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Highway 34 Estes Park to Loveland - Records?

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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

Highway 34 Estes Park to Loveland - Records?

Old 09-16-18, 04:44 PM
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Highway 34 Estes Park to Loveland - Records?

Smooth road, all downhill. Certainly there are some awesome rides down that hill. Ever heard of any records or races on this road?
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Old 09-16-18, 07:13 PM
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I cannot answer your question, but this road make me sad. It means that my time in the mountains are over, and now I'm going to be seeing flat, boring land for the unforeseeable future as I return back to the midwest. I remember this road almost 40 years ago, how beautiful it was. Then, the mountains ahead of us disappeared and now I was back to a boring world. This was when I was 9 years old. Dad drove, and I was pinned to the window, just amazed at what I was seeing.
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Old 09-17-18, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970
I cannot answer your question, but this road make me sad. It means that my time in the mountains are over, and now I'm going to be seeing flat, boring land for the unforeseeable future as I return back to the midwest. I remember this road almost 40 years ago, how beautiful it was. Then, the mountains ahead of us disappeared and now I was back to a boring world. This was when I was 9 years old. Dad drove, and I was pinned to the window, just amazed at what I was seeing.
That's a really great story. There is an excitement to approaching the mountains, which implies a letdown or sadness when leaving. Most of the time when you leave the mountains in Colorado, there are ups and downs (such as approaching Denver on I70 east) but it's all down hill from Estes to Loveland and then it is flat!

I'd love to ride down this road, up it? Not so much.
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Old 09-17-18, 08:47 PM
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I’ve ridden HWY 34 a number of times - down and back up before and after the giant flood. You’re right, the new post-flood road is an absolute beauty to ride. I turn around after descending ~22mi, which is a few miles past the dam and not quite to the outskirts of Loveland. I rode the total down and up of 44mi in 2:33:xx last time that included a long stop for construction on the way down (buzz kill). On the uphill, I rode the “dam to Drake” in ~27min (KOM is 20:14) and “Drake to the summit” in another ~47min (KOM is 29:55). Suggest you stay off this road on the weekends mainly to avoid the surge of confused, sightseeing flat-lander cars. [Note that Strava has pre- and post-flood segments now since the road is apparently a bit different now. I can't tell the difference.]

I’ve also gone the back way through Glenn Haven to Drake, which is about halfway between Estes and Loveland. From the top of the mtn just outside Estes, it’s a ~10mi descent through Glen Haven with my best time of just under 19min (KOM is 16:24). The new post-flood road here is also a delight. As I roll towards the three-way stop at Drake, I usually turn around and ride back up to Estes which is a 50min affair (KOM is 33:35) that includes a nasty steep straightaway and two ugly switchbacks. A two-page SRAM ad from a few years ago shows one of the switchbacks (edit - yup, see next post). This road is off the beaten path and can be ridden any day of the week.

Last edited by Johnny Rad; 09-20-18 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 09-17-18, 09:07 PM
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I'm pretty darn sure this is one of the TWO switchbacks above Glen Haven...

"Devils Rd Gulch Switchbacks" is 0.54mi @ 10% gradient.

"Devils Gulch Rd Climb" adds .5mi just before the two switchbacks for a total of 1.03mi @ 9%.

On a whole, the ascent from Drake through Glen Haven to Estes is plenty manageable with an avg gradient of just 3%.




Last edited by Johnny Rad; 09-20-18 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 09-17-18, 11:08 PM
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post-flood, there's a solid 2ft --or wider-- shoulder all the way. I just rode the Drake->Estes section a few weeks ago (47:57 for me, I was too chicken to go back up via Glen Haven). The new shoulder is a dream and though it was a busy (Labor Day!) weekend, I never felt crowded.

Now we need the same treatment to Golden Gate, Coal Creek, Deer Creek, Jarre Canyon and whole bunch of other wonderful roads around here ....
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Old 09-20-18, 11:53 AM
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Sorry to change the topic slightly but is anyone familiar with the ride from Leadville to Copper Mountain on Highway 91? In the late 1980's I did a 7 day bike camping trip that started and ended in Estes Park. The route took me through Leadville and I'll never forget going down 91 into Copper Mountain. I was going at least 45+ MPH as the road is completely straight with a steep grade. Great riding, although I recall how Leadville was a depressed area.
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Old 09-20-18, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Chubby715
Sorry to change the topic slightly but is anyone familiar with the ride from Leadville to Copper Mountain on Highway 91? In the late 1980's I did a 7 day bike camping trip that started and ended in Estes Park. The route took me through Leadville and I'll never forget going down 91 into Copper Mountain. I was going at least 45+ MPH as the road is completely straight with a steep grade. Great riding, although I recall how Leadville was a depressed area.
I did it last year on a motorcycle.
Pristine pavement with a bike lane on both sides.
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Old 09-21-18, 08:19 AM
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I need to try this climb sometime. I'm just now getting back into cycling after 8 years off the bike and two new knees. I live less than a mile from the intersection of Hwy 34 and Glade Rd, so I'd have to ride up first. So far, I've mainly been riding from my house to Horsetooth reservoir. Lots of challenging hills there. I've done the route from Idaho Springs to the top of Mt. Evans six times, but the last time was 12 years ago when I was 53. My best and last time was 2hours, 35 minsutes, for the 28 mile route.

Now is not a good time to ride this route, at least on weekdays. There's still a lot of construction in progress, with single lanes and flagmen.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 09-21-18 at 04:46 PM.
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