Ride with the pros at E-rock

Posted 5/28/10

Organizer’s at this year’s Elephant Rock Cycling Festival have added a new challenge to the “Century Ride,” one of cycling’s milestone …

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Ride with the pros at E-rock


Organizer’s at this year’s Elephant Rock Cycling Festival have added a new challenge to the “Century Ride,” one of cycling’s milestone distances.

On June 6, confident cyclists can try not to get dropped as they pedal alongside professional riders at a 19-mile-an-hour pace.

Cycling legend Wayne Stetina, along with professional cyclist and Boulder resident Blake Caldwell and Colorado native Bob Shaver, of Shaver Sports, will be leading a group on the 100-mile course. They will aim to finish the ride in five-and-a-half hours.

Event director Scot Harris said elite cyclists often do the ride, but this is the first year general participants have been invited to join them.

“It just really adds to the event,” Harris said. “You can ride with these really elite athletes when you’re not in a race environment when everybody is having fun. I’m sure a lot of these participants are going to remember Wayne from his competitive days.”

Stetina was on the 1972, 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympic Cycling teams and in 1999 was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. Caldwell has placed as high as second at the U.S. Pro National Road Championships.

The century ride is one of the sport’s signature distances, with professionals and weekend warriors alike measuring their fitness level against it.

The Elephant Rock Century Ride traverses the rolling hills of Douglas and El Paso counties south of Castle Rock, with a 38-mile loop through the Black Forest.

The 62-and 100-mile rides are the most popular distances at Elephant Rock and are capped at 4,500 riders.

Many cyclists will be participating in the 100-mile ride, but they won’t be competing. Just three prizes are doled out to the “winners” each year. Elephant Rock has a longstanding tradition of presenting prizes to the oldest, youngest and last finishers of the century ride.

“It’s just a ride,” Harris said. “It is not a race.”

Since it comes relatively early in the season, many cyclists use the Elephant Rock 100-mile ride as training for longer summer bike events and tours like the Triple Bypass and Ride the Rockies.

After the pros return from the century ride, Caldwell will head over to the Shimano Youth Series Kids Race at 1 p.m. to sign autographs and cheer on four waves of five-to 12-year-old riders.

“It’s a unique opportunity,” Harris said. “It’s pretty cool to have two amazing professional riders hang out with and meet kids.”

To ride with the pros, cyclists should meet at the Shimano tent at 6:30 a.m. June 6.

“Just show up with strong legs and strong lungs,” Harris said.


The start, finish, expo and picnic are all at the Events Center at the Douglas County Fairgrounds south of downtown Castle Rock.

Twenty-four Hours of ERock begins at 6:30 p.m. June 4.

On June 6, the 100 and 62-milers start between 5:30 and 7 a.m. The 34-, 25- and 7-milers start by 9:30 a.m.

The Shimano Youth Series for kids 5 to 12 begins at 1 p.m.

On-site camping is available.

For more information or to register, go to www.elephantrockride.com.

Elephant Rock by the numbers

7,000: number of cyclists participating in the event

3,600: gallons of water at 10 aid stations

1,700: average price in dollars of a bicycle ridden at the festival

650: number of volunteers

2: number of Olympic medalists participating in the Century Ride: 1984 U.S. Cycling Silver Medalist Nelson Vails and 2002 Snowboarding Bronze Medalist Chris Klug


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