Friday, December 16, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Do you offer support and gear (SAG) support?
Yes. Unless otherwise stated, we will make all attempts have at least one SAG vehicle on the course at all times. Participants are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the support vehicle. Each rider may provide an easy-to-identify gear bag that he/she may use to transport extra food, nutritional supplies, clothing, etc. The support vehicle will transport each participant’s gear bag from one support point to the next. Each cyclist may access his/her gear bag at these support points. As previously mentioned, please be aware that the support vehicle is first and foremost a safety vehicle. In the event of an emergency, the vehicle may have to leave the course. Riders should always be prepared to support themselves by carrying money to purchase food and beverages at stores along the route if necessary.

2) Can I provide my own SAG vehicle?

Yes. The RMCC will allow (and encourages) individual cyclists to be supported by personal SAG vehicles while participating in the Colorado Triple Crown series. Participants should notify the event organizer or ride leader that they will receive personal SAG support prior to the start of the event. Cyclists who have personal support vehicles may be asked to provide support other participants, especially in the case of an emergency. When supporting a rider, a personal SAG vehicle may only provide support for a rider at designated support points and checkpoints along the route. Riders who receive support at locations other than the designated support points or checkpoints will be disqualified! SAG vehicles may not follow, pace, or repeatedly “leapfrog” a rider, as this may disrupt to flow of traffic on narrow mountain roads and jeopardize the safety of other riders! Cyclists may not receive water bottle hand-offs from moving SAG vehicles.

SEVERE WEATHER CONTINGENCY: If a cyclist encounters severe weather conditions, he/she may seek cover in a private support vehicle at any location along the course until the passage of the severe weather. Participants must resume cycling in the exact location where they left the course or will be disqualified.

3) How come the RMCC does not provide more elaborate aid stations?

Because nutritional requirements vary greatly between cyclists, it is impossible to meet the dietary requests of every participant! Additionally, cyclists who are riding events of this caliber usually know what works best for them during ultra distance events. As such, participants must provide their own nutritional supplies (bars, gels, energy drinks, etc.) to successfully complete their event! The RMCC-provided support vehicles will be stocked with water. 

4) How much water/food should I carry?
There may be as many as 50+ miles between checkpoints, so cyclists should carry at least 2 water bottles with them at all times. Some cyclists may even benefit from riding with a small Camelback. The official support vehicle will supply water to participants at designated support points. We also request that each cyclist ride with at least one energy bar between checkpoints to ward off the dreaded “bonk!” For additional nutritional needs, participants may stop at restaurants or convenient stores along the course to purchase additional food and beverages if necessary.

5) Is aero equipment (e.g., aerobars, aero wheels) allowed?

Yes. The RMCC, however, requires that riders use aero equipment responsibly! Drafting is allowed! Please do not use aerobars while riding in pacelines or descending mountain passes! This can be extremely dangerous and can jeopardize the safety of other riders! Additionally, Colorado mountain passes are probably not the best place to use you deep-profile aero wheels as these wheels can be very difficult to safely handle in gusty mountain winds!

6) How much climbing will I do during my event?

Each event of the Colorado Triple Crown has between 12,000 and 20,000 feet climbing. None of the climbs the Triple Crown events exceed 12% (for long periods of time); however, many of the climbs are LONG…be prepared for 20+ miles of continuous climbing! Altitude is also very important consideration!!! Each event of the Colorado Triple Crown spends a substantial amount of time above 10,000 feet! We strongly suggest that riders coming from out-of-town arrive a few days early to become acclimated to our thin Colorado air. High altitude sickness can affect any rider who is not adequately acclimated!

7) What sort of mechanical support is provided during my event?

There will be very limited support available. Your bicycle needs to be in exceptional working order prior to start of your event and all participants need to be self-sufficient at fixing basic mechanical problems. The official support vehicle will be stocked with a floor pump for topping off your tires in case you flat. The drivers of our support vehicles are also willing to lend a hand if you have a mechanical problem; however, please keep in mind that the drivers of our support vehicles are NOT bicycle mechanics. If you have a mechanical failure that prevents you from completing a ride, you will be listed as a DNF. As such, we encourage you to use equipment that is reliable first, then lightweight or aero second.

8) How will I navigate the course?

Each participant will receive an official map and cue sheet via e-mail during the week prior to the ride. Cue sheets will provide turn-by-turn directions for navigating the event course. Each participant will also be given access to the official Garmin file from to upload to their Garmin computer prior to the event. Each cyclist is responsible for navigating the course!  Courses are not marked!

9) What sort of weather conditions will I encounter?

Colorado weather can be very unpredictable. On almost any given day in the summer it is possible to experience rain, hail, intense lightning, and even a freak snowstorm with sub-freezing temperatures! Riders are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to local weather forecasts in the days preceding their event and prepare accordingly! At a minimum, you should have a rain jacket, leg/knee warmers, shoe covers, and long-fingered gloves.

10) What additional equipment or supplies should I bring?

All cyclists MUST carry some form of identification and an emergency contact phone number! All participants should also carry spare tubes, a pump, a patch kit, basic tools, money/credit card, and a cell phone.

11) What should I do if I need to withdraw from my event?

If a rider is unable to complete a Colorado Triple Crown event for any reason, he/she must contact the chief volunteer as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we are not set up to immediately pick you up if you need to withdraw from an event. If you must discontinue for a reason that is not an emergency and you do not have personal support, please attempt to arrange for private transportation to pick you up. Otherwise, please be prepared for the fact that it may be many hours before our support vehicle can pick you up.

12) What should I do if I experience an accident or serious medical issue?

If a rider is experiencing symptoms of a serious medical condition OR if a rider is involved in a collision or crash, he/she should contact emergency medical services ASAP (i.e., call 911)! Please notify the chief volunteer as soon as possible!

13) Can I volunteer to support a Colorado Triple Crown event?

Finding volunteers to support our events can be a challenging endeavor! After all, the RMCC is a club of cyclists and we want to participate in these events too! If you (or a friend) are willing to volunteer for a Triple Crown event, please let us know! We can always use an extra hand!