Join Date: Feb 2005
Bikes: 2002 Surly Instigator, 1999 Litepseed Blue Ridge, 1997 Trek Y-33, 1992 Schwinn 540
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I've done the ride up to Woodland Park from the Springs a couple of times. There is absolutely no one who does that ride as a commute. There are few people who do the ride at all. The highway is very narrow, through a canyon, between Manitou Springs and Green Mountain Falls. There is literally no shoulder in some spots, as the white line is just a few feet from a granite rock wall. In the places where the shoulder exits, there is sometimes gravel, and road debris.
There are other reasons you wouldn't want to commute that road. You would be moving with traffic in the morning..with the other 10,000 drivers coming down the pass, going to work. The upper part of the drive is wider, 2 lanes each side, with a large median. However, there are many entry/exit pullouts, and people are moving at about 65mph. You would be riding on the highway. I've done it. Its a little hairball.
I would recommend driving to Manitou Springs, park, get the bike out, then commute to Colorado Springs, about 10 miles. It would actually be about the same time on a bicycle as in a car, as it is slightly downhill the entire way, and the road speed limit is 30mph with plenty of stop lights. So you would make good time. Then the ride back to Manitou in the afternoon/evening would be pleasant.
That bike trail that runs parallel to hwy 24 is not yet completed. It doesn't go very far, maybe 1/2 mile. Slow progress, might be done in a couple years or so.
Enjoy all the trails. Get the Pikes Peak Atlas, and head up Gold Camp Road. You can literally ride 50 miles on singletrack, up to Cripple Creek if you want.