'It's all about community'

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One by one or in groups, cyclists coasted down a hill on Highway 83 and descended into Castle Rock and the finish line June 2 during the annual Elephant Rock Ride. The easy ride into Franktown was a chance for the cyclists to catch their breath and enjoy the view of Pike's Peak on a cloudless morning. About eight more miles along 86 and they would finish before some rolled out of bed on the Sunday morning.

“The best part of this are the views you get,” said Jack Cyrus, a 63-year-old from Castle Rock.

From Elephant Rock in Monument to the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock, cyclists took over the roads throughout El Paso, Douglas and Elbert counties.

The 30-year-old event drew more than 5,000 riders for one of the biggest cycling events of the year in Colorado.

Participants could choose to ride from three road courses of 40, 58 and 100 miles, two gravel routes of 27 and 60 miles and an 8-mile family ride. As riders finished at the fairgrounds, they enjoyed beer, food and music at the riders-dream expo.

“It's all about community,” said Rodger Hauch, 27, of Centennial. “It's a chance for riders to celebrate the season with each other.”

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