SEPTEMBER 21, 2019
GETTING TO THE TOWN OF ELBERT
The event starts and finishes in the town of Elbert, Colorado. Ulysses Everett McGill might have said about Elbert “this place a geographical oddity. An hour from everywhere!” Simply put it’s an easy drive.
For those out east we’re pretty sure you all know the way. For northern Coloradans — find your way to Franktown via I25 (Castle Rock exit) or 470 (Parker Rd Exit) and drive east to Elizabeth then turn south to Elbert. You can also use the Kiowa-Bennet Rd and come down the Elbert Hwy 10-15 minutes south from Kiowa. For the southerners — do the same and find Franktown… Or use Hwy 24 east to the Elbert Hwy just past Falcon hang a left and drive north. For those of you who are already familiar with our little neck of the woods living in and around Black Forest, Monument, Greenland, Franktown, or Larkspur take any of the back groads you prefer that will get you to the starting line on time.
Please park at the track and ball field on the east side of the road.
We would love any and all outta-staters who want to ride! The cities of Castle Rock and Parker are both good close choices to search for hotels and eateries. There are no facility in Elbert to accommodate overnight stays so you will need to make arrangements to lodge elsewhere.
NO CAMPING ALLOWED
FOOD & DRINK
Those who choose the registration options “With Meal” will be in for a treat! Lunch provided by Elbert’s finest restaurant The Naked Goat Cafe, just across the street from the start of the race.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
The High Plains Gravel Grinder is mostly a self-supported event, so plan on bringing enough water, food, and any tools you may need to get you in back to Elbert; roughly 30 miles between loops. For the long course we will have water and snacks at this crossover checkpoint at the ball fields where riders can get their feedzone fix or/or leave a clearly labeled bag, or as the French say musette, to grab on the way on to the second half of the course. As much as we want to have it on the right side of the road it’s just not safe so if you need to stop to refuel you’ll need to pit at the edge of the parking lot.
Although both courses are fairly easy to follow for even the most directionally challenged (pro tip: the mountains are west) we will have course markers in key spots. We still do encourage the use of a bar mounted GPS with the ability to load the pre-mapped routes and it’s even better if it can bark our turns. So make sure that’s all loaded up and the device battery is 100% charged. This isn’t a ultra-endurance ride like the Dirty Kanza so you should be good to go on one charge while using directions.
Currently this is not an officially timed event but we will be issuing numbers and giving away prizes to the top finishers who legitimately cross the line 1-2-3 for the two courses for both men and women open and 50+ riders. In the future we definitely want to have a more serious endurance race element but for this first year we want to gauge what the interest for that would be. We also don’t want to frighten away any folks who simply want to ride and have fun with other like minded cyclists. Everyone is welcome to ride the High Plains Grinder on either course at their own pace. Just remember, the event ends at 5:pm so do what you can to finish by then.
THE ROAD SURFACE & RECOMMENDED GEAR
Elbert County has an abundance of dirt roads that are often times in far better condition than the few paved ones. Our gravel is for the most part hard packed, with a few exceptions on or near hills where there might be runoffs that can make the shoulders a little sandy and even rutted in some spots. There are no giant sharp shale rocks to worry about, but there are a few of the more traveled segments that are prone to washboard, or what we like to call Colorado Cobbles; none of these secteurs are very long and their severity depends mostly on when the last road grading was done and the weather. In late September the roads will most likely be in really good shape.
NO SNOBBERY. NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU PAID FOR YOUR BIKE.
CX and Gravel drop bar bikes are no question the best choices, but the kind of bike you choose is entirely up to you. We welcome the “steel is real” crowd on a classic celeste green Bianchi straight out of Eroica ; ride your full carbon race bike; pedal a fatty; pull a kid trainer; all the same as someone taking out a generic MTB that’s sat buried in the shed for the last 25 years. We don’t really care what bike you ride!
We do, however, strongly recommend something rolling tires between 30’s to 40’s or larger if it suits your frame. You can get by with something as small as 28’s but it might get a little bumpy in spots and they’d be far more likely to pinch flat and maybe a little sketchy on descents but they are absolutely rideable. Frame geometry is 100% a personal preference.
We’d hope you’re experienced enough to ride something that is comfortable enough for you to complete the course you choose smiling. If you have fun then we’ve accomplished one of our primary goals for this event.
Be courteous and respectful at all times and encourage other riders on the course! Participants must obey all city, county, and state laws, and the rules of the road. Your safety is up to you. Bring plenty of food and hydration. Cellular service may be spotty for some carriers but we highly recommend taking along a mobile phone in case of an emergency. Of course, the chances of this “emergency scenario” are unlikely so take along the smartphone so you can snap photos and capture videos and share the memories.
DO NOT LITTER YOUR GEL PACKS AND ENERGY FOOD WRAPPERS ALONG THE ROUTES!!
Participants are solely responsible for any accidents in which he or she may be involved. No responsibility can be accepted for participants getting lost, stranded, injured, or worse.
EVENT SPONSORS, ORGANIZERS, PROMOTERS, VOLUNTEER STAFF OF THIS EVENT ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SAFETY OR WELL BEING DURING THIS EVENT. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF.