Last year Jessica and I rode in our first Elephant Rock. We opted for the Century option and trained our little butts off to get ready. We had a simple training plan, add ten miles to our weekend rides every week. This strategy was effective, it got us through, but this year we are taking a whole new approach to our training.
Our cycling season last year really started out preparing for the Elephant Rock. That was our fist goal, and in a way it was a gateway into many more events, and rides that we did thought the summer and fall. I’ll be honest preparing for the Elephant Rock was had work. The ride itself was a challenge. But all of the work we did last year has really paid dividends this season.
We started riding a little bit later this year than last. This was mostly because of the weather. But we started off strong. We could really tell how much we had improved from last year. Of course much of this had to do with our progress from last year, but we also really focused on strength training over the winter. Our desire to compete in a triathlon sparked an intense training plan. It’s really paid off.
But all the strength training in the world isn’t enough to prepare you for a hundred mile ride. We still need to get out there and log miles on the bike. So what’s the plan for Elephant Rock Year Two?
To be honest we have a lot of obstacles in our way this year. Climbing is our main focus. Both Jessica and I will be riding the Triple Bypass and Copper Triangle. In addition I’m also doing Ride the Rockies. Jessica has a unique challenge as she had the opportunity to backpack across Europe for a month before Elephant Rock. There will be a lot of unknowns for her continued training. But with the base we’ve established I think we’ll be ready. Will we be setting any records? I guess we’ll see.
Last year the hundred miles took us six hours and forty eight minutes to complete. We defiantly want to beat that this year. I would love to shave an hour off that, but I’m not sure we are quite ready to make that happen. It’s good to have goals, and we’ll see what we can do.
Despite the obstacles keeping us from riding, the general plan is to complete two quality rides each weekend. One endurance focused ride, with longer milage. And a second ride focused on climbing. The advantage of this method is that we’re able to enjoy ourselves at the same time. I think that’s a really important aspect of cycling. You have to be able to enjoy it first and foremost.
The Elephant Rock Ride really gets the cycling season rolling in Colorado. It’s before most other rides, but late enough you have plenty of time to train. There are also many options for riders of all abilities. I really encourage anyone who rides, no mater what level, to join in on the fun.