What is the Charlie Henderson Challenge Series?
The Challenge Series is a pre-planned series of 20 century-type rides that span the cycling season and are designed to challenge you, to show you roads you may not have ridden both close to home and across the state, and to foster the development of a community built around endurance riding.
The series is a mix of road, gravel, and mixed surface rides. We describe them as “century-type” rides as many of the rides are less than 100 miles, but are difficult in other ways.
For those who want to participate in a number of these rides as a series, wie will recognize those who complete at least six of the rides and those who complete the most! These are all non-competitive, non-timed rides.
Below are the rides for 2020: (Full Details will be posted on our Meetup Calendar as they become available)
Sunday Feb 16: Aurora - Strasburg Plains Loop (road). Details...
Saturday Mar 14: Elizabeth - Peyton Gravel Loop (gravel). Details...
Saturday Mar 28: Lyons - Rist Canyon Century (road) Details...
Saturday April 4: Golden/Bergen Park/Evergreen Climbing (road) Details...
Sunday April 19: Cañon City - Phantom Canyon - Shelf Road Loop (gravel) Details...
Saturday April 25: Anti-Epic “Short” Course (gravel) Details...
Saturday May 2: Trinidad Big Gravel Loop (gravel). Details...
Saturday May 16: Golden Anti-Gravity Epic Century (mixed). Details...
Saturday May 23: Deer Creek Climb into Summer (road). Details...
Saturday June 13: Steamboat Challenge (gravel)
Saturday June 20: Boulder - Gold Hill - Ward - Super James - Lyons (mixed). Details...
Saturday June 27: Copper Mountain - Leadville - Vail Loop Plus Turquoise (road). Details...
Friday July 10: The Pikes Peak Challenge (road). Details...
Saturday July 18: Idaho Springs Climbfest: Guanella Pass - Loveland Pass - St Mary’s (road). Details...
Saturday July 25: Golden Gate Figure 8 + Eldora (road). Details...
Saturday Aug 1: “OMG”: Morrison/Echo Lake/Oh My God/Golden Gate (mixed)
Saturday Aug 22: Boulder Badass Caribou Ride (gravel). Details...
Saturday Sept 5: Boulder Big, Big Classic (mixed). Details...
Saturday Sept 19: Ken Caryl/High Grade/Foxton/Elk Creek (road). Details...
October TBD: Red Feather Lakes Gravel Loop (gravel)
All rides are subject to being rescheduled or canceled due to weather or other reasons.
Out-of-town rides are expected to be paired with an additional shorter ride on the opposite day to make for a fun weekend getaway!
These are drop rides—that’s just the nature of things when they get long and hard. On the road the rides will break up into multiple groups. The front group will often push the pace; other groups will not. What group you ride with is up to you. These are not races and there is no award for finishing first.
A primary goal of the series is to have fun and make the kind of friends you can only make on a hard ride. Occasionally waiting a minute or two for others to catch up goes a long way toward making this happen! We also have designated regroup points at stores on each ride.
We do look out for each other if someone has a mechanical or other issue on the ride. But we also expect that you’ll come out with a bike that is ready for a big ride.
We would like to have a two-person ride leader team for all of these rides. If you are interested in helping out on a particular ride, read more about it and then contact Mark Michel to volunteer. Helping to lead a ride is fun and is a valuable way to help out the club!
As these are club rides, there aren’t really any rules beyond basic common sense:
-Sign our insurance company’s waiver at the start
-Wear a helmet
-Follow the rules of the road
-Error on the side of safety
-Always have fun!
These are unsupported club rides and therefore have no cost beyond your club membership.
We will recognize riders who complete at least 6 of the rides as well as the one who complete the most. To receive ride credit for the series, you must:
a) Be an RMCC dues-paying member on the day of the ride
b) Sign the waiver at the ride start
c) Complete the course (the long version in the event we have multiple route options!)
d) Let us know you finished in one of 3 ways:
-If you see a Challenge Series coordinator when you finish, make sure he/she notes you down.
-Join the RMCC Strava group and record your ride on Strava. We’ll note you finished there.
-Send your GPX file or link to your Strava, RwGPS etc. record to firstname.lastname@example.org
Caveat: Sometimes Garmins flake out or phone batteries go dead. Send us what you have. The point is not to carefully scrutinize your ride but just to have something more tangible beyond a simple claim of having done the ride!
The following rides are double-credit rides due to being especially difficult:
-Anti-Gravity Epic Century
-“OMG”: Morrison/Echo Lake/OMG/Golden Gate
-Boulder Mixed Surface Climbing Extravaganza
-Boulder Badass Caribou Ride
Rides must be completed on the day they were started. Or to put it differently, the focus is on finishing the ride, not how long it took.
All riders who complete 6 or more rides over course of the season will be recognized in our club newsletter and will receive a to-be-determined award of little monetary value, but which you will cherish for the rest of your life.
The riders who complete the most rides will receive additional recognition and bragging rights.
All rides are subject to being rescheduled or canceled due to weather or road conditions. Additionally, on any ride the weather can turn bad or a road on the planned route may turn out to be unsafe for riding. Always prioritize safe riding. This can involve changing the route on the fly. For those who are going after Challenge Series credit—we’ll figure out how to fairly handle the situation when an on-the-fly change has to be made.
Who Was Charlie Henderson?
Charlie Henderson was one of the founders of RMCC back in 1993 and was our club President for many years before passing away in 2017. His goal was to have a club that provided a year-round series of rides that helped people develop their cycling fitness. His countless hours of work were the driving force behind building our cycling community. Charlie was always up for a challenge and was always encouraging others to try something just a little bit harder than they had done before. While the structure of this series of rides is new, it is intended to be in the spirit of what Charlie built. For those of us who knew Charlie, we still miss him but his spirit lives on with us in this series.