The Skinny on the Elephant & the 719
The 719 Ride happens in the heart and heat of summer. It's always on July 19, regardless of which day of the week that is.
Over the past 30 years Elephant Rock has "grown to be one of the largest and most respected community cycling events in the Rocky Mountain Region." In 2017 the Elephant Rock Cycling Festival had over 5,500 riders. That’s in stark contrast to the 719 Ride.
In 2019, the 719 Ride had 25 riders enjoy its challenging parcours. Three did the full five laps of the signature distance (71.9 miles and 8,600' of climbing). One person completed the 719 Century with its 12,000' of climbing and another completed the 200-mile and 24,000' Himalayan 719.
Unlike Elephant Rock’s "scenic and gorgeous courses," the 719 Ride is where repetition happens and beauty is found in a merry-go-round of laps. Cyclists go up, go down and go round and round. How far and how long you ride is up to you. The 719 Ride has options for everyone.
Along with its century ride, Elephant Rock offers an 8-mile family ride, a 27-mile gravel course, a 60-mile gravel course, a 40-mile loop and a 58-mile loop. The 719 Ride offers distance options in 14-mile increments all they way up to 200 miles. And they all have cool names.
Elephant Rock offers "beautiful and interesting miles with no mountain passes," and the 719 Ride offers…well, it doesn’t offer that. It offers fellowship, fraternity and freedom from work for a day. And it does attract beautiful and interesting people. All of the 719 Ride participants have been beautiful and interesting.
Whereas the Elephant Rock Ride is "meticulously supported," the 719 Ride is DIY. It also has a DIY option if you can't do the ride on July 19.
Whereas the Elephant Rock Ride is part of the Roll Massif collection of events, the 719 Ride only has you, if you choose to come out and ride.
Whereas Elephant Rock offers an all-in-one party, picnic and expo after its ride — that’s part of the festival in "Elephant Rock Cycling Festival" — the 719 Ride only offers the party on two wheels.
The Elephant Rock Century provides 5,700' of elevation gain over 100 miles. The 719 Ride gives you that plus another 3,800'...in only 71.9 miles.
Mile for mile the 719 Ride is as challenging as any ride in Colorado. Consider that Colorado’s epic cycling experience, the Triple Bypass offers three mountain passes and 10,000' of climbing in 120 miles. The 719 Ride Century offers 13,000' in 100 miles.
There is no free lunch at the 719 Ride, before, during or after the event. Every mile turned has to be earned. And when you have done so, no one will offer you anything other than congratulations. There won’t be any prizes proffered or cycling industry leaders present. Just you, on the leading edge of greatness in Colorado Springs.
AND come out and ride the 719 on July 19.
The 719 Ride is a young ride looking for riders. First conceived and ridden in 2016, the aspirational side of the 719 Ride is to create a bicycle event that contributes to the culture, community and multi-layered identity developing in Colorado Springs. The 719 Ride hopes to ride in the draft of the many existing and long-established Colorado cycling events and become a positive part of the Colorado Springs tradition and identity.
If you are only going to do one bike event this year,
Then I urge you to participate in the 719 Ride on the west side of Colorado Springs. It has miles and miles of climbing the same loop over and over again. A total brain meltdown is required to go the distance. The experience is absolutely stunning, and I recommend it 100%.
- Ottavio Severo