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The Compass Bank Elephant Rock Cycling Festival was this weekend, and today was road bike day. The weather was challenging - cool and nice in the morning, hot in the afternoon and *windy* on the plains. The rides (I did the 100) were a great first test of the season.

It's estimated that the ride may have drawn as many as 7,000 (!) riders, over 100 / 65 / 50 / 32 / 22 / and 8 miles courses. The organizers and folks who worked the event did a FANTASTIC job, and my most sincere thanks to the safety and security folks who covered the routes. The rest spots were well placed and well-stocked, and everybody was really courteous. Great Event!

There is a lot of talk in Colorado about restricting rider count in big events. 7,000 is a staggering number of riders, but the Elephant Rock folks could not (IMHO) have done a better job. I hope this bodes well for large events in the future.

Any other Elephant Rockers out there?
 

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I rode the 100 today and had a great ride. I hadn't done it in years and was told it had turned into a zoo-stay away. But my experience was the same as yours, lots of hard working, courteous organizers, everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves. The route is great-I've ridden in those parts a bit and many of the roads we were on were new to me. I think part of the reason things went so smooth was my early start-I crossed the start line before 6AM. No hassles getting in, parking was a breeze, PP's were still fresh, and all rest stops were still well stocked. :)

I was plain cold the first 20 mi, that wind from mile 40 to 50 was brutal, but fortunately it relented as we re-entered the trees. Then around 10am somebody lit the furnace. Luckily I was at mi 75 by then, and we charged on in-felt great for my first long one of the season. Bring on the Triple!
 

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I did the 50 route, which is my first road bike event (only had a road bike two weeks). The ride was great, BBQ was pretty good and the volunteers seemed nice. The elevation gain seemed to be pretty understated (not that I care, just found it interesting), the 50 route was quoted at 1800 or so and my GPS showed 3200 and my Polar HRM showed 2800. I should have done a longer route, but I'll know next time.

My huge complaint was the enormous cluster traffic jam that occured when we were leaving. We hit the car at 12:15, and at 1:50 we had moved a total of 25ft. We were parked on the North side of the fairgrounds and after numerous attempts to get someone to do something about the gridlock, we finally talked a worker into opening a back gate which let us off-road our way out of there.

Overall it was a great time, but the 1.5 hours we sat in the traffic after the event really sucked. We barely made it to our white water rafting this afternoon.
 

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Me Too!

I did the hundy yesterday as well. I was pretty worried about the crowds, but it went off very well. It seemed like I was always passing people, and people were always passing me.

This was my first organized road ride, and my first century in at least 7 or 8 years, maybe longer. It went very, very well for me. We started at 7, a bit later than I wanted, but still early enough to beat some of the heat. We had 4 riders in our little group, only one of which I'd actually ridden with before. Somehow, over the next 100 miles, we managed to ride nearly together, and regrouped at every aid station we stopped at. I still can't believe that worked out so well.

The winds way out east were crazy hard. I'm sure that sucked a lot out of me. I can't believe there's a road that's actually named Roller Coaster Road. And while not the longest, the last hill before the interstate was a nasty little bugger, the only one where people were walking.

One other nice moment for me was getting caught by the train at Palmer Lake. Once the gates went up, my group of 4 people took off leading a nice sized pack up that climb and all the way down the 15 mile hill until we caught and started passing the folks who made it out before the train. Lots of open road to play on, my favorite part of the ride.
 

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I too rode the Elephant Rock yesterday. Did the 50 mile course. My longest road ride to date and my first real Colorado ride. I had a blast. The guys I rode with were great, one longtime friend and two new friends. Thanks Pete, Todd, Mike, for having me along.

A big thanks to all the people who put in a tremendous amount of work so that we could ride yesterday. I too had heard horror stories of crowds etc...we had no problems yesterday. Everything was quick and efficient.

Question...where/what is the "Elephant Rock"?

Looking forward to riding the ER again next year.

chuck d
 

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My Polar showed 5780 feet of ascent for the century route, quite a bit more than the quoted 3500 -- any one else have a data point for comparison?

And yes, traffic did suck - the most frustrating part of the day came before I even got on my bike. I didn't get started until about 7 but the heat wasn't bad and the aid stations were still well stocked.

Did anyone see one of the accidents (seemed like there were several) at the intersection of Sweet and Bradshaw -- lots of ambulances and one guy on a backboard -- yikes.
 

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My Polar showed 5780 feet of ascent for the century route, quite a bit more than the quoted 3500 -- any one else have a data point for comparison?
Just in case anyone is curious. I've been doing the E Rock for years. I rode it again this Sunday and my VDO computer said 6051 feet climbed. Actually though I believe it's closer to 7000 or even 7500 feet. There are a ton of short steep rollers on this ride that my computer just wouldn't pick up. Probably because there is a 5 or 10 second lag before it starts reading an elevation change. It's funny because many people choose this ride as their first century because they think it'll be easy only to sag half way through. I saw a lady on the side of the road on the very last climb crying her eyes out. She was completely broken. I told her she was almost there but she just stood there. I know it's mean but I had a good chuckle afterwards thinking about it. Hell I've been there too she'll laugh about it later.

As for the traffic this year it was the best I've seen. There was absolutely no traffic when I got there and none when I left. I don't know if it was because I got there so late, I started my ride at 9:00am, or there were just less people on the ride. All I can say is that it was nice to drive up, hop on my bike, and go.
 

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I arrived at 5:00 a.m. and started about 5:45. Pretty cool for the first 20, then nearly ideal temperatures the rest of the way. I overheard somebody at the 48-mile aid station say that, according to their bike computer, they had already done all of the climbing based on the official course information on the web. Ha! I'll bet they were in for a rude surprise. We hadn't even gotten to Roller Coaster Road yet (an aptly named road). I saw lots of people walking.

The aid stations were well spaced, well stocked, well staffed and not crowded. Putting that first aid station right in the middle of a screaming descent, however, was not ideal placement.

I had no traffic problems at all either coming or going. Arriving early and hanging out for a while afterwards helped a lot with that.
 

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jrepko said:
The Compass Bank Elephant Rock Cycling Festival was this weekend, and today was road bike day. The weather was challenging - cool and nice in the morning, hot in the afternoon and *windy* on the plains. The rides (I did the 100) were a great first test of the season.

It's estimated that the ride may have drawn as many as 7,000 (!) riders, over 100 / 65 / 50 / 32 / 22 / and 8 miles courses. The organizers and folks who worked the event did a FANTASTIC job, and my most sincere thanks to the safety and security folks who covered the routes. The rest spots were well placed and well-stocked, and everybody was really courteous. Great Event!

There is a lot of talk in Colorado about restricting rider count in big events. 7,000 is a staggering number of riders, but the Elephant Rock folks could not (IMHO) have done a better job. I hope this bodes well for large events in the future.

Any other Elephant Rockers out there?
I used to do this ride, but it got too big and dangerous. I did love the Black Forest section though...great place to ride. Too bad there were so many people without a clue riding on the rest of the course. One year they ran out of water at an aid station...has to wait 1/2 hour for more.

//One year I missed the turn for Rollercoaster road and ended up at the AF Academy...added 20 miles to my day. :)
 

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armadillo said:
I too rode the Elephant Rock yesterday. Did the 50 mile course. My longest road ride to date and my first real Colorado ride. I had a blast. The guys I rode with were great, one longtime friend and two new friends. Thanks Pete, Todd, Mike, for having me along.

A big thanks to all the people who put in a tremendous amount of work so that we could ride yesterday. I too had heard horror stories of crowds etc...we had no problems yesterday. Everything was quick and efficient.

Question...where/what is the "Elephant Rock"?

Looking forward to riding the ER again next year.

chuck d
You can only see Elephant rock on the 100 mile if memory serves me correct. Not really a huge deal IMO.
 

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Bocephus Jones II said:
I used to do this ride, but it got too big and dangerous. I did love the Black Forest section though...great place to ride. Too bad there were so many people without a clue riding on the rest of the course. One year they ran out of water at an aid station...has to wait 1/2 hour for more.

//One year I missed the turn for Rollercoaster road and ended up at the AF Academy...added 20 miles to my day. :)
I rode it again Sunday, and you can't help but be impressed with the great organization on this ride. Yea it's big, but the course is well marked, police stopping cross traffic at any potential spot, constant reminders to keep right and let other riders pass, etc. The route is just beautiful, food is great and fellow riders were courteous and fun to ride with. I got in a half dozen blazing pacelines and it was just a blast. If you're a Colo rider, I don't know how you can miss this event. And I'm glad to hear I climbed as much as it felt like I did. No way is it only 3500'. :D
 

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That was my first time on the century course and it seemed pretty difficult to me - much more difficult than the santa fe century I did 2 weeks prior. I'd be curious to see other data points on elevation gain as well. I started about 6:30 and riders seemed well spread out on the entire ride. Police patrol and course marking was good. I'd prefer gels and accelerade or something like that at the aid stations (like the triple) but they were well stocked otherwise. There were a couple of fast moving trains I got caught in and that is always a lot of fun for me. Despite some serious muscle cramping during the ride and a still sore achilles, a very good day.
 

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It was my first time doing this ride or any organized ride for that matter. Had a blast! I start at 5:30, did the hundred. Overall I was very impressed with the way the whole thing was put together. Well marked course, helpful staff, and plenty of support from the law enforcement in the area. Hats off to those guys.
I will do it again, just maybe not the hundred. I was cooked @ the 70 mi. mark. :D
 

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Pwnt said:
I was cooked @ the 70 mi. mark. :D
For some reason I rebound at mi 70 and felt great the last 30mi. Mile 40-50 were really tough with the cross/headwind. I felt like taking a nap at the aid station at mi 48. :cool: I stopped at 3 of the 7 stations, and ate more bananas than I would normally eat in a week. Did 2 or 3 bars(most were 1/2's) at each station, and carried my own Gu's(did 4), 2 bottles of Accelerade, and a bottle of that awful Ultima stuff they had. Completely rebounded with the great BBQ and a beer at lunch after the ride! :D
 

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I rode the century with a group of friends as a warm up for the STP 1 day. I thought it was very well organized and never thought it was dangerous; though when the course met back with all the other groups, it did have the capability.
I did screw up on eating and drinking and was semi-bonking at the ~50mi station, but soon recovered and enjoyed the rest of the ride. The wind was a tiring, but I was told to expect it and a paceline did well to manage it.
My garmin showed 5884ft of climbing and my polar showed 5747ft, generally the garmin is more accurate for amount climbed - either way a lot more than the claimed ~3500ft.

I'll definitely do it again next year and hopefully will hit the <5hr mark too (our target for this year, that we just didn't quite make).
 

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Mile 40-50 were really tough with the cross/headwind
That's always a tough section. It's also kind of a false flat there too. So you get the double whammy! I've ridden the E Rock 5 or 6 years now and that section is always horribly windy.

I'll definitely do it again next year and hopefully will hit the <5hr mark too (our target for this year, that we just didn't quite make).
I've been going after the 5 hour mark for years. The best I've done is 5:18. This year I was 5:50. I do ride it alone though and rarely join pacelines. If you can do this ride in under 5 hours with all of the climbing and wind you're a superstar in my book!
 

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Sorry, but those figures sound completely inflated (I've ridden 9 E-Rocks and my Polar S710 (back when it worked) never hit the 5000 ft mark for total vertical. If you realy suspect 7500 vertical for the E-Rock century in rolling plains then you must think the TBP is, what, double that?

Dredging up a year old thread to make strident comments about elevation gained... I'm truly baffled. But I'm sure you enjoyed posting your photo. So, enjoy.
 

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Dredging up a year old thread to make strident comments about elevation gained... I'm truly baffled
What are you talking about man? This is the E Rock thread. Why should I start a new one?

Sorry, but those figures sound completely inflated
Sorry you don't agree. My computer has proven to be quite accurate in the past. I have no doubt that the elevation gain in the E Rock is at least 6000 feet. I only speculate more because of the many short rollers that don't always compute. And did I mention the TBP? I did ride Squaw pass last weekend though and my computer showed around 3400 feet gained. I know that is very close to accurate. or is that inflated too?

But I'm sure you enjoyed posting your photo
I guess you're too cool for pictures right?
 
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