04 June 2013


Elephant Rock Elevation and Speed Chart

I spent the first 21 miles of the 2013 Elephant Rock thoroughly enjoying the newly uploaded Sunday music on my iPhone, when I could hear it over the wind, and having a most excellent ride.

Elephant Rock is one of the oldest organized rides in Colorado, and it is the biggest, with about 6,000 riders in all kinds of categories, including 24-hour racers, family and recreational riders and riders training for bigger events. It supports the Rise School, The Colorado Neurological Institute Center for Brain & Spinal Tumors, the American Transplant Association, Team Zimbabwe, Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation, Miles for Tuesday and 26 charitable organizations in Douglas County, where the ride takes place. The ride is staffed by volunteers from those 26 organizations. Last year, $330,000 was raised through Elephant Rock. Totals for this year are not yet finalized.

I have been just a little worried and intimidated by this year's Ride the Rockies, which starts next week, because I didn't get to train as much as I would have liked this year. I had the same problem last year, thanks to the cast on my wrist. I ended up doing okay last year even though I didn't train enough and had a cracked vertebra I didn't know about.

Riding Elephant Rock well in the wind made me feel I would be able to do Ride the Rockies just fine.

Until the 22nd mile. Then I was done. If this hadn't been an organized ride and The Lizard could easily SAG me, I would have quit. I was so tired of climbing in the wind. So were all the other riders around me and those who passed me. I must confess, that didn't do anything to elevate my attitude, which was going further south by the mile.

I silently prayed I'd be able to finish in time to go to church and to have a better attitude for the rest of the ride.

I kept pedaling, and after about half an hour, I'd gotten my wind mojo back again. Wind makes us strong. Wind makes us strong. Wind makes us strong.

Unfortunately, the wind was holding me to five or six miles an hour on the climbs, so I didn't cover very much ground in that time!

Nevertheless, I did start feeling better about finishing, enduring and collecting miles. This is good training. And one thing about Elephant Rock – it shows you if you're ready for something bigger and more challenging.

Another thing about a big loop day ride in a headwind – eventually you will be going in the opposite direction, and you will have a forceful tailwind ally. Also, that which goes up must come down. Lots of climbing is rewarded by lots of descending.

I clocked 44 miles per hour down some of the biggest hills in the tailwind! I don't often go that fast on a bike!!!

The first 31 miles felt like 50 miles. The last 31 miles felt like 10 miles. So I guess it balances out in the long run... I pedaled 62 miles total.

I had only 30 minutes to make it to church on time after the ride. We skipped the lunch provided by the ride, and we battled post-ride traffic to get to the church all the way across town. I changed in the car while The Lizard stowed the bikes. We made it to church only three minutes late.

A new chapel is being built right across the street from the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Next year, all I'll have to do is walk across the street to get to church. Hopefully next year, I'll be a bit faster. Maybe we won't have as much wind.

But this is Colorado. The weather was stunning, even with the wind. No storms. No lightning. Not too hot, not too cold. The perfect day for a long ride.

Cycling season has begun.

Elephant Rock


  1. Wow 62 miles, I'd be dead haha ad 6000 people, that is one big bike ride

  2. Congratulations! I must remember that wind mantra.... :)

    I would be scared stiff of doing 44 downhill. (I am a speed coward.) Mr. M and I have hit over 55 in our old tandem days, and frankly it terrified me. But you go, girl!


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