Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What's New for 2015??? a nutshell...LOTS! 

1. First, we're adding two new rides to the mix for 2015: 

We here at the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club (RMCC) are always dreaming of new rides, especially EPIC ones! We sit at home, late at night, staring at Colorado state maps, conjuring up new (and sometimes sadistic) ways to "connect the dots" and challenge our club members. We're constantly searching for the next BIG ride!

Well, the search for the next BIG adventure continues for 2015. And we've conjured up several new, EPIC routes for this upcoming season that will hopefully pique your interest.  For 2015, the RMCC presents: 

Please look for the postings on this blog about these new events.

2. Second, we're "relaxing" some of the rules regarding pre-qualification for the Colorado Triple Crown events. 

Since the inception of the Colorado Triple Crown in 2009, we've required riders to "prequalify" for these extremely challenging rides. The reason behind pre-qualification is simple. Since the RMCC runs these events with minimal volunteer support, we need to be sure that participants have both the physical and mental fortitude to complete these rides. Pre-qualification is the best way to do so!  For many prospective participants, however, pre-qualification is a major barrier to participation. So, to continue to encourage participation, ensure event integrity, and ensure rider safety, we are making the following changes to our pre-qualification requirements for the 2015 season...

To pre-qualify, registrants must complete one of the following events in the previous 24 months: 

1) Any Colorado Triple Crown event

2) A mountainous double century (or longer) event in another part of the country (time required for verification)

3) One of the RMCC-sponsored 300 km brevets in less than 14 hours

4) Successful completion of another extreme endurance event of at least 12 hours duration:
  • Ironman Triathlon < 14 hours (time required for verification)
  • 50+ mile mountainous running ultra-marathon < 12 hours
Participants who have not met the pre-qualification requirements listed above can still register, but they will need to ride with a personal support vehicle (which is allowed and encouraged) until they can demonstrate that they can complete at least one of the Triple Crown events within its designated time limit. After registering, these riders will need to e-mail me with the name of their support person.

As in previous seasons, RMCC membership is still be required to participate! 

3. Registration
  1. Fees. Participants can expect a small increase in registration fees for the Colorado Triple Crown events in 2015 ($50/event). So where does this money go? Believe it or not, the RMCC really don't make any money for running these events. Our goal is to encourage participation, NOT turn a profit. But the fees that we charge to participate in these events barely cover our expenses of actually running these events (e.g., reimbursement for mileage, food, and sometimes motels for volunteers, etc.).  If we do have extra revenue at the end of the 2015 season, we will use these extra funds to subsidize the production costs of Colorado Triple Crown cycling kits for those riders who successfully complete the series and purchase a Colorado Triple Crown cycling kit at then end of the season! 
  2. Dates. Registration for the 2015 Colorado Triple Crown events will open on March 1, 2015. Please pay attention to this blog and the RMCC website for more details in the weeks ahead. 
  3. Withdrawal. For those members who have registered and need to withdraw from an event, they can do so up to 3 weeks prior to the date of the event. After 3 weeks, refunds will not be granted. 
  4. Transfers. For 2015, registration fees will not be transferrable between events. So please plan ahead!

4. Volunteers

We are 100% dependent on volunteer support! Since 2009, RMCC president, Charlie Henderson, has been essential for supporting these rides. Without Charlie's help, we simply could not run this series in its current format. Over the past few seasons, other individuals--usually family members of other Triple Crown participants--have volunteered time to provide event support. Thank you to all of you!!!

For 2015, we are looking for more volunteer help.  I'm not going to lie! Volunteering for one of these events is a long day...usually between 12-20 hours! And it usually involves getting up well before the crack of dawn. But volunteering can be quite a bit of fun too! For 2015, we will provide the following incentives to volunteer:
  1. If a rider volunteers for an event, he/she can participate in another Triple Crown event for free.
  2. If a rider volunteers a family member to provide event support, that rider gets to ride for free. Those riders will receive a refund for their registration fee. 
  3. Volunteers who provide SAG/driving support for the event will be reimbursed for their mileage  accrued during the event (at the current Federal rate). We will also reimburse for volunteer food/snack purchases accrued during the event. 
  1. Please note that personal support vehicles do not count as volunteer SAG for these events. 
  2. If Charlie is unavailable to volunteer and we are able to secure another volunteer for an event, then that event will be ridden in brevet format (i.e., without support). Please be aware of this!

5. Triple Crown Kits

For 2015, we will re-designing our very distinguished Colorado Triple Crown kit to perhaps include some lighter colors. We will start working on the new design in the months ahead. Please stay posted!

Well...the road to 2015 begins now. Bring it on!! (If only it was that flat!) 


Colorado High Country Double Century

Early morning views of Rabbit Ears Mountain from near Muddy Pass
Inspired by the RMCC Colorado High Country 1200 km Brevet, the Colorado High Country Double Century is the second Colorado Triple Crown event for 2019. This challenging route travels from Boulder to Steamboat Springs along some of northern Colorado’s less traveled roads. Like the other Triple Crown events, the Colorado High Country Double Century is definitely not a flat course, climbing over 12,000 feet in 207 miles.

Date: Back in the near future!

/Start: Tortoises: 2:30 AM/3:00 AM. Hares: 3:15 AM/4:00 AM.

Start location: Boulder, CO: East Boulder Recreation Center, 5660 Sioux Dr, Boulder, CO 80303

End location: Steamboat Springs, Little Toots Park, 12th and Lincoln Ave. Please note that the RMCC does NOT provide transportation back to Boulder after the ride.

Course: Colorado High Country Double Century

This event has a $40 registration fee. Please bring your registration fee to the start of the ride. Registration is limited to the first 50 pre-registered riders. Registration closes May 31, 2019. RMCC membership is also required to participate in this event. For more information about membership: RMCC membership. 

The climb up Poudre Canyon is gradual but long,
gaining over 5,000 feet in 58 miles! 
Brief description: An EPIC single day journey from Boulder to Steamboat Springs on some of Northern Colorado's less-traveled roads. This new point-to-point route passes through the picturesque Poudre Canyon, Colorado's longest Front Range canyon, to its summit at the beautiful Cameron Pass, before plummeting into the North Park Valley. The route finishes with a short climb over Rabbit Ears Pass and a blazing descent to the mountain resort town of Steamboat Springs. 

Course Highlights:
  • Distance: 210 miles, a point-to-point route from Boulder, CO to Steamboat Springs, CO
  • Climbing: 12,000+ feet
  • Course map: Colorado High Country Double Century
  • 2 crossings of the Continental Divide: Muddy Pass and Rabbit Ears Pass
  • 3 categorized climbs:
The spectacular approach to Cameron Pass after 58 miles of nearly continuous climbing1

Cameron Pass via Poudre Canyon, Hors Categorie (HC). (The HC classification is a bit misleading for this climb. Historically, the HC designation was used for mountain roads where cars were unable to pass. HC climbs are typically very long (> 10 miles), very steep (grades > 8-10%), or very high (>11,000 ft). The climb up Poudre Canyon from Ted’s Place is long (58 miles of nearly continuous climbing!), but never steep (average grades of 1-2% for most of the climb, but a bit steeper, 3-8%, in the last 10 miles). The climb up Poudre Canyon over Cameron Pass gains over 5,000 feet. The summit of the pass is 10,276 feet, placing it at high altitude. Given the distance and high altitude, the climb up Poudre Canyon reaches HC status. It is a true "grind" that will test your mental and physical fortitude!

Muddy Pass (elev. 8,772 ft), Category 5. Muddy Pass is one of the lower crossings of the Continental Divide. Muddy Pass marks the western terminus of CO-14 at its junction with US-40 after a lengthy grind through the North Park Valley.

Riders will encounter nearly 7 miles of rollers near the top of Rabbit Ears Pass
before making the steep plunge into Steamboat Springs.
Rabbit Ears Pass (elev. 9,426 ft), Category 4. A moderately steep 3-mile climb, gaining 650 feet from Muddy Pass to the southeast.

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

Event organizer: Mark Lowe (e-mail:

Additional Notes:
  1. Some ultra-distance experience is encouraged (but not required) to participate in this event.
  2. Pre-qualification: Please refer to our updated rules regarding pre-qualification: What's new for 2016??
  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 Boulder from Steamboat Springs. Please start working on arrangements ASAP to get you and your bike back to Boulder after this event! 
  5. Lights and reflective gear are required!

The ski resort town of Steamboat Springs is the finishing location
for this spectacular new Colorado Triple Crown event.

Colorado Classic Double Century

Colorado's Classic Double Century starts and ends in Buena Vista, CO with spectacular views
of the 14,000 foot Collegiate Peaks to the west.

The Colorado Classic Double Century.....Is this Colorado's most perfect loop?

We've dubbed this event the “Colorado Classic Double Century.”  This ride truly captures the essence of road cycling in Colorado: spectacular high-altitude climbs, panoramic vistas, blazing mountain descents, and long sections of dirt and gravel roads. This is a route that is not entirely unknown, as other riders have attempted this EPIC loop. Please check out Zack Vestal’s video account of his attempt to complete this amazing loop. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. If that's the case, then a short movie is worth 100,000 words! And veterans of the Colorado Classic Double Century will tell you that this course falls somewhere between EPIC...and BRUTAL! See for yourself!

Here are the event highlights of this year's Colorado Classic Double Century:

Date: June 27, 2020

Sign-in/Start: Tortoise start time: 2:00 AM. Hare start time: 3:00 AM.

Start/ending location: Beuna Vista, CO. Host hotel: Best Western Vista Inn, 733 US Hwy 24 N, Buena Vista, CO 81221. Phone: 719-395-8009. Please make your reservations ASAP!

Course map: Colorado Classic Double Century

Registration: Registration opens 3/1/2020. This event has a $40 registration fee. Registration is limited to the first 50 pre-registered riders. Registration closes June 25, 2020. RMCC membership is also required to participate in this event. For more information about membership: RMCC membership. 

A canopy of aspen drape the packed dirt and gravel road
near the summit of Kebler Pass.

Brief description: Perhaps Colorado's most perfect loop, Colorado's Classic Double Century is an EPIC loop--one of the nation's finest--starting and ending in Buena Vista, CO. The route includes 236 miles, 17,000 feet of climbing, four high alpine passes (Independence Pass, McClure Pass, Kebler Pass, and Cottonwood Pass), two crossings of the Continental Divide, 35 miles of dirt and gravel roads, and miles and miles of panoramic mountain vistas. Is this Colorado's most perfect loop? Come find out for yourself! 

Crested Butte: the jaw-dropping mountain scenery just keeps coming at you!
Course Highlights:
  • Distance: 236 miles, an EPIC loop—one of the nation's finest! Yup, this is a long one!
  • Climbing: 17,000+ feet
  • Course map: Colorado's Classic Double Century
  • 2 crossings of the Continental Divide: Independence Pass and Cottonwood Pass
  • 35 miles of dirt and gravel roads
  • 4 categorized climbs:
Snaking its way up to 12,095 feet, Independence Pass is all-to-familiar
to Denver-to-Aspen veterans!

Independence Pass (elev. 12,095 ft), Category 1. Lying half way between Twin Lakes and the ritzy ski resort town of Aspen, the climb up CO-82 over Independence Pass is familiar to Denver-to-Aspen veterans. Climbing nearly 3,000 feet from Twin Lakes, Independence Pass is the fourth highest road in Colorado and the highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide in the U.S. 

Views of the Crystal River Valley from the near the summit of McClure Pass
McClure Pass (elev. 8,775 ft), Category 3 (from Redstone). At just under 9,000 feet, McClure Pass is not one of Colorado’s highest mountain passes. But stunning vistas at the summit make this pass one of Colorado’s finest passes to observe spectacular autumn foliage. The gradual climb from Carbondale (elev. 6,181 ft) up CO-133 along the beautiful, red rock-laden Crystal River Valley is dominated by views of Mt. Sopris (elev. 12,965 ft) to the south and east. The final approach to the summit of the pass from the town of Redstone, CO (elev. 7,200 ft) is steep, averaging 8% for 3 miles. 

The climb toward Kebler Pass from Paonia State Park to Crested Butte
is never short on mountain scenery!
Kebler Pass (elev. 10,007 ft). Hors Categorie (HC). Kebler Pass is one of Colorado’s lesser known cycling gems! Starting from Paonia State Park (elev. 6,300 ft), the road climbing to the summit of the pass is a combination of packed dirt, gravel, and some pavement. The climb, which is extremely slow-moving at times due to the dirt and gravel road surface, is a behemoth, gaining nearly 4,000 feet in 24 miles. The climb is truly stunning, passing through panoramic vistas and the largest aspen grove in the U.S.

The climb over Cottonwood Pass, one of the highest points of any event in the Colorado Triple Crown,
is one of the most spectacular climbs in Colorado!

Cottonwood Pass (elev. 12,126 ft), HC. The climb up Cottonwood Pass Road is only 14 miles. But it is a daunting, slow-moving climb that gains 2,800 feet on dirt, gravel, and washboard…a challenging ride for front-wheeled drive passenger vehicles, even more so for road bicycles! However, the panoramic, breath-taking (literally!) views from the summit of the pass are some of the most stunning in the state! The blazing, technical descent down the eastern slopes of the pass toward Buena Vista are equally as exhilarating!

The descent down the eastern slopes of Cottonwood Pass toward Buena Vista
is one of the best in the state!

Time limit: 21 hours (to receive an official finishing time and Colorado Triple Crown credit)

Event Organizer: Mark Lowe (e-mail:

Additional Notes:
  1. Ultra-distance experience is strongly encouraged to participate in this event.
  2. 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! Tire selection is also an important consideration for this course which has 35 miles of dirt and gravel roads.
  3. Lights and reflective gear are required!
Never-ending miles of Colorado mountain vistas!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

2015 Colorado Triple Crown Events and Dates

Wow! 2015 is rapidly approaching! We have some new tricks up our sleeves for 2015. Here's the  Colorado Triple Crown line-up for 2015:

  1. Saturday, June 13, 2015: Colorado High Country Double Century (Boulder, CO to Steamboat Springs, CO)*
  2. Saturday, June 27, 2015: Colorado Death Ride
  3. Saturday, July 11, 2015: Colorado Classic Double Century (i.e., the Colorado Dirty Double Century)*
  4. Saturday, July 25, 2015: Tim Kalisch Memorial Grand Loop
  5. Saturday, August 28, 2015: Joe Lookingbill Denver-to-Aspen Classic (brevet format/self-supported)
  6. TBD, September 2014: Mountains to Desert/Telluride 200**
    • *New event! Pay attention to the Colorado Triple Crown Blog and RMCC website over the next few weeks for more information regarding these spectacular new events! 
    • **The Telluride 200 is a wonderful event organized by the Just For Kids Foundation in Telluride, CO. This year, we will be giving Colorado Triple Crown credit for riders who successfully complete this double century within their challenging time limit! For more information about this spectacular ride: Mountains to Desert/Telluride 200.
There will be six opportunities for riders to complete the series in 2015. But as you can see, it's going to be a "fast and furious" season: 4 events in a mere 6 weeks from June 2015 through July 2015 plus one unsupported event in August and another non-RMCC event in September. 

2015 is a Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) year. PBP, the world's oldest 1200 km brevet, only takes place every 4 years. In 2015, PBP will take place during the middle of August. We want to make sure that all riders who would like to complete the 2015 Colorado Triple Crown are adequately recovered for PBP.

And what about the Cripple Creek Crippler and Cycle to Saturn Double Century??? Don't worry, these events will be back in 2016. We continue to add to our repertoire of events to keep the series "fresh" and challenging for everyone!

More to come soon!!