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

Mt. Evans

Old 03-05-07, 10:28 AM
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FixdGearHead
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Mt. Evans

Has anyone ridden up Mt. Evans (Idaho Springs, CO)?

I've ridden DOWN it, but planning on an ascent this summer - interested if anyone here has experience on the ride.

Basically working on logistics right now (Wife & Dad-in-Law possibly driving up to the summit to meet me, etc) interested to hear advice from people who've done the route.

Thanks!

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Old 03-05-07, 11:08 AM
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I rode up it once back in 1976, but that was on a BMW motorcycle, and even that was sputtering at the top from the altitude!
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Old 03-05-07, 11:39 AM
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FixdGearHead
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Originally Posted by DougG
I rode up it once back in 1976, but that was on a BMW motorcycle, and even that was sputtering at the top from the altitude!
Yeah - no doubt my 'engine' will be wheezing that last few kilometers
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Old 03-05-07, 11:45 AM
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Just mailed in my registration for the Mt. Evans Hillclimb race...It's actually called the Bob Cook Memorial, though. Should be loads of fun.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:08 PM
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Yeah, I've ridden and raced it a bunch of times. Great climb. To ride for fun, bring a backpack with all your cold weather gear, and ride up in jersey and shorts. Eat along the way. When you get to the top, dry off and get your warm clothes on before you cool down too much.

Don't let the disorientation mess with you on the way down. After 2-1/2 hours at 10mph, 50mph can feel super scary --- especially without any pedaling effort, and no guardrails. But you've already descended it, so that won't be such a big deal.

Say "Hi" to those bristlecones in the timberline switchback for me
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Old 03-05-07, 01:20 PM
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Hey Waterrockets -- how was your bike geared for Mt. Evans? What do you recommend? I've driven it, but not in years, and have never biked it...So am wondering about gearing.

And before you give me the old "it depends" answer, I'll mention that (1) I think I am about your age (I picked up something in one of your posts) and (2) We both ride steel bikes with heavy wheels.
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Old 03-05-07, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
Yeah, I've ridden and raced it a bunch of times. Great climb. To ride for fun, bring a backpack with all your cold weather gear, and ride up in jersey and shorts. Eat along the way. When you get to the top, dry off and get your warm clothes on before you cool down too much.

Don't let the disorientation mess with you on the way down. After 2-1/2 hours at 10mph, 50mph can feel super scary --- especially without any pedaling effort, and no guardrails. But you've already descended it, so that won't be such a big deal.

Say "Hi" to those bristlecones in the timberline switchback for me
Thanks! Was going to follow up with the loaded question of how long I should expect the ride to take...don't plan on unseating Tommy D's record of 1 hr and 41 min...but would like to think I could get 'er done in a decent amount of time (ie, under 3 hrs).

Where do you typically begin your ride? My memory is a little foggy since it's been a while...do you start right at the turn off of I-70 at Idaho Springs (Is that where the Bob Cook race begins?)
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Old 03-05-07, 02:34 PM
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Coyote2: I went up with a 12-23 (old 8-spd) and a 39-52 up front. No gearing problems at all -- it's not steep, except a little at the top. Yeah, and this was on a 21 lb road bike.

FixedGearHead: I think 3 hours is a reasonable time for a reasonably fit rider. I can't climb for crap and trained it in 3:00 with a backpack, and raced it in 2:30 (pretty slow -- midfield). You'll be tired at the top, but 3:00 is not an insane pace. 3:30 would be fine too. My mentor at the time (Mason Rickard) did it in 1:55, but he was CO state TT champ, and got 5th in P/1/2 on mt evans that year (beating Alexi Grewal).
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Old 03-05-07, 02:42 PM
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Thanks, waterrockets...
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Old 04-09-07, 09:21 PM
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I too will be in the Denver area in the beginning of July and plan on riding Mt. Evans. One problem I have though is a week after I plan on doing the climb I have my first A race of the season. After looking at the elevation/course maps saw that some just ride for fun starting at mile 12 (Lake Echo) and then travel to the summit. If I want to save my legs a little and start at mile 12 will I be missing too much? My girlfriend will drive me there and meet me at the top so I won't miss anything sightseeing wise. Opinions?
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Old 04-09-07, 11:29 PM
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I've done it, starting in Idaho Springs, and will be returning this August to do it again.

A couple of things to think about:

Weather: it can be warm and sunny when you start and really bad when you get to the top. Bring appropriate clothing. Thunderstorms tend to occur later in the day, so get an early start to avoid the worst weather.

Water: There is no water at the summit. I ended up begging for water from a driver, who gladly gave me a bottle. Be sure to stock up on water at the Echo Lake lodge.

Grade: It's not steep, just long and high. You don't need really low gears.
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Old 04-10-07, 01:35 AM
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the other guys pretty much covered most of it, but as for gearing, it would be good to have one or two options lower than what you can normally sustain on similar grades at low altitude.

i did it with a 39/25. and while at that fitness level i never needed the lowest gear much under 10,000ft, i struggled in it on the last leg to the summit.

even though it never gets supper steep, the thin air will make it feel steeper than it is.
in the same vein, keep spinning a low gear at the bottom to save some anaerobic strength for the top.

good luck! its an amazing ride.
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Old 04-10-07, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ronbridal
I too will be in the Denver area in the beginning of July and plan on riding Mt. Evans. One problem I have though is a week after I plan on doing the climb I have my first A race of the season. After looking at the elevation/course maps saw that some just ride for fun starting at mile 12 (Lake Echo) and then travel to the summit. If I want to save my legs a little and start at mile 12 will I be missing too much? My girlfriend will drive me there and meet me at the top so I won't miss anything sightseeing wise. Opinions?
Two things: the ride to Echo Lake is easy. I'd recommend you just go slow and enjoy it. The bottom isn't really as pretty, but after the 2nd switchback, it's awesome. The second thing is that it may not be open in the beginning of July, depending on spring snowfall. It will probably be open, but there's a lot of base there this year. If it's closed, it will be open below Echo Lake.

You might send the GF on a little hike of Chicago Lakes while you're riding. There's a great glacial valley back there with a series of cirque lakes leading up to the cirque that holds Summit Lake. The hike starts from Echo Lake. http://www.mountevans.com/ME-AreasChicagoBasin.HTML
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