70, riders will make the final 2,200 foot plunge down Lookout Mountain, which overlooks Golden, the Denver skyline, and the Colorado plains to the east. Riders will then return to the final checkpoint in Golden, Checkpoint 6: Coors-Tek parking lot at 10th and Jackson St. Riders should have their event passports validated by RMCC event staff.


Congratulations on completing the Grand Loop!!! It's time to take those cycling shoes off, kick back, have a nice, cold Coors beer and some pizza at Woody's in Golden!


Who was Tim Kalisch?


Tim Kalisch (1967 to 2011) rode with the RMCC from the early 2000s until his untimely death in August 2011. An inspirational rider for many RMCC members, Tim set numerous RMCC course records during the time he rode with the club. Tim—with his race-inspired pedigree and liking for motorcycles and drag racing—was always pushing the pace.  He routinely demonstrated that long-distance cycling events could be ridden hard! Tim was never easily phased by adversity and he had the uncanny ability to inspire other club members to ride to the best of their abilities as well.  


In the true spirit of the RMCC, Tim was never opposed to an adventure! Tim would attempt training rides that only riders with super-human capabilities would even consider trying. Tim would ride from his home in east Denver to Limon (and back) in the same day. And in preparation for some of the more difficult RMCC brevets, Tim once rode from Golden to the summit of Mt. Evans and St. Mary’s Glacier in the same day…simply for the joy of cycling!

Most importantly, Tim’s popularity within the RMCC stemmed from his exceptional consideration for others, especially new club members. He always remembered what it was like to be new to cycling—a time when he was not one of the fastest riders. And he always offered words of encouragement to other riders while out on the road. Tim was exceptional at building camaraderie within the club. 


Tim took his own life in 2011. His passing was a devastating loss to his family, the club, and those who knew him best. In November 2011, the RMCC Board of Directors re-named the Grand Loop to the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop in Tim’s remembrance, a small gesture to a man who had such a grand impact on so many lives, both inside and outside our club.

For Tim, the Grand Loop was his epic ride. From the rider profile he wrote in the January 2009 RMCC newsletter, Tim described his epic experiences with the Grand Loop: “200 miles, around 15000 feet of climbing. 13 hours in the saddle [and] almost 40 miles climbing just to Trail Ridge. [I’ve] done it three times and for some reason want to do it again, even though I would gladly sell my bike to the highest bidder at the end every time."


We ride the Grand Loop with Tim in our hearts. His spirit lives on with us out there on the road…

Colorado Death Ride

Spectacular views from the Dallas Divide! (Photo: Mark Lowe)

Date: Saturday, Jun 17, 2017 (Alternate date for inclement weather: Sunday, June 18, 2017)

Pre-ride meeting: Friday, Jun 16, 2017, 6:00 pm

Ride check-in/start: Saturday, Jun 17. Check-in at 1:30 am. Ride start at 2:00 am

Host Hotel/Start and finish location: Best Western Durango Inn and Suites, 21382 US Hwy 160, Durango, CO 81301. Phone: 970-247-3251. Website: Best Western Inn and Suites.

Distance/climbing: 225 miles/16,500 feet

Brief description: The Colorado Death Ride is an EPIC ride across southwest Colorado's spectacular San Juan Skyway, including the mountain towns of Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Ridgway, Placerville, Telluride, Rico, Dolores, and Mancos. Crossing five high altitude alpine passes, the Colorado Death Ride features jaw-dropping mountain scenery that is second-to-none! The San Juan Mountains, which encompass nearly 12,000 square miles and nearly all of southwestern Colorado, are arguably Colorado's most spectacular mountain range. The San Juans boast over 100 peaks that top 13,000 feet and 14 of Colorado's 54 sky-scraping 14,000 foot peaks. Do you have what it takes to become a Colorado Death Rider??

Course map/cue sheet: Colorado Death Ride

Registration: To register, click here: 2017 Colorado Death Ride. Please pay attention to this blog and the RMCC website regarding registration. This event has an early bird $60 registration fee (3/1/17 - 6/10/17). From 6/11/17 - 6/15/17, registration fees will increase to $80. Registration is limited to the first 50 preregistered riders. Registration closes on Jun 15, 2017. Participants may withdraw by May 27, 2017 for a full refund. After May 27, refunds will not be granted. RMCC membership is also required to participate. For information regarding membership: RMCC Membership.

Time limit: 19 hours

Event organizer: For specific question about the event, contact Mark Lowe: mvlowe5@comcast.net

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, severe weather is a major concern with this event. As such, riders need to be prepared, bringing their best winter- and wet-riding gear with them!
  4. Lights and reflective gear are required!
  5. The Colorado Death Ride Tour is a charity ride dedicated to raise money to cure Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). For 2017, the Colorado Death Ride Tour is offering a timed single-day version of their traditional three-day tour. We will give Colorado Triple Crown credit to those riders who successfully complete the single-day version of this tour within the official time limit for their event.

Course Description:

The Colorado Death Ride can be broken down into five segments:



As Colorado Death Riders depart from Durango, they can imagine themselves racing the  Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, as bicycle racers do every Memorial Day weekend during the Iron Horse Classic!

1) Durango to Coal Bank Pass, 35 miles.

Durango, CO (elev. 6512 feet), one of the southern gateways to the San Juan Mountains, is the start of the 2013 Colorado Death Ride! Durango is one of southwest Colorado's outdoor meccas, attracting thousands of tourists throughout the year for a variety of activities, including cycling, mountain biking, camping, hiking, and skiing. It is also home to several of Colorado's cycling legends, including Tom Danielson, Ned "The Lung" Overend, and Todd Wells. Durango is also the starting location for the Iron Horse Classic. Contested every Memorial Day weekend, the Iron Horse Classic is one of Colorado’s longest standing and most legendary bicycle races!

Views from Coal Bank Pass, the first high altitude pass that riders will encounter
during the Colorado Death Ride.

After a very short night of sleep, riders will stumble out of bed as they prepare for the 2:00 am start time. From the Best Western Durango Inn and Suites to the west of downtown Durango, riders will head east along US 160 for less than one mile and then turn north onto the US 550/Camino Del Rio. US 550, known as the “Million Dollar Highway,” is an 87 mile-stretch of highway that cuts right through the heart of the rugged San Juan Mountains, crossing three lofty mountain passes (Coal Bank Pass, Molas Pass, and Red Mountain Pass) along the way. US 550 is surrounded by towering, jagged mountain peaks, plush groves of aspen, and serene alpine lakes. Simply put, the Million Dollar Highway is one of the most spectacular stretches of highway in North America! Game on! The Colorado Death Ride starts here! Riders will cruise north through Durango along the US 550 toward the southern fringes of the spectacular San Jan Mountains.

Views from the spectacular Million Dollar Highway!

 As riders head north through the blackness of the night, they will first encounter the community of Hermosa about 10 miles north of Durango. A word of caution: be sure to ride across the railroad tracks in Hermosa with caution as they cross the road at an awkward angle. These tracks have been known to take out a cyclist from time to time! From Hermosa, Hwy 550 begins to ascend into the heart of the San Juans, climbing nearly 10 miles before the highway flattens out a bit. Riders will cruise past the Durango Mountain Resort (formally known as the Purgatory Ski Resort) and opulent mountain homes scattered amongst the spectacular mountain landscape. Riders will then cruise past Cascade Village at the base of Coal Bank Pass before US 550 pitches up again toward the heavens. The final five-mile ascent to the top of Coal Bank Pass is quite steep! Riders will be searching for their granny gears as US 550 snakes its way up to the top of the pass. Riders will gasp for air as the atmosphere becomes increasingly deficient in oxygen near the top of the pass. At the top of Coal Bank Pass (elev. 10,640 feet), riders will reach Checkpoint #1. Temperatures will be quite cold at the top of the pass. In fact, it is not unusual to encounter sub-freezing temperatures on these high altitude passes even on the most pleasant of summer evenings. Riders will want to grab their cold weather riding gear from their drop bags before venturing on!!

The historical mining community of Silverton, nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains

2) Coal Bank Pass to Ridgway, 45 miles.
From the top of Coal Bank Pass, riders will make the short but steep three-mile descent to the saddle (i.e., low point) between Coal Bank and Molas Pass. Riders should exercise a bit of caution when making this descent or any of the other upcoming descents! It is not unheard of to encounter debris in the road, including rocks, sticks, or even a stray deer. Riders will then make a four-mile, moderately steep climb to the top of Molas Pass, which yield’s some of Colorado’s must stunning mountain panoramas! The sharp, jagged snow-covered peaks of the Needle and Granadier Mountains to the east will provide riders with spectacular mountain scenery as riders catch their first glimpses of daylight. Upon reaching the summit of Molas Pass (elev. 10,910 feet), riders will make a brisk six-mile, 1,300 foot descent into the historic (but chilly) mining community of Silverton, CO (elev. 9,300 feet). Again, riders should use extreme caution when making this descent as temperatures will be extremely cold and this section of road is notoriously strewn with potholes and other road debris!

With its steep drops, Red Mountain Pass is one of the most notorious passes in Colorado!

From Silverton (elev. 9,300 feet), riders will begin to immediately climb again. Their next climbing challenge of the long day is Red Mountain Pass (elev. 11,019 feet), one of Colorado’s most notorious mountain passes! Known for its breath-taking views, teeth-chattering drops, and ubiquitous avalanche chutes, this pass is not to be taken lightly! And even though the ascent to top of the pass from Silverton is not nearly as difficult as the climb from Ouray on the northern side of the pass, this climb still should not be taken lightly! From either side, Red Mountain Pass is one of Colorado's classic mountain climbs! From Silverton, US 550 will gain 1,800 feet in 10 miles. At the top of the pass (no services), riders will begin an exhilarating (but extremely chilly) 23 mile, 4,100 foot plunge toward Ridgway, passing the historical mining community of Ouray (elev. 7,792 feet) along the way. The descent down the northern side of Red Mountain Pass as it snakes its way down from the stratosphere is truly spectacular…one of Colorado’s finest! Again, a word of caution: Be sure to NOT ride too close to the edge of the road when descending Red Mountain Pass...there is NO shoulder or guardrail and the drops exceed 1,000 feet in places! After what will seem to be an eternity of descending, riders will reach Checkpoint #2 (the gas station on the east side of the highway at the junction of US 550 and CO 62/Sherman Street in the community of Ridgway at the northern edge of the San Juan Mountains.

The picturesque Mt. Sneffels Range as photographed from the Dallas Divide.

3) Ridgway to Telluride junction, 38 miles.
From Ridgway, riders will turn west onto CO 62 toward the community of Placerville. CO 62 features the day’s next climbing challenge…the Dallas Divide! The climb over the Dallas Divide is an unforgettable experience! At 8,970 feet, the pass is one of Colorado’s most gorgeous mountain vistas and one of the most-photographed locations in the state of Colorado! The views of the Sneffels Range to the south of the divide are simply stunning! However, riders will need to keep their fingers crossed that the prevailing winds from the west have not “kicked in” for the day by the time they reach this climb.  Headwinds up the Dallas Divide can make this ten mile, 1,700 foot ascent extremely difficult, especially as riders accumulate additional mileage in their rapidly fatiguing legs. From the top of the divide, riders will make a gentle 12-mile 1,600 foot descent into the community of Placerville (elev. 7,316 feet). Riders will turn south onto CO 145 (Hint: Do not miss this turn!!) toward Telluride. I’ll be honest…the next climb up CO 145 is a bear, especially for wear legs! It’s 12 miles long and fairly steep in places. Additionally, it only has a minimal shoulder for cycling and holiday traffic (especially RV traffic) along this road can make this section a fairly stressful experience! Please use extreme caution when making this climb! Riders will eventually reach Checkpoint #3 at the Telluride junction gas station (elev. 8,750 feet). Riders will turn south onto CO 145 at the T-intersection to the east of Telluride to reach the gas station.

The region around Telluride, often referred to as the "Swiss Alps of the Rockies,"
is never short on pristine mountain scenery!

 4) Telluride Junction to Rico, 25 miles.
From Telluride, riders will continue to climb toward the summit of Lizard Head Pass. As participants continue to climb the series of steep ascents and rollers on CO 145, they will pass the turn-offs for the Telluride Ski Resort and for the mining town of Ophir along the way. The mountain scenery will remain truly spectacular along this section of CO 145! With its rugged mountain formations, this region of the San Juan Mountains is often referred to as the “Swiss Alps of the Rockies!” As riders continue to grind their way upward, the surrounding mountains will become increasingly majestic! Riders will definitely want to stop and take some photos with their digital cameras. The scenery is simply stunning! Riders will see the spectacular Wilson group of 14ers (Mt. Wilson, Wilson Peak, and El Diente) and Lizard Head Mountain with its reptile-shaped rock formation to the west of Hwy 145. After 12 miles of additional climbing, riders will reach the summit of the spectacular Lizard Head Pass (elev. 10,222 feet). Riders will then begin a gradual 12-mile descent toward Checkpoint #4, the town of Rico (elev. 8,825 feet, basic services), which will be bustling with holiday weekend activities.


The Lizard Head Mountain to the west of  CO 145

 5) Rico to Mancos, 56 miles.
From Rico, Dolores participants will continue riding southwest along CO 145 through the beautiful Dolores River Valley. This section of highway, which has a fairly good riding shoulder and generally light traffic, rolls its way downward for nearly 36 miles, descending over 2,000 vertical feet along the way. As riders approach the town of Dolores (elev. 6,936 feet, basic services), the surroundings will become notably more arid as riders leave the heart of the San Juan Mountains. Note: This section can be deceptively difficult! The prevailing winds in the Dolores River Valley are often from the southwest, which could create a situation of nearly 36 miles of headwinds in the downhill direction! This will definitely not make this gradual descent from Rico to Dolores seem any easier!

Views from the beautiful Dolores River Valley

From Dolores, riders will turn southeast along CO 184, passing along the southern edge of McPhee Reservoir. As riders approach Mancos from the northwest, the surrounding landscape will continue to become noticeably more desert-esque. Riders will see Mesa Verde National Park off in the distance to the southwest. After riding through 18 miles of rollers through very scenic farming and ranching land, participants will reach Checkpoint #5 in Mancos (elev. 7,028 feet) at the junction of CO 184 and US 160. 

The scenery becomes noticeably more arid as riders approach Mancos.

6) Mancos to Durango, 26 miles.
From Mancos, Colorado Death Riders--with nearly 200 miles in their weary legs—will turn east onto US 160, promptly beginning the final climbs of the long day. And if riders have any luck, the prevailing winds from the west will assist their efforts in conquering these climbs. The first climb is a moderately steep six mile climb to the east of Mancos, which descends rapidly into the community of Cherry Creek. Riders will then tackle a longer ten mile climb to the top of Hesperus Hill (elev. 8,109 feet), passing through the community of Hesperus (limited services) near the top of the climb. As riders continue east, they will appreciate the La Plata Mountains, a small sub-range of the San Juans to the northwest of Durango. At the top of Hersperus Hill, riders will then make the final blazing descent along US 160 back to Checkpoint #6 in Durango, the Best Western Inn and Suites.






Congratulations on completing the Colorado Death Ride!




Cripple Creek Crippler

Pikes Peak is one of Colorado's best known 14,000 peaks! Participants attempting to complete the "Crippler" will ride past this spectacular peak en route to Cripple Creek. 

Date: Back in the near future!

Sign-in/Start: 3:00 am/4:00 am

Start location: Ken Caryl at RTD park-and-ride on the northeast corner of Shaffer Parkway and Ken Caryl Avenue in west Littleton, just east of interchange with C-470

Distance/climbing: 207 miles, 19,000 feet. 

Brief Description: Making its debut in 2012, the Crippler Creek Crippler is one of our newest Colorado Triple Crown events. Featuring relentless rollers and steep climbs, this event is anything but flat! Riders can expect a long, "crippling" day of climbing. From Ken Caryl, the route passes through the foothills communities of Conifer, Pine Junction, Deckers, and Woodland Park. Riders will then navigate the scenic (but steep) loop through the rustic mining community of Cripple Creek (elev. 9,494 feet) to the southwest of Colorado Spring, capturing spectacular views of Pikes Peak and the Pike National Forest along the way. Riders will then may the long journey home, passing through Woodland Park, Deckers, Pleasant Park in the reverse direction. Better get out your granny gear! This one's gonna hurt! Long, steep climbs of 8-12% will be the norm for the day.

No, this is not an EKG rhythm strip. This is the elevation profile for the Cripple Creek Crippler. However, as participants ride this extremely challenging course, it is very possible that their EKGs would resemble the above profile a times. As you can see, there's nothing flat about the Crippler. Riders can expect to be either climbing or descending for the duration of the event!

Registration: Registration is open! To register, click: Cripple Creek Crippler. This event has a $40 cost-recovery fee. Registration is limited to the first 50 pre-registered riders and closes on July 28, 2016. Participants may withdraw by July 16, 2016 for a refund. After July 16th, no refunds will be granted. For more information regarding RMCC membership: RMCC Membership. 

Event organizer: For specific questions about the event, e-mail Mark Lowe (mvlowe5@comcast.net)

Additional notes:
  1. Pre-qualification is encouraged to participate in this event. Please refer to the What's New for 2016? link for more information regarding pre-qualification. Please e-mail Mark Lowe for specific questions regarding pre-qualification.
  2. This event has an 19 hour time limit (10.9 mph). Riders must finish in less than 19 hours to receive an official finishing time and Colorado Triple Crown credit.
  3.  Lights and reflective gear are required!
  4.  The Cripple Creek Crippler is an Ultramarathon Cycling Association (UMCA) UltraCycling Cup event for 2016: (http://www.ultracycling.com).
  5.  Please refer to the Colorado Triple Crown Blog for last minute information regarding this event: (http://coloradotriplecrown.blogspot.com).

Course Description:
Course description: The Cripple Creek Crippler can be broken down into six segments:


Scenic Views from South Valley Park. Impressive rock formations are the norm for the Crippler!

Section 1: Ken Caryl to Conifer, 32.1 miles

Starting in Littleton, CO (elev. 5,351 ft) to the southwest of Denver, the Cripple Creek Crippler will hit riders like a "ton of bricks!" Riders can expect to start climbing right from the start! The climbs featured in the first section of this route (Deer Creek Canyon RoadHigh Drive, and Brook Forest Road/Shadow Mountain Drive) are well-known to RMCC members as these climbs are part of the RMCC Foothills Climbfest, which is contested in May. These climbs include short, steep pitches that exceed grades of 14-15% in places. Riders can expect to climb 4,500 feet in the first 32 miles alone! Note: When ascending Deer Creek Canyon Rd, do not turn left onto Deer Creek Rd (toward High Grade Road). Stay right on Co Rd 124 (S. Deer Creek Canyon Rd) as it veers to the right! After completing the first three climbs, riders will eventually make the well-deserved descent down Shadow Mountain Dr to the first checkpoint, Checkpoint #1, Conifer, CO (elev. 8,278 ft) at Junction of Co Rd 73 and Shadow Mountain Dr.


Scenic pastoral views from Co Rd 126 (a.k.a Pine Valley Road and Deckers Road)
Deckers, CO, which lies along the beautiful South Platte River six miles to the southeast of Cheesman Lake, is a fly fisherman's dream (and a cyclist's paradise)!


Section 2: Conifer to Deckers, 32.6 miles. 
After arriving at the base of Shadow Mountain Dr in Conifer, riders will turn north onto Co Rd 73 for one mile before turning west onto US 285. Riders will venture west along US 285 for nearly seven miles to the community of Pine Junction, CO (elev. 8,448 ft). Please note that this section of Hwy 185 generally has a descent shoulder to ride on. However, riders need to be cautious as traffic can be brisk! From Pine Junction, riders will turn south onto the beautiful Pine Valley Road (Co Rd 126). This road, which features long rollers and punchy climbs, is simply one of the best kept cycling secrets in the state of Colorado! Co Rd 126 is never short on scenery and has a peaceful, "back country" feel to it, but is very exposed in places and can get brutally hot on a toasty summer afternoon. One ominous feature that riders will notice as they venture south through the communities of Pine and Buffalo Creek, however, are the barren hillsides, stripped bare of their trees by the 2002 Hayman Fire (which at the time was the worst wildfire in Colorado history, burning nearly 140,000 acres of pristine mountain wilderness in the Pike National Forest). The area of destruction is visible for miles and miles and is a constant reminder of how quickly our beautiful, back country wilderness can be destroyed by wildfires! Riders will appreciate this section as it features two long descents, including the long descent down Pine Valley Rd to Buffalo Creek, CO (elev. 6,762 ft) and the blazing four miles descent toward the next checkpoint, Checkpoint #2: Deckers, CO (elev. 6,400 ft) at the Deckers store. 


The 2002 Hayman wildfire destroyed large sections of pristine mountain forest along Co Rd 126 in 2002. At that time, this was the largest wildfire in Colorado history. 2012's Waldo Canyon wildfire (Colorado Springs) and High Park wildfire (Ft. Collins) even eclipsed the magnitude of the Hayman wildfire. 


Woodland Park, CO, with spectacular views of Pikes Peak in the background, will be a welcome site for riders after  23 miles of almost continuous climbing from Deckers. 

Section 3: Deckers to Divide, CO, 29.9 miles. 
From Deckers, riders will continue to head south as Co Rd 126 changes names to CO 67. Riders can
expect to climb gradually for nearly 30 miles! Many riders will find this section very difficult!! None
of the climbing in this section is very steep, but because it is long, it is guaranteed to take its toll on the psyche of many riders! As riders ascend gradually through the Pike National Forest, riders will continue to appreciate amazing mountain vistas, but also the barren hillsides destroyed by wildfires. As CO 67 meanders south, the road will continue to undulate upward toward Woodland Park, CO to the northwest of Colorado Springs. At this point in time, riders will begin to catch spectacular glimpses of Colorado's famed Pikes Peak to the south. As riders approach Woodland Park, traffic will become noticeably heavier. As such, riders need to exercise a bit more caution during the final few miles of this section! Once in Woodland Park (elev. 8,465 ft), riders will turn west along US 24 (also CO 67, which has a very wide, safe shoulder for cycling) for almost seven miles until they reach the town of Divide, CO (elev. 9,165 ft) and Checkpoint #3: Divide, Venture Foods (small grocery store) on the north side of the road.



Beautiful rock formations adorn Teller County Rd 1 as riders approach Cripple Creek from the northwest. 
The rustic mining (and gambling) community of Cripple Creek (elev. 9494 ft) marks the official "turn around" point of the Cripple Creek Crippler.

Section 4: Divide-to-Divide, the Cripple Creek Loop, 40.7 miles. 
This loop is a complete gem! It is one of the finest in the state!! From Divide, riders will continue their trek west along US 24, cresting Ute Pass (elev. 9,165 ft) to the west of Divide. Riders will then veer left onto the scenic, hilly Twin Rocks Road (Teller Co Rd 42) which eventually T-intersects with Teller Co Road 1 near the Florrisant Fossil Beds National Monument. Riders will turn left onto Teller Co Rd 1, which is part of the Gold Belt Tour, one of Colorado's Scenic Byways. Views from Teller County Rd 1 are truly beautiful! This road is never short on scenery! Impressive rock formations to pristine mountain pastures are visible from every direction and will help distract fatigued riders, who will have 108 miles in their weary legs before the real fun begins!  After riders reach the Evergreen Station restaurant eight miles to the northwest of Cripple Creek, the road will steepen significantly! Better get out your granny gear...this section is gonna hurt!! As Co Rd 1 pitches upward, riders will face an onslaught of steep climbs with sustained pitches between 8-12%. Riders should take caution as the pavement along Co Rd 1 is extremely rough in places with lots of potholes and cracks! After this seemingly endless series of climbs batter the weary legs of "Crippler" participants, riders will crest one final climb before making a well-deserved plunge into the rustic mining town of Cripple Creek, CO (elev. 9,494 ft). Shortly after reaching the Cripple Creek city limits, riders will ride past the Ace Hardware/Shamrock gas on the south side of Co Rd 1. (Please note that this is an event support point, but not a checkpoint!) Upon reaching Cripple Creek, riders will turn south onto 2nd St and make a quick left onto Bennett Ave, which eventually turns into CO 67 as it exits town to the east. As riders exit town, the climbing begins again in earnest! In fact, riders can expect to climb almost another thousand feet before reaching the high point of the Cripple Creek Crippler, just over 10,200 feet! The views of Cripple Creek to the west, however, are stunning, making this ascent to the course's high point worth it! 


Views of the rustic community of Cripple Creek from  CO 67, over 10,200 feet in elevation, the high point of the Cripple Creek Crippler. Riders can let out a sigh of relief after reaching this point as they can expect almost 46 miles of continous downhill (with a few short climbs along the way) as they make the long return to Deckers.

Finally...a reprieve!! After reaching the high point of the course, riders will embrace nearly 46 miles of extremely scenic downhills. As riders make the well-deserved plunge down CO 67, riders will continue to appreciate beautiful mountain scenery, including majestic views of Pikes Peak to the east. Riders need to continue to exercise caution during this descent as the road remains very rough in many places! As riders approach Divide from the south, they will cruise past the beautiful Mueller State Park. Eventually riders will reach Checkpoint #4, returning to Divide, CO. 

Riders can further appreciate the impressive scale of the wildfire damage as they ride CO 67 in reverse. 

Section 5: Divide to Deckers: 29.9 miles. 
This section of the course, which is almost entirely downhill, will be the best opportunity for riders to make up time. Don't dilly dally! From Divide, riders will turn east onto US 24 (also CO 67) and ride back to Woodland Park. Participants will then turn north onto CO 67. Please be cautious of traffic when making this left-hand turn! From Woodland Park, riders will experience nearly 23 more miles of glorious downhill (except for one short climb) before making the final plunge to Checkpoint #5, Deckers, CO at the Deckers store.



Beautiful views of the Cathedral Spires from SW Platte River Rd in Foxton Canyon, one of Jefferson County's best-kept cycling secrets! 
Serene views of the north fork of the South Platte River in Foxton Canyon
  
Section 6: Deckers to Ken Caryl: 42.3 miles.
Okay...every double century has its "cruel" moments. The Devil Mountain Double Century in San Ramon, CA features Sierra Road...3.5 miles and grades of 12-18%! The Mulholland Double Century in Agoura Hills, CA features several steep climbs, including Balcom Canyon...1/3 mile with grades as steep as 25%! The Terrible Two in Santa Rosa, CA features Skaggs Springs Rd, containing steep pitches and temperatures as high as 120 degrees! The "Crippler" never features climbs that are as steep as those found along the California coast, but the final 42 miles of this event are equally as cruel, especially at the end a double century! From Deckers, riders (who will already have over 13,000 feet of climbing in their crippled legs) will be facing an additional 4,500 feet of steep climbing in a little over 40 miles! The first climb out of Deckers will (once again) hit riders like a "ton of bricks!" This climb is long and steep...over four miles long and constant grades of 8%. Additionally, with the heat of the afternoon sun, road temperatures have the potential to reach 100 degrees during this climb! And shortly after cresting the top of this nearly 1,700 foot climb, the road will pitch up again for another mile or so. Riders will then catch a well-deserved reprieve as the road makes a steep plunge toward the community of Buffalo Creek. Riders will then turn east onto the beautiful Southwest Platte River Rd. This five-mile stretch of pavement, which lies adjacent to the north fork of the South Platte River, is simply beautiful! Adorned with amazing rock formations and plush vegetation, it is one of the best kept secrets along the Denver Front Range! After cruising through the beautiful Foxton Canyon, riders will turn north onto Foxton Rd for six miles, which will continue to gradually ascend through plush mountain forests, passing the Reynolds Park along the way. Participants will then turn east onto Running Deer Rd, where the pavement will once again pitch up. The series of roads approaching Pleasant Park from the south, in fact, reaches grades as steep as 8-12 percent...a cruel finish to a crippling day of climbing! Please note that this final series of roads is very rough with lots of gravel and potholes. Please ride carefully! Finally, riders will reach the serene foothills community of Pleasant Park to the west of Littleton. At this point in time, riders will be "home free" as they make the final exhilarating, twisty 3,000 foot descent down High Grade Rd and Deer Creek Canyon back toward Littleton. With one final short climb past the beautiful South Valley Park, weary riders will make the final descent back to Ken Caryl.

Riders will embrace the twisty descent down High Grade Rd as they make their final descent down Deer Creek Canyon to the final checkpoint in Littleton. 


Congratulations on completing the "Crippler!"