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Old 09-03-09, 11:23 AM   #1
Shimagnolo
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Pikes Peak

From "The Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike)", copyright 2007:

"Pikes Peak
...
Unfortunately, this climb is closed to bikes.
...
Once this entire climb is paved (planned), it will become one of the top five most difficult in the U.S."


Now it sounds as if it is implying that once the paving is complete, bikes will be allowed.
Does anyone know anything about this?
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Old 09-03-09, 11:37 AM   #2
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I wouldn't hold your breath on that. "(planned)"
Why don't you just go to Mount Evans? That one's pretty tough too. (Gad, I wish I lived in CO!)
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Old 09-03-09, 11:55 AM   #3
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I wouldn't hold your breath on that. "(planned)"
Why don't you just go to Mount Evans? That one's pretty tough too. (Gad, I wish I lived in CO!)
Been there; Done that; Twice this year.
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Old 09-03-09, 12:06 PM   #4
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I feel like a Rwandan refugee listening to a Texan whine about his 64oz steak not being rare enough.

About the best we have down here is Palomar, which doesn't even approach Pike's base elevation. I hope you choke.
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Old 09-03-09, 12:31 PM   #5
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yeah but I think Palomar is steeper? Double-digit grades are rare in Rocky Mtn country (they're around but not as much as one might think. Double-digit grades don't mix well with snow and snow plows...)
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Old 09-03-09, 12:32 PM   #6
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And I thought Pike's is open to bikes till the end of the pavement. (don't ask me how much mtn is left on the dirt, I think it's a lot though)
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Old 09-03-09, 12:44 PM   #7
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yeah but I think Palomar is steeper? Double-digit grades are rare in Rocky Mtn country (they're around but not as much as one might think. Double-digit grades don't mix well with snow and snow plows...)
Steeper-shmeeper. All grades are harrrd when your fingernails and lips are turning blue from lack of oxygen.
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Old 09-03-09, 12:45 PM   #8
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yeah but I think Palomar is steeper? Double-digit grades are rare in Rocky Mtn country (they're around but not as much as one might think. Double-digit grades don't mix well with snow and snow plows...)
Not rare where I live:
- McCaslin Road "The Wall" 12%
- Flagstaff Road - 17% near the top
- Magnolia (averaged 12% for the first mile before I gave up and turned around)
- Sugarloaf (haven't done it yet, supposed to be equivalent to Magnolia)
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Old 09-03-09, 12:50 PM   #9
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I have City View Rd within reach from the house (I'm down south, Deer Creek Canyon is 12mi from the house), which has a couple 13% sections I believe. Other than that, it's all high-single digits. Which is hard, don't get me wrong ...
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Old 09-03-09, 01:49 PM   #10
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Not rare where I live:
- McCaslin Road "The Wall" 12%
- Flagstaff Road - 17% near the top
- Magnolia (averaged 12% for the first mile before I gave up and turned around)
- Sugarloaf (haven't done it yet, supposed to be equivalent to Magnolia)
SugarLoaf does not have all of the switchbacks that MAgnolia does, nor does it take off quite as steeply. Not to say it isn't steep. Just looking at that first pitch up off the canyon makes my guads hurt.
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Old 09-03-09, 02:16 PM   #11
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I feel like a Rwandan refugee listening to a Texan whine about his 64oz steak not being rare enough.

About the best we have down here is Palomar, which doesn't even approach Pike's base elevation. I hope you choke.
Well, just to rub it in, here are shots I took on the first climb this year:

http://www.dim.com/~ryoder/MtEvans/

On the second climb it was raining and all you could see looking up (or down) was clouds,
and my gloves were soaked and my fingers so numb I couldn't have operated a camera if I had tried.
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Old 09-03-09, 02:29 PM   #12
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Dammmmit! Those are so sweet!
I screwed the pooch by planning my vacation to New Zealand this year (and ended up canceling that trip anyway.)
But I'm definitely coming to CO with bike next year. Orrr.... when do the first snows usually come? What are the odds of Evans being snow-free at the end of September? How about early October?



Being on Evans makes me feel like a flea on one of college gf's nipples.
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Old 09-03-09, 02:38 PM   #13
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late September, dicey. October, snow for sure....
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Old 09-03-09, 02:42 PM   #14
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Mt. Evans will close above Summit Lake as of Sept 8th, no matter what the weather is. That is done to protect wildlife breeding and migration.

The road up to summit lake with stay open until the "first significant snowfall"

More info here.
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Old 09-03-09, 02:45 PM   #15
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Dammmmit! Those are so sweet!
I screwed the pooch by planning my vacation to New Zealand this year (and ended up canceling that trip anyway.)
But I'm definitely coming to CO with bike next year. Orrr.... when do the first snows usually come? What are the odds of Evans being snow-free at the end of September? How about early October?
Roughly:
- Memorial Day - road opens
- Labor Day - road closes to motor vehicles
- Oct 1 - road closes to all vehicles

Also, you need to summit and try to get back down to Echo Lake by noon.
You can almost count on rain after 12 o'clock.
For me that means arriving at Idaho Springs just before dawn.
The first time, even though I didn't get rained on, the road was wet to Echo Lake on the descent.

Last edited by Shimagnolo; 09-04-09 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 09-03-09, 03:27 PM   #16
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Oh I know all about those summer showers in the mountains!

About a dozen Fourth-of-July's ago, I was a Corporal in the killbot factory, stationed at Fort Carson. My inbred roommate Heinzl wanted to hike up the Barr Trail with me. (We had no idea there was an auto-race going on at the other side of the mountain.)
Heinzl was not only cursed with a misshapen head, he was also cursed with a profession that compelled him to shave his head to expose it; and to make the curse even worse, he lacked the sense to resist this compulsion.
Since it was the 4th of July, we naturally walked into a blizzard wearing only shorts & t-shirts. It dumped several inches of snow in less than an hour and we were in serious trouble. But we eventually made it to the summit and were surprised at all the car-racing hulabuloo going on. There was a massive crowd, including a group of special-ed children enjoying the activity and the brightly colored race cars.
Heinzl and I were shivering and waiting in line to buy tickets for the cog-train back down the mountain when a kind woman tapped him on the shoulder and said, "You'd better hurry! Your group's already on the train!"
Heinzl just smiled his misshapen, snaggle-toothed smile and said "Thainks!" as the woman took his arm and led him to the train.

Turns out the rest of the trains were booked that day, so I had to walk the 12.4 miles back down the mountain in the snow by myself. When I finally got there, starving, freezing & exhausted, Heinzl was sitting on the tailgate of my pickup next to an empty Triscuit box wearing the same $#it-eating grin: "Hey man. Do me a favor and don't tell no one 'bout this, okay?"
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