Sunday, July 15, 2012

Our 2012 Volunteers!

We were so fortunate to have a raft of hard-working, smart-thinking, and dedicated volunteers!

Jim Kraychy - Bag Transport and Walden Transit

Ronaele Foss and husband Paul Brown - Saratoga

Leslie Sutton - Steamboat Springs

Dottie Gibson - Steamboat Springs

 Tammie Nakamura - Walden

Patricia Heller - Walden

Charlie Henderson - Bag Transport and Lodging Arrangments

Michelle Grainger and Steve Le Goff - Inspection, Finish

Irene Takahashi - Finish

 Bob Dean - Finish

JLE and Buster - Ken Bonner photo

Thank you, great volunteers!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Finish Line Report

As I write, there are six riders out, and they should be finishing soon.  After a chilly climb to Cameron Pass, riders were treated to six moose grazing in the willows at Cameron Pass. 

The entire descent of Poudre Canyon was quiet (and warmer the lower you got), so that riders stopping for a big meal at Vern's in LaPorte headed out into temps in the upper 80's and low 90's.

Folks crossed the finish line in Louisville in fine spirits, though, and are now heading to their post-ride dinner down the street.

More photos and details soon, plus pointers to great blogs and slideshows that riders have produced!

A huge thanks not only to Mother Nature, who brightened and cleared just in time for the event, but also our splendid, dedicated volunteers!

-john lee

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Steamboat - Gore Pass - Willow Creek - Walden

A brief recap of the third stage for our riders, 181 miles over Gore Pass and Willow Creek Pass to finish in Walden.  Another brilliant, sunny day, with a few gusty winds and cumulo-nimbus in the afternoon but generally fine riding!

I was able to see and talk with most of the riders at Willow Creek Pass, who were all smiles (perhaps because they were at the top of the pass).  I'll post more of the pictures later.  Just a couple here ...

Jimmy Williams, Mark Thomas, and Dave Campbell pose astride the Continental Divide at Willow Creek Pass.

Ken Bonner is in a good mood after a good climb.

The rustic cabins of the North Park Inn greet riders in Walden.

Volunteer Pat Heller posts rider times and hands out rooms.

Volunteer Tammie Nakamura has a mirthful moment.

More later!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Sunny Day to Steamboat

Folks got off to a great start from Saratoga today, with generally 1:30 am to 4:20 starts, and a tranquil rolling jaunt to Walden, where the lows hit 41º. 

Many thanks to Jim Kraychy - doing triple duty as dropbag courier, course monitor, and Walden Transit chef-de-control - for heading out from Saratoga in the pre-dawn hours, with a complement of dropbags for Steamboat, and meanwhile meeting riders in Walden for a frosty dawn and a breakfast treat.

Here's the view from the Rabbit Ears Pass descent to Steamboat Springs:

At this hour, looks like riders are still doing well.  There is a recommended construction detour from Oak Creek into Steamboat, which seems to be working out, and which riders can reprise in reverse after leaving Steamboat Springs.

Thanks to our great volunteers, and kudos to riders to doing so well in these conditions so far!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Over the Snowy Range

Reports from our tireless field operative Jim Kraychy indicates sunny weather and (uncharacteristically) light winds for our stalwart riders heading from Laramie up and over the 10,000-foot Snowy Range.

You can see here that a number of riders have arrived in Saratoga ahead of last year's norm - a promising sign!

Many thanks to Ronaele Foss and her husband Paul Brown for taking care of the riders, recording their times, and providing lifegiving chili plus potato sustenance, and a morale booster, too!


And They're Off!

Despite damp conditions at the event start, riders are in good spirits!

Maryland (DC Randonneurs) RBA Bill Beck shows off his Rocky Mountain Cycling Club jersey.

Ken Knutson sports the great-looking Colorado High Country jersey, while Henk Bouhuyzen is wearing his Granite Anvil 1200 jersey.  Ken, who administers RUSA's American Explorer award, is aiming to add Wyoming to his list of states on this ride.

 Our randonneurs poise for the start ...

... and they're off!

A good group breezes through Hygiene, CO ...

... and round the bend near Rabbit Mountain.

 Hints of blue sky and brightening on the rise near Carter Lake:

Tom Knoblauch

Vickie Tyer

Ken Knutson

Brent Myers (and Beth as stoker)

Bob Olsen

Laurent Chambard

We'll try to get some photos from further on in the course, but for now, the riders are off to a good start!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Riders Get Ready for Check-In

After another night of drenching monsoonal showers - albeit a welcome break from century-degree temps and wildfires - the clouds parted on Sunday over the Boulder Flatirons, offering a ray of cheer to CHC riders.

An upbeat group of riders gathered at the Quality Inn: Henk Bouyhuizen, Chris Heg, Mark Thomas, Mary Gersema, Jimmy Williams, and Jeff Bauer.  For all these, their first CHC.

A foray over Marshall Road on still-damp roads for coffee.  Chris Heg, Mark Metcalfe, JLE, Jimmy Williams, Jeff Bauer. - Mark Thomas photo

Laurent Chambard pauses to consider the prospect of a 1200k out West.

Last Chance (and other 1200k's) veteran Vickie Tyer heads out to

Everyone heads off at 4am Monday morning, on what we hope is a scenic, rewarding High Country!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Some Good Weather News

Latest forecast (KMGH-TV, Denver)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Two Local Rides to Stretch Your Legs

Here are a couple of scenic loops you can do from the Quality Inn or nearby.  Ideal for testing out your bike and legs.  You can do either of these as a loop, or out-and-back from a point on the loop.

Eldorado Springs - Cherryvale (18.5 miles - RideWithGPS route) - Favorite local cycling roads, rolling, with a shallow climb to the town of Eldorado Springs and the mouth of Eldorado Canyon (prominent in rock climbing circles).

Morgul-Bismark (14.5 miles - RideWithGPS route) - A bit hillier, with a climb up to Hwy. 128, and great views from that mesa west to Eldorado Canyon and the Boulder Flatirons.  There can be a bit of traffic on Hwy. 93.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

2012 Event Procedures - Read Carefully

These procedures cover:
  • Check-In and Inspection
  • Ride Start
  • Bagdrop Locations and Controls
  • Ride Finish
  • Après-Finish Dinner

Check-In and Inspection will be 3:30 - 5:30pm on Sunday 8 July at the Quality Inn in Louisville. If this time will not work for you, please let me know in advance.   Time will be limited at the ride start, so only limited inspections and packet hand-out can be accommodated.

For inspection, you will need to show your:
  • lighting system mounted on bike and backup lighting system,
  • reflective gear for your bike and yourself (legbands and reflective vest or equivalent)
  • dropbag (no need to fill it - just show it's within size limits) - If your dropbag is too large (larger than 12" x 12" x 24" or 48" combined linear dimensions), you will need to obtain one that's small enough.  There are Target and Costco stores across US-36.
I will hand out rider packets including brevet card and cue sheet. After inspection, you may wish to join other riders for dinner at a neighboring restaurant - there are several within walking distance.

Ride Start
Sign in between 3am-3:30am at the Quality Inn.   Deposit your drop bags at the front of the motel. As in years past, the Quality Inn staff is making provisions to store guests' bicycle bags and other luggage during the event.

En Route

Overnight Accommodations & Bagdrops - The controls at Saratoga, Steamboat Springs, and Walden provide motel-room accommodations and dropbag availability during periods:

  • Saratoga: evening of July 9 to morning of July 10
  • Steamboat Springs evening of July 10 to morning of July 11
  • Walden: evening of July 11 to morning of July 12

Dropbags and rooms will be available starting late afternoon.  Dropbags will be transported to the next location early morning.  Volunteers will assign you a room.  They will try to accommodate rooming with certain other riders, but that's not guaranteed.

Food will be available in a common area.  There will be evening items and then breakfast items in the morning including items to take with you.

Walden Transit Control - The Walden control will also be staffed part of July 10 for riders transiting Walden heading from Laramie to Steamboat Springs.  There will be some food and drink.

Sign-In/Sign-OutIMPORTANT - When you arrive in Saratoga, Steamboat Springs, and Walden, sign in on the sheet provided. Then remember also to sign out when you leave, whether your stay is half an hour or overnight. This allows us to keep track of the riders and post rider progress on the website, for those following the event. You also must have your brevet card validated by staff.

Unstaffed Checkpoints – Checkpoints mentioning a store or "Any Store" or "Any Establishment" have no event staff: have any store clerk note your time of passage and initial the card or, if during the night when all establishments in the town are closed, note your own time (should not occur).  

Ride Finish

Finish is at the Quality Inn.  We'll be there mid-afternoon until dinnertime (see below).  If you finish when there is no event staff present,  have motel staff validate your finishing time, and retain your card.  Give it to an event official at the dinner or during the time the finish line is staffed, or contact us.

Drop Bags will be available starting Thursday afternoon at the Quality Inn.

Après-Finish Dinner
We've made our traditional arrangements at Carrabbas Italian Grill, in the next block north of the motel, starting 7:00pm on Thursday. Attendees pay their own way. Mention the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club as the group you're with.  The back room has been reserved.  If we run out of room there, you can ask for a table in the main dining area. In past years, everyone's had a great time!

Jerseys and Vests
Jerseys and Vests are scheduled to be produced and delivered in September.  You may order through July 22.
Bonne Route!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Accommodations and Other Riding Details

  • Places to Sleep - Overnight accommodations are at motels in Saratoga (evening of July 9), Steamboat Springs (evening of July 10), and Walden (evening of July 11).
  • Sleeping Arrangements - Riders will be assigned rooms as they arrive, generally double occupancy, depending on the room size.
  • Dropbags - Your dropbag will be available by late afternoon of the day when overnight support is offered at the respective motels.  You'll need to return the bag to the common area before you departing.  (Do not leave them in your room.)
  • Food at Overnights - Hot and cold food items will be provided in the evening and the next morning, including items suitable for taking with you the next day.  Remember that the first leg of succeeding days can include several hours of riding before encountering any stores or cafes.  Example:
    • Saratoga over Snowy Range to Centennial (47 mi.) - including 4,000 ft. of climbing 
  • Other Food at Overnights - There are also supermarkets, convenience stores, and fast food and other restaurants in these towns.  (The Saratoga motel is next door to the supermarket, for example.)
  • Not Following the Stages? - If you plan not to follow the recommended stages (not sleeping at the overnight venues), let us know.  You should be aware that there are long stretches with no towns, or no facilities open overnight, and cold temps at altitude, and our course monitoring is oriented to riding the suggested stages.
  • Course Monitoring - You may encounter staff monitoring the course, but for every stretch - especially the challenging ones mentioned in the Hydration post - you should prepare, hydration-wise, etc., as if you won't.
  • Phone Reception - As in many remote and scenic areas, cell-phone reception can be spotty, and can vary from carrier to carrier.
  • Personal Support - If you have personal support, a reminder that (1) they may only meet you at checkpoints and (2) you must identify them to us at inspection or sign-in so they can be registered and oriented.

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Updated Route Map

    I've posted an updated route map using RideWithGPS.  The link is on the CHC main page.  The route hasn't changed; it's just that the maps that were posted hadn't been updated.  I've also posted a picture of the satellite view of this map:

    The satellite view makes it easy to see where you're crossing major passes.

    On the RideWithGPS map, I have flagged controls as "i", except that overnight controls are shown as beds.  RideWithGPS reports over 40,000 ft. of climbing.  That's inflated.  But their course elevation profile underneath the map is useful.


    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Ordering CHC Jerseys and Vests

    You can now order CHC jerseys and vests - details here.