|Views of the spectacular Pikes Peak from near Woodland Park, CO|
Brief description: A new Colorado Triple Crown event for 2012, the Cripple Creek Crippler is one last opportunity for RMCC riders to earn Colorado Triple Crown credit. However, it ain’t gonna be easy! 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 to the rustic mining community of Cripple Creek to the southwest of Colorado Springs, capturing spectacular views of Pikes Peak and the Pike National Forest along the way. Riders will then make the long journey home, passing through Woodland Park, Deckers and Pleasant Park in the reverse direction. Better get out your granny gear! This one’s gonna hurt!
The RMCC has been using various forms of the "Crippler" route since its inception in the early 1990s. Most recently, a variant of this route was resurrected by RMCC member Vernon Smith in 2011 as a (brutally hard) 300 km brevet that starts in Colorado Springs. The Cripple Creek Crippler returns to our Ken Caryl start location in west Littleton, CO. Unlike the other three events of the Colorado Triple Crown, the "Crippler" never gets insanely high in elevation. The highest elevation that the course achieves, in fact, is a little over 10,200 feet (a few miles to the northeast of Cripple Creek). What this route lacks in elevation, however, it makes up in sheer volume of climbing (as well as the potential for very hot temperatures). The total vertical gain of this course is over 17,500 feet (and maybe more than that)! Long, steep climbs of 8-12% will be the norm for the day. Here's a sneak-peak of the route: Cripple Creek Crippler
1) Ride Date: Saturday, August 11, 2012
2) Start and Finish Location: Littleton, CO at the Ken Caryl RTD park-and-ride on the NE corner of Shaffer Parkway and Ken Caryl Avenue, 1/4 mile east of interstate C-470.
3) Registration: RMCC membership, prequalification, and preregistration are required to participate in this event. This event has a $30 registration fee. We still have openings for this ride. Preregistration will close on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm. For questions, please e-mail Mark Lowe: email@example.com.
4) Ride start/check-in: Rider check-in at 3:30 am. Ride start at 4:00 am. Please be ready for a pre-ride briefing at 3:45 am. Lights and reflective gear are required!
5) Official support vehicles: We will have two support vehicles to support this event, which will be driven by Charlie Henderson (Charlie's cell phone: 720-480-9714) and Hunter Johnson (Hunter's Cell Phone: 303-242-6217). Participants are allowed to place a well-marked (BIG letters, easy to read) personal gear bag in both support vehicles. Gear bags can be stocked with extra nutritional supplies and clothing that participants might need to successfully complete the ride. Riders will be able to access their gear bags at checkpoints along the course (see below).
6) Personal support vehicles: Personal support vehicles are allowed (and encouraged)! However, participants riding with personal support must register their support vehicle with Charlie prior to the start of the ride (name of driver, vehicle make/model, license number, cell number). Failure to preregister your personal support vehicle will result in disqualification! Participants using personal support vehicles may only receive support at designated check points and support points.
7) Checkpoints and time limits: Please keep in mind that this is a timed bike ride, but not a race. Friendly competition is encouraged, but the primary goal for every rider is to finish safely! Participants have 18 hours to complete this ride to earn an official finishing time and receive Colorado Triple Crown credit. Riders can only begin riding at the official start time and must reach all checkpoints to receive an official finishing time. Like the other events of the Colorado Triple Crown, we will be using event passports to record rider times for the Cripple Creek Crippler. Riders may pick up their event passports at rider check-in, prior to the start of the ride. All riders must have their event passports validated by RMCC event staff at the following official checkpoints listed below. If RMCC event staff is not present at these checkpoints, riders should record their own times. Riders must have their event passports validated by RMCC event staff at the finish.
- Conifer, CO: NW Corner of Co R.73 and Shadow Mountain Drive
- Deckers, CO: Store at Junction of Co Rd 126 (Deckers Road) and CO 67
- Divide, CO: Junction of US 24 and N. Co Rd 5/CO 67
- Divide, CO: Junction of US 24 and CO 67/N. Co Rd 5 (Returning from Cripple Creek)
- Deckers, CO: Store at Junction of CO 126 (Deckers Road) and CO 67
- Finish: Littleton, CO: Ken Caryl RTD Park-n-Ride (closing time: 9:00 pm)
8) Additonal Support Points: RMCC will also be providing water support in Cripple Creek, CO on Teller Co Rd 1, just after reaching the western city limits of Cripple Creek. Riders with personal support vehicles may receive support at the above checkpoint locations AND at the following locations:
- Conifer: Shell gas at intersection of Co Rd 73 and US 285
- Woodland Park: Conoco Gas at Junction of CO 67 and US 24 (NW corner)
- Evergreen Station: Mile 108 along Teller Co Rd 1, before making the final series of steep climbs to Cripple Creek
- Cripple Creek: Ace Hardware and Shamrock Gas on Teller Co Rd 1 (entering town)
- Buffalo Creek: Junction of Co Rd 126 (Deckers Road) and SW Platte River Rd
- Foxton: Small park at the junction of SW Platter River Rd and Foxton Rd
- Pleasant Park: Pleasant Park Grange
10) Emergencies: If you have an accident or injury that requires emergent attention, please call 911. Please call Charlie ASAP to let him know!
11) Event Rules: Please review the event rules before the ride on Saturday: http://coloradotriplecrown.blogspot.com/2011/05/rules-regulations-and-safety.html
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!|
1) 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 Road, High 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)!|
|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.|
3) Section 3: Deckers to Divide, CO, 29.9 miles
|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.|
4) Section 4: Divide-to-Divide, the Cripple Creek Loop, 40.7 miles
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.|
5) 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|
6) Section 6: Deckers to Ken Caryl: 42.3 miles
|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 Cripple Creek Crippler!
|Participants of the Cripple Creek Crippler may need one of these at the conclusion of this ride!!!|