Cycling Season 2010: Organized Event Recap
In early March, I purchased a brand new Specialized Roubaix in anticipation of an epic cycling season. I wasn’t disappointed. Between the beginning of March and the 7th of November (roughly what I consider to be the cycling season here in Colorado), I put in over 3500 miles on the Roubaix and close to 4000 miles total (I have a mountain bike as well).
At the beginning of 2010, I got together with a couple of my best friends and we mapped out the organized event rides we wanted to do for the season. There are a lot of these types of events all over the place, and it was a challenge to narrow it all down. Here are the ones we chose and my thoughts:
Elephant Rock (06/06/2010): This ride is commonly known as the kickoff of the summer riding season. It has been around for a long time and has a lot of distance options for various skill levels. I rode the century option which includes close to 6,000 feet of climbing.
The course started and ended in Castle Rock traveling in a loop including a dip into Monument. There were ample rest stops along with the way and, despite some wind, was a reasonably great kickoff to the season. On the downside, the food wasn’t so great and, because of the sheer volume of riders on the course, there were times when congestion was a real issue. I’ve decided to ride it again next year as it helps set an early season fitness goal, but there were better rides this year no question.
- Bike MS 150 (06/26/2010-06/27/210): This was a two day event. We rode from Westminster to Fort Collins, stayed the night, and then rode back the second day. Both days were roughly 75 miles leading to a grand total of 150 combined miles over the weekend. There is also a century option on the second day for people who want to ride a little farther.
The ride itself was beautiful and relatively easy, with only about 1,500 feet of climbing over Horse-tooth Reservoir. We averaged close to 20mph on the way up. The food was outstanding and the volunteers were extremely fun and helpful. I’d definitely do this ride again except that the price of admission has gotten relatively high. Each participant is expected to raise $400 minimum to ride, and I ended paying the majority of that out of pocket. If you’re one of those people who love asking for money, then this ride is definitely for you.
- Sunrise Century (07/24/2010): This ride was a 100 mile (with 7,000 foot elevation gain) loop from Boulder into Lyons, over to Nederland on the Peak to Peak, and back down into Boulder via Left Hand Canyon. This loop and its variants are extremely popular due to some challenging climbing and incredible scenery. It was likely the hardest ride of the year for us.
The ride, however, isn’t something I’ll likely do again. I spent a lot of time on the Peak to Peak this year before and after the event, and didn’t really feel as though it was worth paying for the organized version. The food wasn’t great and the ride felt disjointed. If you feel like riding this course (and you really should; it’s a great course) I recommend doing it on your own.
- Copper Triangle (08/07/2010): This was, hands down, the best ride of the year. The organization was outstanding, the food excellent, and the course incredible. There were the perfect number of people on the road and just about everyone was nice and courteous. We stayed the night before and woke up to one of the best days I’ve ever had on a bicycle. I’m most definitely going to be doing this ride again next year!
- Tour de Fat (09/11/2010): This was a great family ride from our house to City Park and back. The total distance was about 35 miles. We took the family and kids along and had a great time listening to music and drinking some outstanding beer. The crowd there is always lively, and everyone is expected to be in costume (we dressed up as Mormons :)
Next year, I plan on doing Elephant Rock, the Denver Century, Deer Creek, the Copper Triangle, the Crooked Roubaix, and the Tour de Fat (of course). Also, probably the most exciting thing for me in 2011 is the inclusion of my wife on at least a few of those rides along with the weekly group rides.
2011 is going to be quite epic … I can’t wait!