Doing Pikes Peak

Looks like I’m not the only one impressed by the sight of bicycles on the summit of Pikes Peak today. The summit elevation is 14,115 feet. More than a mile below, Colorado Springs sits at 5,994 feet. The Pikes Peak Highway begins 15 miles west of the Springs at 7,400 feet and from there it’s 19 miles — up — to the summit.

Even in my best days as a teenage cyclist, I would never have considered such a ride. Of course these may be electric bicycles; I can’t tell. And these guys might even have gotten a ride to the top, intending only to ride down. (Unlikely. That’s so un-Colorado.)

I’ve lived here for 17 years and am still blown away by what some of the locals consider a walk in the park. Nineteen miles of up … Nope. Not gonna do it

12 thoughts on “Doing Pikes Peak

  1. So bikers are as crazy in the Springs as up here. A single rider in my lane this past weekend rode up Hwy 36 from Boulder. His “rest stop” was waiting in line to show his entry pass (bicycles do not need Timed Entry Permits). His plan for the day? Riding across Trail Ridge Rd to Granby, then Hwy 40 to a friend’s home in Winterpark to overnight. Made me tired imagining it!

    1. OMG, seriously? I just did some research. That’s approximately 118 miles, with the highest elevation on Trail Ridge Road being 12,183′. Starting in Boulder at elev. 5,318′, to Estes Park at 7,522′, over Trail Ridge Road, down to Granby at 7,935′, and ending in Winter Park at 9,121′. Okay, I have to go rest now.

    1. The higher elevations can be a problem for some people, especially those only visiting for a short time. If you live here, you become acclimatized to some extent. (Machu Picchu, Peru, is just under 8,000 ft, so you can still go for a visit.)

  2. Lol. I was tired from driving to the top of it. Went up there with my dogs about 10 years ago.

    Magnificent views! The drop-offs along the side of the road were thrilling, too. Although I have been on much more severe roads in the backcountry of Utah.

    I wouldn’t mind riding a bike down – so long as the brakes are good.

    1. Last time I went up was about 20 years ago, with my NY ex. He insisted on driving, even though the elevation up top was making him ill. Stubborn man wouldn’t let me drive down.

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