Rampart Rumble Gravel Grovel
Hosted by Shane DeMars!
Please make sure to read all rules for this. This is fully unsupported and you will need to be self-sufficient in order to complete this. The rules are located HERE.
No more than 74 people allowed for this event!
This is intended to be NON-COMMERCIAL, Recreational-Use Activities that are held on parts of USFS lands in compliance with USFS Special Use Rules and Regulations.
When: Saturday, September 22 at 6:00am. Depart at 6:30
What: Late/mid Season, High Elevation Gravel Grinder, Self Supported, Ultra-Endurance
Route: tentative ~170-mile or 125 mile route Final route to be posted this summer
Start: We’ll meet in Woodland Park at Gold Hill Java
Finish: Whenever you arrive back in town
Camping: There’s plenty of places to camp in the area.
After party: TBD about 2oz of beer will probably do me in, but I'll do what I can to stick around and welcome everyone back. Bier Werks is the default but they don't have much for food so I'll be looking for options.
Course Description: This is a big loop that packs a big punch.
- It doesn’t get much over 9000ft but elevation gain is over 12k feet!
- It’s the longest COES route at around 170 miles.
- It’s the latest in the season, which means only 12 hours of daylight (i.e. you get some bonus spooky night time riding)
- This route heads into some remote territory far from the madding crowd, but also pretty far from help or services at times...don't be scared - but do be aware and prepared.
- This is fully self-supported, but we will pass through at least two and possibly three different places where you can resupply: Buffalo Creek (60mi), and Lake George (112mi) are the guaranteed two.
- If it gets to be too much and you decide bow out the route allows several places where you can bail and make the route shorter if need be.
Course Route: This route has two options (~125 or 170 miles), each has three legs. The first two are solid, but the third is tentative till late spring when I get to check conditions.
- Leg 1: Woodland Park to Buffalo Creek via Rampart Range Road (RRR). 60 miles. This is solid. It would take something pretty extreme to ruin this leg. Here's the route: http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=349938
- Neutral rollout: We'll roll together for the first few miles, just to point out the finish and get everyone on Rampart Range Road. We'll split and have the "race" start before the angle pitches up.
- Side Roads: RRR (also called Forest Service Road 300) has many side roads. These usually look like side roads and not the main path. However there are two T intersections where the turn isn't as obvious. Use a GPS and a good cue sheet. Also if there is a non obvious sign you're usually heading left and it's usually the direction that gives the distance to Denver.
- Gate: There is a gate around the 20 mile mark. Two actually, the one you want goes straight and should be open. The other veers left is is likely to be closed.
- Motos: The northern half of Rampart sees a lot of moto bike and ATV action in the summer. Fortunately they don't usually get up early and we do. You'll likely miss them entirely, but even if you don't their trails are OFF the main road.
- Sprucewood: This is a tavern you'll see when you hit the Pine Creek Road intersection. They should be open 11am-8pm just in case something goes really wrong.
- Pine Creek Road: Ignore the private property sign near the beginning. It's only an issue if you leave the road. This gets pretty steep (15% grade) for one 1/2 mile section. Be warned.
- Final miles into BC: this is TBD as I'm seeking permission to run the route along Resort Creek Rd instead of the paved road from Foxton to Buffalo Creek. This is a private road so without permission we're taking the original route linked above.
- Buffalo Creek Store: There IS a store in Buff creek. It's a big square stone block of a building that has an old analog gas pump and doubles as the Post Office. The store hours are 8am-6pm. You're not gonna be there before 8, but if you're even close to closing you really need to find a bail plan.
- Bail Options: If you bail here somewhere you have several options. Turn around. Take 67 South to Woodland park. If you get all the way to Buff Ck then take paved Co Rd 126 to Deckers and connect with 67 there. From Deckers 67 is a pretty major road into Woodland Park. You might even convince a taxi to get you in Deckers.
- Other: I had good coverage with Verizon all along RRR, but almost none in the Platte River.
- Images: take a look at this post.
- Leg 2: Buffalo Creek to Lake George. ~52 miles. Good to go. I’ll pre-ride this early summer to confirm. Here's the route: http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=349940
- Leg 3: Lake George to Woodland Park. This leg is 55-75 miles and under construction. I need to check on the status of a couple roads this summer.
- Short Route: (27m) http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=349941
- Long Route: TBD
A NOTE on equipment:
- Lights: Unless you’re Eddy Merckx you’re gonna need lights to finish this thing. I strongly advise bringing either extra batteries or long lasting batteries.
- The Ride: Road bike, not really. Mountain bike? Sure. CX bike sure. It’ll be a classic toss-up between comfort and weight. I’ll be riding a CX-ish bike with 35-40c tires.
- Weather: It’s going to vary.
- GPS: Strongly advised. The final route will be posted before the event so you can make up cue cards.
- Phones: Reception will be spotty at best. There will be places where I know you’ll have coverage, and places I’m sure you won’t. Bring it, but if you have an epic fail in one of the remote segments, you might have to walk a bit.