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.
I have a selection of photos at: