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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 07-04-13, 03:30 PM   #1
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Mount Evans

Recently took a vacation in Co and was planning on riding in the mountains but somehow ended up in Idaho Springs and realized I was at the gateway to climb a big mountain. I am from Austin, Tx and not used to high altitude riding but felt that I had to give it a try. I am a 56 year old recreational rider and was not prepared at all for this ride. I managed to ride at a slow tempo but the higher I climbed the slower I rode. Then I started to run out of water as I was way above treeline and had to beg motorists for fluids. The wind was very strong this particular day and I really never got a feel for the direction. I guess what I am trying to say is that this mountain really spooked me and I am still feeling the effects after a month back home. I felt like I was going to get blown off the road by the wind gusts on the descent and was also having altitude sickness at the top. Anyone else have an experience with Mount Evans? I managed to complete the ride but felt more damaged than a feeling of accomplishment. It was amazing scenery though.
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Old 07-04-13, 04:22 PM   #2
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Congrats on making it to the top. That's a nice climb and I'm sure it's harder still if your not acclimated to the altitude. When I have flatlanders come to Colorado (mostly for archery hunting) I usually have them stay at my place in Denver a couple days if they can. Even 2 days in Denver helps to become more accustomed to the elevation. Here is a link to a thread about Mnt Evans I started a couple weeks back.
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Old 07-04-13, 04:37 PM   #3
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I've done it 4 times.
My strategy:
1. Leave Idaho Springs at the crack of dawn with (2) *empty* 1-liter bottles.
2. Fill the bottles at the Echo Lake Lodge.
3. At the summit, turn around *immediately* and start the descent, to minimize the effects of altitude, and to minimize the probability of getting rained on. (I've been rained on two out of four ascents.)

Around 9500' I start consciously making every breathe as deep as possible.
From 12,000' to the summit it is pretty much gasping as fast as possible.
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Old 07-05-13, 07:45 AM   #4
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I did the ride from Idaho Springs 6 times, between the ages of 51-53. I did my best time of 2:35 minutes at age 53. That time would usually put you in the top 10 on race day (for the age group). It certainly helps to live at an elevation of 5-6,000 feet, or more. There are days when it's just not smart to finish the ride. The wind can become too strong to make a safe descent. I turned back once, with 7 of the 28 miles, left. The weather just got too nasty and I wasn't riding a fast time. I've ran out of water, right near the top and had to beg from a tourist to get a small drink. I've also descended when it was 38 degrees at the top, with no leg warmers and only some knit gloves for my hands. The temperature at the top was in the upper forties or low 50's, for my other ascents.
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Old 07-05-13, 08:50 AM   #5
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The really nice thing about Mt Evans, is that it is downhill, all the way to the bottom.......................
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