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Old 08-19-07, 04:35 PM   #1
SunFlower
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Anyone Bike Mt Evans ??

I will be going through Colorado in 4 weeks and I thought about trying to ride Mt Evans. Anyone here done it ?
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Old 08-19-07, 04:47 PM   #2
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From Idaho Springs it is approximately 28 miles of climbing. Most of the climb is moderate with a few steeper sections. One significant factor you need to consider is the weather. Check it before you make the ride and keep a close eye on sky. Weather can change quickly at altitude. Since you'll be doing it in September, I'd suggest bringing arm and leg warmers for the ride down. Also, if you begin to experience a headache, you may be in the initial stages of altitude sickness. Turn around and head down. You might want to read "Mt. Evans - Ride Report" thread in this section.
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Old 08-19-07, 09:16 PM   #3
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The road up Mt Evans (Well... the last 5 miles to the summit, anyway) will be closed by then. They close the portion to the summit the day after Labor Day. The rest will be closed at the first 'significant' snowfall.

Bring warm clothes and rain gear, and start EARLY.

We did it this past weekend and got nailed by rain and hail on the way back down. But it was SO worth it.
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Old 08-19-07, 09:52 PM   #4
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ohhh, i didnt know the summit will be closed at that time. i wont be there until sept 20th. well, now i have an excuse not to reach the summit, lol.
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Old 08-19-07, 11:39 PM   #5
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That last five miles has the worst pavement too. The two times I've done it I hauled my full raingear up with me to keep me warm on the way down. You can also start from Bergen Park or even the Denver City limits if you feel up to it. Stay really hydrated.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:36 AM   #6
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ohhh, i didnt know the summit will be closed at that time. i wont be there until sept 20th. well, now i have an excuse not to reach the summit, lol.
While the road is officially closed, i.e., the gate is locked, you can go around the gate and proceed to the summit. However, if you have a mechanical or medical issue, you are on your own.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:04 PM   #7
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so i have been reading alot about ASCENT times but I havent seen anyone list the average DESCENT time. what is an average time for going down ?
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Old 08-20-07, 12:12 PM   #8
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I wasn't timing it on the way down, but NOBODY passed me while I was heading downhill, and I passed quite a few cars. There are two little uphill sections, and only one car managed to pass me on one of those. I think it took me around 45 minutes, including the time hiding under the porch of the ranger station, waiting for the last of the hail to clear out and donning my rain gear. (Over my already soaked clothes... that made tons of sense!)

Had to slow down quite a bit for the hail storm and rain, though.

disclaimer: I'm running 35 mm cyclocross tires on my touring bike at the moment, and they soak up the imperfections in the road awesomely.

Whatever speed you descend at, make sure you're in control and comfortable at all times... the switchbacks were nasty tight on the way down... and I nearly lost it on one when the hail was built up on the road, even though I had already slowed down considerably from what I was doing before that.

I probably don't need to tell anyone on this forum, but I'll put it out there just in case:
MAKE SURE YOUR BRAKES ARE ADJUSTED AND WORK PROPERLY!
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Old 08-20-07, 12:33 PM   #9
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does it make a big difference between a mt bike and road bike ? i was going to ride my mt bike.
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Old 08-20-07, 01:11 PM   #10
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Just amount of weight you're carrying. I rode my touring bike with rack, bag, panniers, lights, etc. It was easily 50 lbs, and I carried extra gear for a couple of the others.

It just depends what you're used to.
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Old 08-22-07, 01:17 AM   #11
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does it make a big difference between a mt bike and road bike ? i was going to ride my mt bike.
Well, I've done it on my road bike and it was tough. I tried it on my dual suspension MTB and I abandoned around 12500-ft. Some of that was just 'been there, done' and some just 'I suck' but the MTB made it considerably more difficult. Then again, as mentioned, it just depends on what you're used to. I get passed occasionally by guys on MTB's even riding on normal roads. Some folks are just really fit.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:49 AM   #12
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i'm considering taking a shot at mt evans this weekend.

it would be my first time, though i've done trail ridge several times from either side.
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Old 08-24-07, 08:48 AM   #13
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so i've made arrangements. the wife and i are gonna stay in idaho springs saturday night and i'm gonna take a crack at mt evans on sunday morning.

just for my own curiosity, where does everyone start timing? at the schoolhouse?
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Old 08-24-07, 03:05 PM   #14
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Not to hijack this thread, but I'm going to try Mt. Evans for the first time on Tuesday and have a question about parking. On several web pages, it is mentioned not to park at the ranger station and instead at the middle school. I believe school will be in session on Tuesday, is it still okay to park there or should I just park at the ranger station?
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Old 08-24-07, 07:10 PM   #15
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so i've made arrangements. the wife and i are gonna stay in idaho springs saturday night and i'm gonna take a crack at mt evans on sunday morning.

just for my own curiosity, where does everyone start timing? at the schoolhouse?
It starts in the school parking lot.
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Old 08-24-07, 07:55 PM   #16
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The ranger station is like 13 miles up the road from the middle scholl.
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Old 08-24-07, 08:26 PM   #17
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The ranger station is like 13 miles up the road from the middle scholl.
Not the entrance station, the Clear Creek Ranger station. Right on 103 after you get off of I-70.
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Old 08-26-07, 09:39 PM   #18
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god that was hard.

it was everything i was hoping it would be and i lucked out with amazing weather. gorgeous sunny, moderate temperatures and light traffic. easily more bikes than cars on the road.

got a few pics i'll host sometime this week. nothing super exciting.

really great ride i'm glad i finally did.

from the school to the summit i made 2:45

feel like i can probably shave some time off of that next time, now that i "get" the route.
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Old 08-28-07, 07:46 PM   #19
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Congrats on doing Mt. Evans. My wife and I have been super fortunate. We did Mt. Evans the last three times we've been to Co and the weather was crystal clear each time, after all the weather horror stories I heard about. I was amazed that we could see the peaks of DIA from up there. First time up really pushed the nut and poured it on that last set of switchbacks before the parking lot. Felt like I was going to fall off the mountain from the lack of O2. Next times kept the pace more steady and felt great when I got to the top.

After we clear treeline, I put on a second jersey and that's it up to the top (remember, the sun was out the times I did this). On the way down I added glove liners and a wind jacket but, would stop about treeline to remove these as I would begin to overheat by then.

Brakes get a really good workout on the way down. I also have a pretty good fear of hights so, the couple of sections where there's a huge drop, I'm hugging the center line and getting cozy with on-coming traffic. Basically, you pass cars on your way down. They fear the edge even more than I do, it seems.

Start from the school. The first time I did it, I just pulled over at the first pull out and left the car there til I got back. There were no issues but, I don't know if that's recommendable. I was naive about it the first time. One of the times, my wife didn't feel like doing the whole thing so I started from IS and she drove up to the lake (Echo?) at the visitor's center and then we met back at the car.

Bring 3 seasons clothing for sure and be ready for hand cramps from the descent. You don't want to over shoot a curve, trust me.

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Old 08-29-07, 12:50 PM   #20
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Did Mt. Evans yesterday, 08/28. Took me a lot longer than I thought it would, 4 hours even. I live at almost 10,000ft, so I really didn't notice the altitude until the last half mile or so. The lungs were willing but the legs weren't Weather was fantastic at the start, but cloudy, windy, and cold at the top. Had leg warmers, a long sleeve base layer, jersey, and full finger gloves on for the descent all the way back to Echo Lake. Had a slight amount of hail on the way back down about 3 miles below the summit.

Got up close with nature as well. Have a couple of great pictures of mountain goats about 6 feet away from me. Also saw bighorn sheep and lots of marmots shrieking as I rode by.

Great ride, a real sense of accomplishment after finishing it.
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Old 08-29-07, 12:56 PM   #21
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yeah my wife met me at the top in the car and when i came around that switchback that puts you in view of the parking lot, i could see her smiling at me from the observation deck and it made me really proud of myself. that was the best part, for sure.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:35 PM   #22
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did my 08 mt evans trip this weekend. ate poorly and drank too much at beaujos the night before and i think it hurt a bit. came in at right about 3:00 this time. turned out i had a brake rub the whole time so that might have hurt.

it was beautiful again on the way up, but this time we brought the kid with us and so we hiled to the summit from the parking lot and took pics and screwed around instead of heading right down. as a result, the rain started while i was still p top so i decided o get a ride down with the wife, mostly just to avoid those wet, bad roads in heavy traffic.

overall it was a good time, harder this time that the first, but really a spectacularly fun ride.
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