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Deer Creek Challenge

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Is Sunday.  Who's riding?

 

DonDenver, are you still on track to undertake this challenge?  I wish you the best of luck.

 

Unfortunately, while I've regained much of my form from last season after my ACL reconstruction in mid-March, I'm still not a 100% on the climbs.  I've worked up to 200 miles a week, but if I make a big climb, I'm pretty much toast on the following day with swelling and some pain in the knee.  So, I'll not be able to join you.

 

For those of you who don't know what the Deer Creek Challenge is, here's a link.

 

http://www.deercreekchallenge.com/

 

Best of luck to all of those brave enough to go.

 

Mike

post #2 of 27

I have heard that EpicSki has a big contingent of competitors in the race -- cgeib, lgeib, dondenver and Betsy, Bob Barnes, Annie Black...

 

I do hope there's a correspondent on the story!

post #3 of 27
Hi Mike,

Sorry you are not able to make it Sunday, it would be great to see you! Maybe you'll make it up for a ride yet this season? Or I guess I'm about due for another dose of Left Hand Canyon before long. Maybe you'd be up for Mt Evans? ...Bob is ready for a Mt Evans day I know.

Don is beyond on track and primed for a great ride Sunday!

I'm notoriousy bad about taking pictures, but we'll see if we can get the ride documented. Maybe it's time for DonDenver to resume his famous trip reporting!

Best,

Chris
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

I have heard that EpicSki has a big contingent of competitors in the race -- cgeib, lgeib, dondenver and Betsy, Bob Barnes, Annie Black...

 

I do hope there's a correspondent on the story!


I believe that   eadjbrown  is going to be there as well!

 

Here is the TR from last year.

http://www.epicski.com/t/95475/deer-creek-ride-with-friends#post_1239942

 

post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post

Maybe it's time for DonDenver to resume his famous trip reporting!

Best,

Chris


 

icon14.gif

post #6 of 27

That looks like quite a ride. I'm actually having a hard time fathoming all of that climbing at altitude.

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

That looks like quite a ride. I'm actually having a hard time fathoming all of that climbing at altitude.



not if you lived there. Its also not that steep either. There was nothing in utah that approached the steepness the east ever gave me. can you say route 108? 30 percent grade.

 

Looks like an awesome ride though.  Wish I was there.

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Love to see you guys, Chris. After climbing lefthand today, my knee is again swollen, so not sure that mt Evans or lefthand are in the cards this season. You guys thinking of coming down for the buff? I'm going to try for a sub 5 hour ride, but not convinced I'm in shape to make it happen.

Mike
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post





not if you lived there. Its also not that steep either. There was nothing in utah that approached the steepness the east ever gave me. can you say route 108? 30 percent grade.

 

Looks like an awesome ride though.  Wish I was there.


I think I saw that it said 17% for 5 miles? Not sure what I was looking at on the profile, but that is steep no matter how you cut it.

 

post #10 of 27

First and foremost, this is an awesome challenge for anyone, but IMHO this puts DonDenver in the light of Super Human after the year he's been through.  

 

Sending good vibes to the whole  Epic crew.  Post pics and a full report when you're done!

popcorn.gif


Edited by Trekchick - 8/22/11 at 7:42am
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

So, how was it?  

 

Mike

post #12 of 27

I saw a few pictures trickle in on Facebook but don't feel that I should take the liberty to post.  

Well, maybe one as an appetizer.  I'm sure Don will need some time to decompress before he'll be able to post a TR.

Photo cred: Ana -One of Don's Daughters

299124_633999129223_72204248_33662212_6507472_n.jpg

 

Don and Betsy are truly inspirational!

post #13 of 27

Thanks Mike for this DCC thread.

 

I’m afraid I have not been here much due to the time my recovery process takes and the fact that I owe a daily progress report to brother cgeib...filled out in triplicate eek.gif  Nevertheless, some comments regarding the DCC:

 

I did not have my camera with me but Bob Barnes took some pics via his phone.   Perhaps he’ll have some time and share soon.  TC, no worries sharing Ana’s shot from FB.  While she was a welcome site as we all rode up the final climb to the finish line (yes, another climb) unfortunately the western sun washed out the gang. 

 

Achieving the Century Jersey was an awesome goal to have accomplished with close friends.  In fact it was ten months to the day of the accident. I remember back after the first surgery when wrapped up like a petrified mummy flat on my back hearing Bob Barnes and cgeib discussing that we’d all ride the Deer Creek Challenge.  I thought they were crazy.  I had no concept of riding a bike again let alone taking a step forward.  But with Betsy and friends Lgeib, Weems, eadjbrown, cgeib and Bob Barnes in the room I had a feeling nobody would forget the goal.  I’m glad they remembered.

 

The evening before the DCC the gang came over as we were launching from our pad the next morning.   I had an HD replay of the Queen stage of the ToF on my TV to motivate our little peloton before we all headed off to bed.   As all the alarms went off at 4 AM each of us went through our individual pre-race preparation along with individual breakfasts.  Military efficiency came to my mind.  We fired up the vehicles in the early morning darkness and headed over to the staging area and then start gate.   Wow, I should not have been surprised…the spandex racing kits were out in such volume I got dizzy with colors.  Welcome to the world of serious road cycling nutcases.  Gotta love a “good morning” knowing we are now into 100 miles and 12,750 feet of gain with this bunch.

 

They were letting us Century riders out of the start gate in groups down an 8.5 percent pitch every two minutes so as to not overwhelm the canyon…and each other.  Unfortunately eadjbrown launched with an earlier bunch.  No worries as she made fast friends chatting while riding at a pace climbing that would have most gasping for breath.  She has a monster of an engine.

 

It was truly a well organized event with staff, mechanics, Local Law enforcement, aid stations (great road nutrition), quick mileage check points with sag and officials constantly looping the entire course.  The course was swept and monitored, roads closed where appropriate along with local only traffic ID’d. 

 

The class of cyclists was at a high level and generally well mannered.  Of course the serious cat 1 individual and teams were present to try and rip it up contrasted with the usual blokes showing off their steel legs with 40 pound hybrids.  But all in all, not much bumping about with good spacing.  There were a number of injuries requiring ambulance and/or a sweep of the sag wagon…but nothing catastrophic that I heard of.

 

Our group rode well and rode through just about everything imaginable for a 100 mile course.  From darkness and cool air to sunshine and heat to a rainstorm that opened with such force on a climb that I thought my rain jacket was being cut open.  Some steep and fast descents on the wet pavement oozing out oil and grim with newly painted white lines acting like ice along with the often water roster tail of a lead rider that felt like sleet on a cold face.  My eyes could not have been wider opened.  But no problem for our grupetto as the bike handling was superb …no issues…however we rather quickly looked forward to yet another sustained climb to warm up and dry out.  We finally enjoyed the clouds passing and with a quick repack of rain gear we focused on the approaching last enduring climb of City View and eventually the finish.

 

There is no pro grand tour, grand Fondo or classic that I know of that has a single day vertical gain that matches the DCC.  I’ve pedaled squares on some grades of over 20 percent elsewhere, but it's nothing like the sustained climbing that this challenge represents in 100 miles of riding.  It’s the accumulative grades and gain that bites you in the butt while you are lured into a false sense of ease throughout the beautiful ride.  Legs hurt, lungs hurt but man was that century ride a gas!

 

So proud of our group and so meaningful to me to have them all around as we approached the finish line, happy and exhausted.  What a goal to have achieved with friends.  And what motivation it has been for Betsy and me hearing from so many of our epic friends in the last 10 months.  You all have helped in so many ways. 

 

Now with bikes in tow we’ll be off to Vail and then Steamboat to watch the pros go after it in the Tour of Colorado…err…USA Pro Cycling Challenge*.  We’ll see Finn in Steamboat for a race finish and a race start the next day and sounds like we’ll see a few bears about Vail for the climbing TT. 

 

Then what? Well; my guess is we'll be seeing everyone on the slopes once the snow falls wink.gif till then we ride! 

 

(*…an edit regarding the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. ..Wow, I can’t be more thrilled seeing such enthusiasm and attention to cycling in Colorado at such beautiful altitude on such a grand scale.  Seeing just the VS HD telecast of Levi taking the stage today in Crested Butte was thrilling.  We can’t wait to see them up close in the next days.  Hope you all can view either via VS channel or somewhere on the course  icon14.gif


Edited by DonDenver - 8/23/11 at 3:46pm
post #14 of 27

Don, you are a true inspiration. Kudo's and cheers to the entire cast of bears.  I only wish I could have done this ride with you all.  Its been a long road my friend! icon14.gif

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

Absolutely fantastic, Don.  A great accomplishment.  And what a feeling it must have been to see all the hard work pay off.

 

I wish I could've been there.

 

Mike

post #16 of 27

Very nice, Don! If not for the topsy-turvy academic schedule in August, I would've been there with you (and I was there, in spirit).

 

Perhaps next summer you can come tackle the Garrett County Gran Fondo - i.e. the "Diabolical Double." Sounds like it's right up the hill climbing alley (and it's a beautiful and fun route, to boot!).

 

'Til then, see you on the slopes this winter! And CONGRATS, again!

post #17 of 27

Don, you're a hero to a lot of us, and your supporting cast deserves a round of a applause as well.

post #18 of 27

Nice TR Don. 

I hope you felt the love and support from the Bears on your ride, because we were pulling for you.

 

Now where's Bob with those phone pics? popcorn.gif

post #19 of 27

Thanks everyone…

 

Yes Nolo; the supporting cast of Bears on this ride are not only amazing cyclists but importantly have been my personal inspiration and greatest cheerleaders for my recovery and DCC ride.  I had to work hard and with purpose to hang with them.   And you are correct TC (as I sit here sipping from one of the coffee mugs you and Phil sent me) I’ve felt and drawn much enthusiasm and support during the hardest times from all the visits, calls and written encouragement from so many Bears on this forum. 

 

I’ve often thought about that first web search for some skiing info that landed me on EpicSki.  Then soon clicking deeper reading about a “Uncle Louie” describing a Lets Go Colorado 2.5 at A-Basin.  Pondering...what the hell is that all about and thinking It’s just too strange not to check out.  Well, I’m certainly glad we made the trip to the A-Frame introducing ourselves to this odd group booting up inside as so many have become our close and thoughtful friends.

 

Back to the OP…here are a couple of pics taken with Lgeib's phone.  First one is at a major Aid Station where Lgeib and I are smiling to disguise the suffering just ahead in the first of two “City View” climbs we are launching for the century ride.  The next is of Lgeib and Betsy at the final check point to achieve the Century Jersey:

 

d&L.jpg 

 

L&B.jpg

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Looking good, Don. So, are you going to use your jersey or frame it?

I'd be hard pressed to make that choice.

Enjoy the ToC, err, USA proc cycle challenge. I made a bad choice and am headed to dc this pm. Would've been much better to be camped out with the bears on independence pass.

Mike
post #21 of 27
You may not be able to fly to DC, Mike. Have you seen the news about the earthquake?
post #22 of 27
I can't add much to Don's tremendous report--it was all that! And a day of great accomplishments and inspiration all around. From Lori's last-minute decision to to this ride without ever having seen any part of it, to Donnie M's assault of the notorious City View loop for his first long bike ride, to Eileen (eadjbrown) who started a little ahead of us and was waiting, changed and fresh, at the finish, to--of course--DonDenver's magnificent comeback ten months to the day from his near-tragic incident. Not only did Don finish with incredible strength, he actually circled back at one point to escort Betsy and Lori to the top of the final climb of City View. Chris and I tried to turn him back, but he was running on pure adrenaline at that point, having accomplished the mission (all but the long but sublime downhill to the finish). Congratulations to all!

I didn't get many pictures either--seems like just riding a bike is a big enough challenge at this thing! But here are a few, from my phone:

500
Don (DonDenver) and Lori (LGeib) in the early light at the first major aid station, about 8 miles into the ride, and a spot we would re-visit two more times before the finish


500
Betsy, Lori, Chris (cgeib), and Don at the Foxton checkpoint, about 25 miles in--we're all elated after a long (8+ miles), exhilarating descent to this point, but now we have to climb all the way right back up!


500
Chris getting his bib signed off at the Foxton checkpoint . . .


500
. . .and happy about it!


500
All five of us at Foxton


500
Lori and Betsy at the final checkpoint at the top of the second round of Cityview, around 90 miles in--we've done it!


500
Don gets his final signoff from another friendly volunteer race official as Chris looks on--mission accomplished, all that remains is the rocketing descent (and tiny final climb) to the finish!


What a day it was! wink.gif

Best regards,
Bob
post #23 of 27

Great job everyone!

I would be interested in this ride for next summer if someone could plug in a reminder around April of 2012.

Also, how does this compare to the "Triple By-Pass?"

 

Thank you,

Richard

post #24 of 27
Hi TrickySr--

Remind me around March to remind you in April! Better yet, don't forget--it's an experience you will certainly never forget afterward.

I've ridden both the Deer Creek Challenge and the Triple ByPass, twice each. They're both great challenges, and great rides, but they are quite different. Compared with the venerable Triple ByPass, the Deer Creek Challenge is shorter (about 105 miles compared with about 120) and very much steeper. It packs more vertical (just under 13,000' for the DCC vs. 10,000' for the Triple) into fewer miles, making it considerably more difficult, in my opinion. On the other hand, the Deer Creek Challenge takes place at somewhat lower elevations--the highest point is about 8900', vs. nearly 12,000' for the Triple ByPass at the summit of Loveland Pass. That's significant, especially if you're coming from the lowlands. And the DCC happens in late August, instead of early July for the Triple ByPass. Colorado's notorious monsoon thunderstorms are more likely in July, and the temperatures can be much warmer as well--although at the elevations of the Triple, July's heat can feel good!

Logistically, the Deer Creek Challenge is simpler, because you start and finish at the same point. For the point-to-point Triple ByPass, you'll have to arrange a shuttle because the finish is 120 miles from the start.

The character of the Triple ByPass is mostly very long, sustained climbs of moderate gradient (typically 5-8%) over Squaw/Juniper Pass, Loveland Pass, and Vail Pass. For the Deer Creek Challenge, while it does have some sustained climbs, particularly the climb back up from Foxton and the climb of Shadow Mountain, its real distinguishing characteristic is the multiple shorter climbs of 15% or so on the Cityview/Highgrade loop--which you will do twice.

Do them both! Being more than a month before it, the Triple ByPass would be a great training ride and fitness check for Deer Creek.

Best regards,
Bob
post #25 of 27

I sit here reading this with tears of happiness welling in my eyes.  Don & Betsy, you have inspired me for years but the past 10 months have been beyond description.  The dedication to healing, education of yourselves and others, the love you have for eachother and share with your friends and the spirit you do it all with is awe-inspiring.  I wish I could have been there Sunday but I was running my own half marathon.  I thought of you frequently while I ran and those thoughts urged me on in those moments of pain.  I look forward anxiously for that first day of booting up with both of you this winter. 

 

All my best,

Robyn

post #26 of 27

Guys! I am totally not an emotional person but it's a little dusty in here, am I right? So awesome to see this -- congrats to all of you. :)

post #27 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Hi TrickySr--

Remind me around March to remind you in April! Better yet, don't forget--it's an experience you will certainly never forget afterward.
....................................

Do them both! Being more than a month before it, the Triple ByPass would be a great training ride and fitness check for Deer Creek.

Best regards,
Bob
 


Thank you, Bob, I appreciate all the info. I can probably only do one ride since I live many miles away(however, I did ride Leadville 5 years; and it was worth the trip.)

 

Thanks again,

Richard

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