Julie Fisher will be participating in the Subaru Elephant Rock Cycling Festival for the first time in 2016. She shares a unique perspective about the ride as she prepares for the century route this year. Julie writes:
2016 is my first year to ride in the Subaru Elephant Rock Cycling Festival and it is also a privilege to be an Ambassador for the event. My first thoughts were, “What does an Ambassador do?”, “What time commitment must I make beyond my training?”, “Do I have to be the best rider?” As it turns out, I don’t have to be the best rider, I spend extra time on social media sharing information about the ride, and requesting my friends and family to join us for this spectacular ride event!
To me, my definition of Ambassador is simply this: Inspire those around you to join in a day of great bike riding, meeting new people and making new friends, bringing our community together for a healthy fitness event, and inspiring those participating to realize their potential and guide them to a great ride experience.
Right out of the gate, I started posting my exciting news about my selection as an ERock Ambassador and the ride on Facebook and Instagram. From the very first posts, I had several friends register for the event! They are excited I am finally riding it just after two years of my road cycling passion began. Each week as I post my ride photos on social media, I’ve made the efforts to hashtag my posts to include Elephant Rock.
The questions come from many followers about the ride. Where is it located? What route options are there to choose from? How well is the ride supported? Will I know anyone besides you riding? Will you ride with me? If you ride with me, how long will you do that and will you drop me? 😉 How do you train for a century like this? And the list goes on. As an Elephant Rock Ambassador, I address these messages and comments quickly, offering my discount code for registration, and passing along the news of great sponsor discounts and savings for Erock participants.
Being an Ambassador is also not about working alone, it’s about communication and working with the team of Ambassadors to ensure we are reaching the public awareness level as much as possible, provide assistance to potential participants, and show how fun riding can be as a group in an organized event!
It is now two weeks and counting to Elephant Rock!! I have lost count, but my estimate for friends and others who have registered for the event is around 16 men and women. Their choices are the 40 mile, 62 mile metric century, and the 100 mile century. I am riding 100 miles and have asked my friends who have ridden the event in the past, how was the century course? Like anyone who rides in organized events, they all have their own personal stories of how the ride experience felt and what it meant to them. My boyfriend rode the century in 2010 and it was his first century ride. He says I will really enjoy this ride due to the scenery, the climbing, and riding with him, of course ;). He knows I love a challenge and that I love climbing. This is the best early season event for me to get my training plan in order earlier and have a fantastic summer of long rides in the mountains.
There is a couple who live in Aurora with whom I ride; they rode ERock in 2015. They both found the climbing as difficult but really glad they did it! Unlocking your potential is a great factor in many of the organized rides. Knowing others are beside you struggling on a climb, or facing a fierce headwind gives you the confidence that you are not alone! This is not a race event, it’s a fun riding event that people of all cycling abilities will participate in.
Not one person has said this was a ride they would not do again. In fact, it is a favorite ride for many of my cycling friends! I can’t believe I’ve waited two years to participate, and very excited that my inaugural ride is also as a ride Ambassador. Thanks again to Elephant Rock for selecting me to participate in such a wonderful program.