Sunday, December 8, 2013

New for 2014!

Guanella Pass Road will make its debut in the Colorado Triple Crown during the inaugural Cycle to Saturn Epic Century and Double Century

What's new for 2014?? Well…quite a bit!  We're busy making preparations for 2014 and there are a few exciting changes in the works…
  1. First, to mix things up a bit for 2014, we're adding a fifth Colorado Triple Crown event: the Cycle to Saturn Double Century, which will be contested on Saturday, August 16, 2014. We're very excited about the new event, which is a reincarnation of the course used during the Saturn Cycling Classic pro bike race (plus a little extra!) from 2000 to 2002. It's an extremely challenging route, including 200+ miles, 20,000 feet of climbing, nine categorized climbs (including three climbs over 11,000 feet), and 10 miles of gnarly gravel roads (mostly in the downhill direction)! We will also be simultaneously contesting a shorter version of the event, from Golden to Breckenridge (140 miles, 14,000 feet), giving riders who aren't interested in completing a double century the opportunity to complete the major climbs of the original Saturn Cycling Classic. However, only riders who complete the double century will be eligible for Colorado Triple Crown credit. 
  2. For 2014, participants must complete three of the five Triple Crown events to officially complete the Colorado Triple Crown series.
  3. Because we are offering a fifth Triple Crown event in 2014, there will not be a make-up date on the calendar for 2014. If one of the events gets cancelled because of terrible weather, forest fires, or other factors that are out of our control, then riders who are planning to complete the Colorado Triple Crown will need to complete one of the other events. Please be forewarned and plan ahead!
  4. The Colorado Death Ride will once again start (and end) in Durango. The Death Ride will move back to the Independence Day weekend (Saturday, July 5, 2014), which will allow participants to travel back and forth from the Denver area without having to use vacation time. Please include Sunday, July 6, 2014 on your calendar as a possible make-up date for this ride if we would be unable to ride on July 5 due to factors that are out of our control. If we could not contest the event of July 5 or 6, then the Death Ride would be cancelled for 2014. 
  5. The original three events of the Colorado Triple Crown (Joe Lookingbill Denver-to-Aspen Classic, Colorado Death Ride, and Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop) will remain part of the Colorado Triple Crown Stage Race. As in previous years, the fastest cumulative time of these events will be crowned Colorado Triple Crown Champion for 2014. Update, 06/14. Because of the cancellation of the Grand Loop (due to road construction along US-36 from Lyons to Estes Park), the Cripple Creek Crippler will replace the Grand Loop in the stage race. 
  6. In an attempt to encourage great volunteer support, we will give riders who are planning to volunteer for a Triple Crown event the opportunity to pre-ride that event up to 2 weeks in advance and receive Colorado Triple Crown credit. Only riders who volunteer are eligible to pre-ride an event and receive credit for completing the event.  These riders are not eligible for the stage race. 
  7. Again, to recognize participants for completing the Triple Crown series, riders will be eligible for our Colorado Triple Crown cycling kits created by Alchemist Threadworks in Boulder. For 2014, we are planning a revision of the kit which might include some slightly "cooler" (i.e., more reflective) colors. More on this to come in 2014.

Eben G. Fine Park, the starting location of the Boulder Fearsome Five, under water during September's epic flooding.

Regarding the Short Course events of the RMCC Challenge Series,
  1. We regretfully must postpone the Boulder Fearsome Five until 2015. Unfortunately, this past September's epic flooding in the Boulder area left many of the canyon roads that we use for the BF5 course, including Fourmile Canyon and James Canyon, with major damage that will not be repaired by May 2014…..But no need to fret! We are in the process of creating a new and extremely challenging century ride out of the Golden area to take the place of the BF5 for 2014. We've dubbed this new event the "Golden Anti-Gravity Epic Century." This new route, which will cover many of the lesser traveled roads in the foothills to the west of Golden, will certainly rival the Fearsome Five in terms of sheer vertical gain. It will also have more that its share (lots more!!) of dirt and gravel roads to satisfy the needs of any cyclist who wants to get their road bike a little dirty! More to come on this in 2014!
  2. The Copper Triangle has been taken off the Challenge Series Calendar for 2014. We've decided that by the end of the season, more riders are interested in riding this classic Colorado route for fun than as a timed club event. The Copper Triangle will remain on the RMCC ride schedule as a club ride for 2014. This club ride is great way to spend a day with your RMCC friends, checking out some of the early autumn foliage and kicking off the fall riding season. 
Volunteers…I'm always looking (and begging) for volunteer help to help make our Challenge Series and Triple Crown events run smoothly! Obviously, some of the events, especially those of the Triple Crown, are BIG time commitments. But we do our best to generously compensate our volunteers for their mileage. If anyone is interested in helping out, please let me know! We can't run these events in their current form without your help!!



Mark, Seth, and Galen at the conclusion of the 2013 Copper Triangle (80 miles, 7,000 feet of climbing).  After a "bomber" descent down the eastern slopes of Vail Pass, Galen posted a finishing time of 3:59, with Seth and Mark less than 30 seconds behind. It was the first sub-four-hour finishing time for the Copper Triangle in RMCC history! Unfortunately, official results were washed away in this fall's flooding before we got a chance to post them…

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cycle to Saturn Double Century

Geez! That's a really long ways!!

The Saturn Cycling Classic, contested from 2000 to 2002, was one of the most epic (and brutal) road races ever ridden by the professional peloton in the U.S. The traditional Boulder-to-Breckenridge route boasted an average altitude of over 9,000 feet, climbing over 14,000 vertical feet in 140 miles! Covering a mixture of paved and (nasty) gravel roads, it was perhaps the most difficult single-day road race ever contested in the United States. Of the 190+ professional riders who started the race each year, perhaps only 20 riders would even finish. In spite of this fact, the race attracted some of the U.S.'s biggest cycling stars, including Scott Moninger, Jonathan Vaughters, Chris Wherry, and 2013 Vuelta winner, Chris Horner. It was Colorado's defining road race! In 2014, the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club resurrected major portions of this legendary cycling course, a route that only a few dozen professional riders have ever completed! In 2019, RMCC members will once again get to the opportunity to tackle this legendary route. Get ready to Cycle to Saturn!

Spectacular views of the Continental Divide along Loveland Pass.

Cycle to Saturn Double Century

Date: Back in the future! 

Start location: Golden, Coors Tek Parking lot, 10th and Jackson Street.

Sign-in/Start: Tortoises: Check-in: 1:45 AM, Start 2:00 AM. Hares: Check-in: 2:25 AM, Start: 3:00 AM.

Finish location: Golden, Coors Tek Parking lot, 10th and Jackson St.

Map/cue sheetCycle to Saturn Double Century. Official cue sheet with map and checkpoints will be distributed to pre-registered riders prior to the day of the event.

Distance/climbing: 201 miles/20,000 feet

Rider limit: 50

Registration fee: $30. Please bring your $30 registration fee to the start of the ride. Includes limited SAG support. RMCC membership ($25/year) also required. See below. 

Registration: Cycle to Saturn Registration

Registration closes on June 24, 2019. RMCC membership is required to participate! For more information regarding RMCC membership, click here: RMCC Membership.

Pre-Qualification is encouraged (but not required) to participate in the Cycle to Saturn Double Century. Please refer to the link, What's new for 2019? to learn more about pre-qualification suggestions.

Results: Please note that this is a timed tour, but not a race. Results will be posted in order of finishing time.

Time limits. 20 hours (10.3 mph). Participants must finish within the time limit to receive an official finishing time and Colorado Triple Crown credit.

Event Organizer: For specific questions about the event, contact Mark Lowe:

Additional Notes:
  1. Support. RMCC will provide limited SAG support. Personal support vehicles are allowed and encouraged at check points and support points (See Rules, Regulations, and Safety).
  2. Lights. Lights and reflective gear are required.
  3. Rules and Regulations. Please refer to the Colorado Triple Crown Overview for more information. 

The course elevation profile of the Cycle to Saturn Double Century course is a bit
daunting because of its monstrous alpine climbs! 


The original Boulder-to-Breckenridge route featured six major climbs, including two passes over 11,000 feet! The start of our event, however, deviates slightly from the original route. Our event will start in Golden, not Boulder. Starting in Golden allows double century riders to more easily start and finish in the same location.  However, the crux of the original Saturn Cycling Classic route--Coal Creek Canyon (now Golden Gate Canyon...for safety reasons), Virginia Canyon, Guanella Pass, Kenosha Pass, and Hoosier Pass--are preserved. Double century riders will have the added bonus of climbing three additional categorized climbs--Swan Mountain Road, Loveland Pass, and (the dreaded) Floyd Hill--before making the final descent down Lookout Mountain into Golden.

Here's a brief synopsis of the major climbs of the Cycle to Saturn Epic Century and Double Century:

Views of Tremont Mountain from Golden Gate State Park
Golden Gate Canyon (HC Category)
Starting in Golden, CO, participants will turn west into Golden Gate Canyon, the first major climb of an extremely challenging day! Golden Gate Canyon is actually a series of three shorter climbs that connects Golden to the Peak-to-Peak Highway, collectively gaining over 4,000 feet in 18 miles.  Upon reaching the Peak-to-Peak Highway (US-119), riders will turn south, making the short plunge into the gambling (and mining) communities of Black Hawk and Central City.

With epic views of the Mt. Evans Wilderness to the north, Oh, My God Road originally served as a stagecoach road for shuttling supplies between Idaho Springs, Russel Gulch (one of Colorado's best-preserved ghost towns), and
Central City. It is certain to challenge to the downhill cycling skills of each Cycle to Saturn participant!

Virginia Canyon Road (a.k.a. Oh, My God Road, elev 9,383 feet)
Nestled between Central City (elev. 8,510 feet) and Idaho Springs (elev. 7,581 feet) is Oh My God Road, an 8.5 mile stretch of mixed dirt, gravel, and pavement with steep drop-offs, plentiful switchbacks, and no guardrails! Once participants complete the steep 800+ foot Category 3 climb, riders must then navigate the tricky, technical descent (approximately six miles of dirt, gravel, and some pavement), descending 1,800 feet into Idaho Springs (elev. 7,526 feet).

Connecting Interstate 70 in the north to US-285 in the south, Guanella Pass Road provides convenient access to
Mt. Bierstadt, one of Colorado's most popular 14ers! 

Guanella Pass (elev. 11,669 feet, HC category)
Providing spectacular views of Mt. Bierstadt, Guanella Pass links Georgetown (elev. 8,530 feet) along I-70 to Grant (elev. 8,606 feet) along US-285 to the south. Guanella Pass is a daunting "hors cat├ęgorie" (i.e., HC) climb with several sections of sustained grades of 8%, ascending 3,200 feet in 11 miles from Georgetown. From 2000-2002, Guanella Pass was the "make or break" climb (and descent) of the Saturn Cycling Classic, as the outcome of the race was always determined by this technical road! At the top of the pass, which was a very rough dirt and gravel road, many racers would switch to mountain bikes to minimize the risk of flat tires or other mechanical problems before making the 3,000 foot plunge toward Grant. (However, only those riders who were in the main breakaway were allowed this luxury.)  From 2009 - 2011, a massive paving project spearheaded by the Federal Highway Administration, led to the paving of the northern side of the pass. And in October 2015, construction crews finished paving the southern half of the pass from Guanella Pass summit to Grant, making the southern aspects of Guanella Pass a road cyclist's dream with smooth, pristine blacktop! Guanella Pass is now 100% paved!

The descent down the western face of Kenosha Pass into the South Park Valley
is all too familiar to Joe Lookingbill Denver-to-Aspen veterans! Nasty headwinds can make the 20-mile venture from Kenosha Pass to Fairplay a less than ideal experience!

Kenosha Pass (elev. 10,000 feet, Category 2) 
Kenosha Pass, the eastern gateway into the South Park Valley, is a pass that is all too familiar to Joe Lookingbill Denver-to-Aspen veterans! The climb to the Kenosha Pass summit is a gradual seven mile climb from Grant, gaining 1,400 feet along the way. Although US-285 has quite a bit of traffic, this section of the highway from Grant to Fairplay, has a safe shoulder to ride on and is now rumble strip free. After cresting Kenosha Pass, riders will descend into the South Park Valley as they continue west toward Fairplay, CO.

Red Hill Pass is a short climb from the east, but can take its toll on weary legs.

Red Hill Pass (elev. 10,051 feet, Category 4)
Flanked by red hills on both sides of the summit, Red Hill Pass lies four miles to the northeast of Fairplay (elev. 9,953 feet). It is a short climb...less than two miles in length. It is really just a small "bump" on the course elevation profile. But this climb can feel extremely difficult to weary legs, especially after 110+ miles and five climbs…and even more so if the prevailing winds are out of the west!

Views into Summit County from near the summit of Hoosier Pass

Hoosier Pass (elev. 11,542 feet, Category 2)
Along CO-9 between Fairplay and Breckenridge, Hoosier Pass is the southern gateway into Summit County. It is the second major high alpine climb that Cycle to Saturn participants will encounter. And for epic century riders, the ascent over Hoosier pass will be their last major climb of the day. Hoosier pass is an 11-mile climb from Fairplay, gaining approximately 1,600 feet and reaching maximum grades of 8%.  After cresting the summit of the pass, riders will encounter a steep, twisty descent down the north face of the pass toward the ski community of Breckenridge. Breckenridge was the final stop for the Saturn Cycling Classic. For double century participants, however, their journey continues...

Swan Mtn Road, which skirts the southeast aspects of Dillon Reservoir, is a short (but steep) link between Breckenridge and Loveland Pass Road 

Swan Mountain Road (Category 4)
From Breckenridge, double century riders will begin their difficult journey home. Traveling north along CO-9, riders will turn east onto Swan Mountain Road, which connects CO-9 to Loveland Pass Road, skirting the southeast corner of Dillon Reservoir. The climb over Swan Mountain Road is only 4 miles long, but its steep pitches will surely wreck havoc on the legs of exhausted riders, who will have climbed 15,000 feet by the time they reach the top of this short climb!

With its majestic high alpine vistas, Loveland Pass is one of Colorado's finest cycling passes.

Loveland Pass. (elev. 11,990 feet, Category 1)
Loveland Pass is a complete gem! Adorned by spectacular views of the Continental Divide, it is truly one of Colorado's most majestic mountain passes! Loveland Pass Road gains 2,630 feet in 8.7 miles from the Keystone ski resort. Weary riders will definitely want to have their digital cameras handy for this climb! At an altitude just shy of 12,000 feet, the views will certainly leave double century riders breathless! After cresting this spectacular pass, riders will make the exhilarating 4-mile plunge down the eastern face of the pass to the Loveland Ski Resort. From the resort, riders will jump on the recently constructed Continental Divide Trail as they continue the long descent toward Silver Plume and Georgetown.

Running parallel to I-70, the short (but steep) climb up the western face of Floyd Hill
can be a daunting task to exhausted riders!

Floyd Hill (Category 3)
Floyd Hill is a climb that is well-known to riders who have completed the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop. The climb up the Floyd Hill frontage road (US-40) is a short, but challenging climb, gaining 710 feet in 1.8 miles with an average grade of 8%. After cresting Floyd Hill, riders will continue in the eastbound direction, tackling a final series of rollers through Bergen Park before making the final descent to Golden.

As double century riders return from Saturn, they will have completed 20,000 of climbing for the day.  Riders will  most certainly embrace the final 5-mile descent down Lookout Mountain into Golden. 
The descent down Lookout Mountain Road into downtown Golden marks the conclusion of a difficult double century!

Congratulations on cycling to Saturn!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Save the Date! The 2014 Colorado Triple Crown!

Okay…after a few month hiatus, we're back in action, busy planning for 2014!! And yes…we have a few tricks up our sleeve for 2014!

Here's what's ahead for 2014:

2014 RMCC Short-Course Challenge Series Events:
  1. Sunday, May 4, 2014: Golden Anti-Gravity Century*
  2. Saturday, May 24, 2014: Foothills Climbfest
  3. Saturday, August 23, 2014: Cycle to Saturn Epic Century*

2014 Colorado Triple Crown: 
  1. Saturday, June 14, 2014: Joe Lookingbill Denver-to-Aspen Classic
  2. Saturday, July 5, 2014: Colorado Death Ride
  3. Saturday, July 26, 2014: Cripple Creek Crippler
  4. Saturday, August 9, 2014: Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop
  5. Saturday, August 23, 2014: Cycle to Saturn Double Century*

*As you can see, there are a couple of new additions to our stable of events which will hopefully pique your interest. More details to come soon!

Name that foothills community! There's a very distinctive possibility that participants might be riding through Colorado's most cycling-friendly gambling communities during both of our new events in 2014!
Oh, my God! You can't be serious?!?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013 Colorado Triple Crown Finishers

Congratulations to the following RMCC members for completing this year's Colorado Triple Crown, Colorado's most difficult road cycling series! This year's "class" had 19 finishers (including 11 fledgling ultra-cyclists), the largest Colorado Triple Crown class ever!

  1. Benoit, Diane
  2. Driscoll, Tom (CA)
  3. Howell, Craig
  4. Hulett, Jeffrey
  5. Jensen, Keith
  6. Knerl, Andrew
  7. Lowe, Mark
  8. Miller, Tom
  9. Nelsen, Eric
  10. Purul, Lisa
  11. Rudolph, Steve
  12. Schroer, Steve
  13. Secunda, Dave
  14. Shannon, Kelly
  15. Summerhill, Fran
  16. White, Andrew and Kami (tandem)
  17. Wiss, Dick

Although we don't have a special category for it (yet), congratulations to the following riders for completing all four rides of the series...the Colorado Triple Crown "Grand Slam" finishers:
  1. Howell, Craig
  2. Hulett, Jeffrey
  3. Lowe, Mark
  4. Miller, Tom
  5. Nelsen, Eric
  6. Rudolph, Steve
  7. Shannon, Kelly
  8. Stanton, Mark
The sun sets on the 2013 Colorado Triple Crown. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

2013 Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop Recap

Spectacular views from RMNP's famed Trail Ridge Road. At an altitude of 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge Road
is the highest location of any Colorado Triple Crown event!

Members of the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club (RMCC) tackled the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop, the final event of the 2013 Colorado Triple Crown, on Saturday, August 10, 2013. For many Colorado cyclists, the "Grand Loop" is one of the Colorado Front Range's most epic single-day cycling loops! In 2012, the RMCC-sponsored event was renamed in remembrance of Tim Kalisch, a popular RMCC member, who took his own life in August 2011, a devastating loss to the club. To Tim and many other RMCC members, the Grand Loop is the club's most epic single-day event. The crux the Grand Loop is the spectacular 5,000 foot climb up Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park, ascending into the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous highway in North America, featuring seven continuous miles above 11,000 feet and reaching a high point of 12,183 feet, the highest elevation of any event of the Colorado Triple Crown.  It is also arguably the most spectacular stretch of pavement of any of the Colorado Triple Crown events!

Billy Edwards had a record-setting performance during this year's Grand Loop, posting a record time of 11:04, bettering Mark Lowe's 2012 time by 4 minutes! Billy's performance was impressive given he completed the final 118 miles without any support and even waited for Eric Nelson to change a flat tire out side of Granby.  Congratulations, Billy!

This year's Grand Loop featured 22 starters, including eight rookies, the largest turnout ever for this event! In spite of the weather forecast for afternoon rain showers, participants encountered some of the best weather in the history of this event with comfortable temperatures (upper 50s in RMNP and the upper 60s in the Fraser Valley) and favorable winds, including an impressive tailwind from the top of Berthoud Pass back to Golden. Riders who finished later in the day were chased by some light thundershowers from Berthoud Pass back to Golden, but overall weather conditions could not have been much better!

Mark Lowe at the conclusion of the Grand Loop, relieved to be off of the bike after a day of cramps and flat legs...and after  getting a taste of his own medicine! 

With cooperative weather conditions and a speedy crew of riders, it was a day for records to fall!! Professional triathlete and endurance coach, Billy Edwards, who captained the 8-man Allied Forces-Team 4Mil to a record setting performance at this year's Race Across America (RAAM), spearheaded the day of record-setting performances, setting a new Grand Loop course record.

Eric Nelsen had another solid day on the bike. An unfortunate flat outside of Granby and lack of front-end support forced Eric to back off the hard pace set by Billy Edwards shortly after leaving Granby, CO.

Grand Loop participants got off to a blistering start in spite of the very early 3:00 am start! A group of riders, including Billy, Mark Lowe, Eric Nelsen, Steve Rudolph, Tom Miller, and RMCC newcomer, Tim Hoppin, set a blazing pace to Lyons, CO, riding the hilly 35-mile stretch from Golden to Lyons with an average speed of over 23 mph (which is very impressive given this section is ridden entirely in the dark on less than ideal road conditions)! The lead group began to splinter a bit as the they began the 3,000 foot grind up US-36 from Lyons to Estes Park, CO, just as the first hints of daylight began to set in. Upon reaching the eastern entrance to RMNP, Billy and Eric continued their aggressive pace up Trail Ridge Road, forcing Steve Rudolph and Tim Hoppin to fall back to a more sustainable pace. Four-time Grand Loop veteran and course record holder, Mark Lowe, who was hampered by an untimely bathroom break and leg cramps, also had to fall back shortly after leaving the checkpoint in Estes Park, leaving Billy and Eric out front. The duo reached the Alpine Visitor's Center in RMNP--after climbing 10,000 feet in 82 miles--in 5:15 (15.62 mph), setting the fastest recorded time to visitor center in the history of this event!

RMCC new-comer, Tim Hoppin, successfully completed his first Colorado Triple Crown event. Good to have you out there, Tim! Hopefully we'll see you for more next season!

After refueling at the RMNP checkpoint, Billy and Eric made the spectacular, twisty (but blustery) descent down the western slope of RMNP, eventually passing through western RMNP entrance and the community of Grand Lake. Before reaching Granby, however, their pace came to a complete hault when Eric experienced an untimely flat tire. Demonstrating good sportsmanship, Billy waited for Eric to change the flat, a decision that ultimately cost several valuable minutes. Riding without support, the duo was then forced to stop in Granby to refill their bottles at a local convenience store. Mark, who had passed through the RMNP alpine visitor center ten minutes behind Billy and Eric, unknowingly caught and passed the two riders in Granby. Mark was promptly tracked down by Billy, who did not want the current Grand Loop record holder to slip away.

At 53 years old, Steve Rudolph successfully completes his fastest Grand Loop to date in 12:04. Like a fine wine,
Steve continues to get better with age!

After catching up with Mark, Billy promptly dropped into his aerobars, and gradually pulled away from Triple Crown veteran as the two riders made the steep ascent along US-40 into Tabernash, CO. Mark commented afterwards, "when Billy dropped into his aerobars, there was absolutely nothing I could do! I simply didn't have the legs today to keep up with him today! He definitely rode much better today than 2011, the last time I rode the Grand Loop with him." Once out front, Billy made the 2,000 foot ascent from Winter Park, CO to the top of Berthoud Pass. At the top of the pass, Billy embranced a strong westerly tailwind, which assisted his blazing descent back toward Golden. After tackling the short but steep climb up Floyd Hill and the series of uphill rollers through Soda Springs, Billy made the final descent down Lookout Mountain, ultimately reaching the final checkpoint in Golden with a finishing time of 11:04!

With his record setting day on the bike, Billy has proven that he is a legitimate threat to capture this year's Furnace Creek 508 title, which will be contested in October 2013. Best of luck with the race, Billy!

For Billy's recap on the event:

Congratulations to all of this year's Grand Loop finishers!!!

Tom Miller and Drew Knerl finished the final leg of this year's Grand Loop together. By completing this year's Grand Loop, Drew completes his first Colorado Triple Crown and Tom completes his third! Congratulations to both of you!!

Craig Howell and Kelly Shannon at the conclusion of the Grand Loop. Both riders improved on last year's time by 40 minutes! Congratulations to both of you!

Jeff Hulett of Golden, CO successfully completes his first Grand Loop and fourth event of this year's Colorado Triple Crown. Congratulations, Jeff!

Dick Wiss successfully completes his first Grand Loop since 2009! At 64 years young, Dick is perhaps the oldest rider to ever complete this challenging loop and the oldest rider to ever complete the Colorado Triple Crown!
My hat's off to you, Dick!!

Diane Benoit, at 55 years old, successfully completes the Colorado Triple Crown. Diane and RMCC distance legend, Carol Havrda, are the only two female riders in RMCC history to have completed this challenging series twice!
Congratulations, Diane!!

By completing the Grand Loop, Steve Schroer of Littleton successfully completes his first Colorado Triple Crown. Steve had a series of mechanical problems during the Cripple Creek Crippler that prevented him from completing that event! Congratulations on finishing strong!

By his own high standards, Mark Stanton had a rough day on the bike, but successfully battled through adversity
to complete his first Grand Loop! Nice ride, Mark!

The trio of Fran Summerhill, Lisa Purul, and Dave Secunda worked together to complete this year's Grand Loop. By completing this event, all three riders successfully completed the Colorado Triple Crown! Fran and Lisa are only the third and fourth female riders in club history to complete the series. And at 59 years young, Fran becomes the oldest woman to successfully complete the series! Congratulations to all of you!!!

RMCC veteran, Harris Rosenthal, successfully completes the Grand Loop!
It was good having you out there on another long event!!

Andrew and Kami White completed the Grand Loop in 16:04, the fastest known time of any mixed tandem couple to complete this challenging ride! By completing the Grand Loop, Andrew and Kami become the first couple to ever complete the Colorado Triple Crown on a tandem! This is truly an amazing feat as an unfortunate DNF
during Denver-to-Aspen meant they had to complete the series by riding the three most difficult events of the series:the Colorado Death Ride, the Cripple Creek Crippler, and Grand Loop! Congratulations to both of you!!!

RMCC club president, Charlie Henderson, still smiling after a long day of supporting riders! 

Event Notes:

  • 22 ride starters (including four women), a new record for the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop!
  • 21 finishers, also a new record for this event.
  • Congratulations to Billy Edwards for his record-setting performance in 11:04 (18.07 mph), bettering Mark Lowe's 2012 time of 11:08. Billy, along with Eric Nelsen, also established a new club record for the fastest time ever recorded to the Alpine Visitor's Center in RMNP in 5:15 (15.62 mph)!
  • Congratulations to Diane Benoit for posting the fastest solo female time of the day in 14:24 (13.89 mph)! By completing the Grand Loop, Diane becomes only the second female in club history to complete the Colorado Triple Crown twice!
  • Also, congratulations to Andrew and Kami White for posting the fastest finishing time of any mixed tandem during the Grand Loop with a time of 16:04 (12.45 mph)! 
  • By completing the Grand Loop, Mark Lowe captured the Colorado Triple Crown stage race title, the fastest cumulative time for the three original Colorado Triple Crown events (Denver-to-Aspen, Colorado Death Ride, and the Grand Loop). Eric Nelson and Steve Rudolph round out this year's stage race podium! Congratulations to all three riders. 

Special thanks to Charlie Henderson and Laura Luhn (who filled in at the last second) for providing event support for this year's Grand Loop!!

By completing the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop, the following riders have successfully completed the Colorado Triple Crown. Congratulations to all of you!!
  1. Diane Benoit
  2. Drew Knerl
  3. Lisa Purul
  4. Steve Schroer
  5. Dave Secunda
  6. Fran Summerhill
  7. Andrew and Kami White
  8. Dick Wiss

Elk enjoying the scenery along along Trail Ridge Road.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Next up...the Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop

Here is the important information regarding tomorrow's big ride:

Update: Friday, 8/9/10 at 9:35 am:

  1. Here's an important update that will effect all of the riders tomorrow! Due to some last minute health concerns, the driver of our second support vehicle will not be able to help out tomorrow, which means we are only going to have Charlie to provide support for tomorrow's ride (unless some is willing to "volunteer" a family member). This means that there will most likely NOT be water support in Granby. Riders need to be prepared for this are encouraged to ride with Camel backs from RMNP until Berthoud Pass. Alternatively, there are many convenience stores from Grand Lake to Winter Park, so riders can stop along the way for water refills and purchase other supplies. Charlie will likely catch up with a majority of riders on Berthoud Pass, but speedier riders will likely have to provide for their own provisions after RMNP! 
  2. I forgot to mention in the pre-ride instructions that you will need to bring your National Parks Pass OR $10 to get into RMNP. For those riders who reach the east entrance of the park before 7:00 am, this should not be an issue, but all other riders need to plan for this and expect that you will have to stop at the eastern entrance of the park to pay the fee. Unfortunately, your entry fee does not cover the expense of riding through RMNP...
  3. Please plan for the possibility of cool, wet weather! There is 40% chance of thunderstorms in Winter Park tomorrow and high temperatures are only expected to be in the 60s...
  4. We have 23 riders signed up for tomorrow's Grand Loop, so we're expecting a very good turnout!

1)      Date: Saturday, August 10, 2013

2)      Check-in/start timeCheck in starts at 2:15 am. Ride starts promptly at 3:00 am. Please be ready to ride by about 15 minutes early for last minute instructions. Lights and reflective gear are required!

3)     Start/finish Location: Golden, CO, Coors-Tek parking lot, 10th and Jackson Street

4)   Registration: Pre-qualification and pre-registration are required to participate in this event! Pre-registration closes Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm. For more information about prequalification, please contact Mark Lowe: 

This is the final event of the 2013 Colorado Triple Crown!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cripple Creek Crippler Recap: "I'd Rather Face Death Than Be Crippled!"

Scenic views from near Southwest Platte River Road amidst the thundershowers which pummeled riders
during the final 90 miles of this year's Crippler.

On Saturday, July 27, 2013, the mighty Cripple Creek Crippler unleashed its furor on members of the RMCC as participants tackled one of the nation's most difficult double century courses! The "Crippler," which is the newest event of the Colorado Triple Crown, is truly a beast of a double century! The course features an estimated 18,600 feet of climbing (some if it rather steep at times!) in 207 miles, covering terrain from the foothills to the west of Chatfield Reservoir all the way to Cripple Creek, CO (and back). Indeed, riders are either climbing or descending for the duration of the event! California Triple Crown veteran, Tom Driscoll (from Mountain View, CA), who ventured to Colorado this summer to complete the Colorado Triple Crown, summed the event up best. "I've ridden most of California's hardest double centuries...the Mulholland Double Century, the Terrible Two, and Devil Mountain Double Century. This course is HARDER than all of those courses!" With an average altitude of 7,500 feet, the rarified Colorado air also adds to the challenge. It was a day that will long be remembered by all of this year's participants. And at the conclusion of the ride, the group consensus was unanimous: the Crippler is harder than the Colorado Death Ride! Indeed, many Colorado Triple Crown veterans would rather face death than be crippled!

Eric Nelsen is glad to have survived this year's Crippler unscathed by mechanical issues!
Eric posted the speediest time of the day in 13 hours, 17 minutes.

However, in spite of the inherent challenges of the course, the Crippler is never short on spectacular mountain scenery! Throughout the entire ride, participants are surrounded by of stunning mountain vistas, amazing red rocks formations, and serene mountain streams. Even the miles and miles of barren hillsides along Deckers Road, stripped of their trees by the 2002 Hayman fire, have a mystifying characteristic to them. Riders also catch spectacular views of Colorado's famed Pikes Peak to the east of Cripple Creek where they can see the Pikes Peak highway snaking its way to the 14,000 foot summit.

In spite of multiple flat tires and a near DNF, Mark Lowe ventured on to safely complete this year's Crippler.
At the start of the event, Eric Nelsen and Mark Lowe, accompanied early on by Steve Rudolph, set the (usual) hard pace from Ken Caryl up Deer Creek Canyon. The duo worked together during the first 80 miles of the event, tackling the steep climbs of the Evergreen backroads, including High Road and Brook Forest/Shadow Mountain before making the scenic descent through Buffalo Creek and Deckers. The duo continued south, tackling the deceptive, gradual climb to Woodland Park, eventually turning west along US-24 toward Divide. Shortly after leaving Woodland Park, Mark's long-standing history of good fortune ran out as a slashed tire sidewall and multiple flat tires left him stranded momentarily on the side of the road. Eric ventured on alone, ascending the series of steep climbs to the rustic town of Cripple Creek, which was a bustle with activity from a weekend auto show. After cresting the high point of the course (approximately 10,200) two miles to the east of Cripple Creek, Eric began the 90-mile journey back to Ken Caryl amidst a series of thunderstorms that pummeled the Front Range throughout the afternoon. After cresting the steep climbs up Deckers Road and Foxton Canyon, Eric made the exhilarating descent from Pleasant Park down High Grade Road. Eric then cleared the final short climb over South Valley Park, returning to Ken Caryl, with the day's fastest time of 13:17.

Tim Miller continues to impress with another exceptional Triple Crown event! Congratulations, Tom!!
The day was an act of survival for many RMCCers. Many riders faced an assortment of mechanical problems, including an abundance of flat tires due to the glass-laden roads, further adding to the challenge of the day! Mother Nature also decided to leave her stamp on this year's Crippler, pelting participants with a constant stream of thundershowers--some of them a bit heavy at times--for nearly 90 miles from Cripple Creek back to Littleton. None of this year's participants, not even the speediest of RMCCers, escaped Mother Nature's wrath! But in the end, neither mechanical mishaps nor the soggy afternoon weather could dampen the spirits of this hardy crew of RMCCers!

Steve Rudolph is congratulated by Eric Nelsen for finishing the Crippler.

Congratulations to all of this years finishers!! You are all a very hardy bunch of riders...some of RMCCs finest!!

Special thanks the Penny Nelsen and RMCC president, Charlie Henderson, for graciously giving up their day to provide event support for this year's event. And thanks to Diana Shannon for her assistance with recording rider times at the conclusion of the ride! 

Redemption! Kelly Shannon is pleased to have finished this year's Crippler in spite of the rain.
Kelly struggled with GI issues during last year's event, forcing him to withdraw before finishing. 

Event notes:

  • 16 rider starters, including 3 women!
  • 14 finishers (88% finishing rate), 2 DNFs...not bad for such a challenging day!
  • Congratulations to Eric Nelson for posting the speediest time of the day in 13:17. Eric, who was not spared by the thunderstorms, was forced to take shelter on the side of Deckers Road, easily costing him 20 minutes. 
  • Congratulations to Lisa Purul and Fran Summerhill, who finished together as our solo female riders with a time of 16:18.
  • Andrew and Kami White had an amazing day in spite of numerous mechanic problems during the final 90 miles on their tandem. After getting soaked with rain, Andy was borderline hypothemic at the end of the ride. Congratulations on completing this ride! I suspect that you will be the only tandem couple to complete this event for a very, very long time!
  • Congratulations to Tom Driscoll of Pleasant View, CA for completing the CCC. By completing the Crippler, Tom becomes only the second rider ever from California to complete the Colorado Triple Crown!
  • Special kudos to Mark Stanton, who earned the distinction of "most combative" rider of the day! Coming off of a crash earlier in the week, Mark survived multiple flat tires throughout the day, missing time cut-offs (and hence support) at Conifer and Deckers. In true "rando" style, Mark ventured ahead to complete this difficult route with plenty of time to spare...

Craig Howell had another exceptional Triple Crown event! Special thanks to Craig's parents for providing support to Craig and other riders throughout the day!

Eric and Penny Nelsen at the conclusion of the Crippler. (Eric...I think your wife deserves another tropical scuba diving vacation for all of the help she has given us this year!)

With the conclusion of the Cripple Creek Crippler, the following riders have successfully completed the 2013 Colorado Triple Crown. Congratulations to all of you!!!
  1. Driscoll, Tom, Mountain View, CA
  2. Howell, Craig, Littleton, CO
  3. Hulett, Jeffrey, Golden, CO
  4. Jensen, Keith, Johnstown, CO
  5. Lowe, Mark, Arvada, CO
  6. Miller, Tom, Denver, CO
  7. Nelsen, Eric, Evergreen, CO
  8. Rudolph, Steve, Westmister, CO
  9. Shannon, Kelly, Denver, CO
  10. Stanton, Mark, Black Hawk, CO

Next up...the Colorado Triple Crown grand finale...Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop...