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Old 06-10-09, 03:32 PM   #1
JT52
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Elephant Rock

Rode the Castle Rock, CO, Elephant Rock metric century on Sunday - my first time doing this ride. I've always chosen other events that would usually have fewer riders; E-Rock caps out at 7,000, with a 4,500 cap on the Century/Metric Century course. I'm happy I changed my mind and rode it, it's simply a great event, extremely well organized and managed. I loved the folks spaced every 10 miles or so who's sole purpose was apparently to ring cow-bells and yell "Good job!" as we passed by.

For the entire length of the ride, motorcycle cops made their presence known and traffic cops directed and in some cases redirected traffic to keep things peaceful and under control. They were also very supportive of the riders themselves, often shouting encouragement along the way. People living in the area must be fairly use to this event (22 years running now) and motor traffic seemed very tolerant of all the cyclists they had to pass.

This is a very hilly course - seemed like out of the first 30 miles, 25 was some sort of an uphill. But fortunately, with old age comes wisdom, and I rode my own ride at my own pace and came through comfortably. And of course, with every uphill there must be a downhill. On the back side of a pretty intense climb was a even more intense downhill - I hit 48 mph, a speed I haven't seen since the 80s. It was simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying.

With all the moisture we've had this spring the scenery was a spectacular lush green all over. In a couple months a lot of it will be brown and dry, but on this day, it was drop-dead gorgeous.

Great ride!

I have a selection of photos at:

http://jstrongphotos.smugmug.com/gal...60227687_8RAxR
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Old 06-10-09, 09:43 PM   #2
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Many, many years ago, when I was 59, I did the Elephant Rock - sort of.

I was going from Monument to Palmer Lake, and was alone except for one other rider, who I was sure knew the way. He turned right out of Monumemt, and I followed him. We ended up at Larkspur just as the ambulance was being dispatched from Larkspur to go over the mountain to near Palmer Lake to assist with the lady who was killed - but not by a car, instead a hole in the pavement.

Anyway, there was no way I was going to go over that hill, as I would have been way behind. So, I called the rescue mobile and she arrived in about 30 minutes.

The other guy was leaving the ride to meet his wife. Anyway, I got 65 miles in - so I guess just about a metric century,
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Old 06-10-09, 10:42 PM   #3
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Very nice pictures. Thanks for posting.
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Old 06-11-09, 11:42 AM   #4
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I love/hate your photos: there was sunshine in Colorado on Sunday??

I headed down toward Boulder around ~7AM and got nary a glimpse of the sun until I was on my way back to Ft. Collins. That lasted about 10 miles until I reached Carter Lake, then it was overcast, breezy and chilly. I barely got home and ducked into my garage before the hail and rain hit.
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Old 06-11-09, 12:01 PM   #5
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Yeah, I was surprised at how dreary it got just driving back to Denver after the ride. It was absolutely beautiful in Castle Rock and points south!
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Old 06-24-09, 10:01 AM   #6
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Congrats on completing E-Rock. You passed right by my back yard just before the finish line. I could hear most of the century riders noting the 100 mile mark just over the fence from my back yard. It's been a couple of years since I road E-Rock. As a local, you have to either commit to riding in it, plan to be away for the weekend, or plan to not leave the house.
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Old 06-24-09, 12:41 PM   #7
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Thanks... I really enjoyed your pics. It is so hard to judge a hill's severity from a picture (or sometimes even in person) isn't it? I found the website for that ride and it is now on my "to do" list!
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Old 06-24-09, 03:57 PM   #8
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Breathegood - that's really a nice area you live in. Seemed like there was quite a bit of support from the locals too. I can't believe I waited so long to do this ride - I've already set a goal of doing the full century next year!

Billydonn - It's definitely worth being on a 'to do' list. By the way, in 2006 when I was still in Nebraska I did the "Heatstroke 100" in Lincoln - that was a really nice ride too and worthy of a 'to do' list if you haven't already done it.

Thanks for the comments...
John
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