Twenty-two years ago we signed up for our 1st Elephant Rock road ride. We were riding mountain / cross bikes in our tennis shoes. We had a few mis-steps including starting late, skipping aid stations, taking lots of breaks at other locations, getting caught in a rain storm, and walking up hills which led to finishing LATE…but this long-standing ride has become a demarcation. It’s the unofficial official dividing line between early season, spring rides and the full-on climbing season of SUMMER!!!

And boy have we learned a lot since 1992.

This year we arrived at the start around 5:00 am for a nice cool start after (1) sleeping, eating and hydrating well the day before. The bicycles had been (2) checked out, the rider numbers applied to frames and helmets as required and the tires pumped the night before!

With twangy pains in my right leg and knee, I reduced my goal of surviving the century (3) to rocking the metric.  Since learning to ride with aches and pains, I knew slow and steady was the word of the day. Tucking in behind bigger riders (4) going roughly my pace offered some reprieve from the breeze coming off Pikes Peak directly into our faces.

Unfortunately, the wind did not offer the constant direction through the day. Turning to the west, we were full into a head-wind. Turning to the north to head back to the start….what the heck?  The wind was still swirling and impeding progress. But overall the ride was gloriously beautiful with all the stunning vistas Colorado offers, the temperatures were reasonable, and the thousands of cyclists were well behaved and well prepared — at least the ones in our vicinity. They must’ve know these 4 tips.

Tail winds and thanks for reading!  
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