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  1. #1
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    Pike's Peak Ascent

    I'm looking for some advice from those of you who have ascended Pike's Peak. It's always been on my list to do. I'm just getting started on planning and I'm looking at July of next year. I think I'll be starting off in Manitou Springs. Any and all advice is welcome, please be as specific as you can. (equipment, clothing, gearing, where to get water, need for money, cool stuff to see/do, etc.). Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Bring rain gear and long gloves. I am planning on doing it one day, I guess it is paved now.
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  3. #3
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    Is it true that bicycles are allowed on the road one day per year?

  4. #4
    Cycling Addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    Is it true that bicycles are allowed on the road one day per year?
    No, not any more.

    Cycling Pikes Peak Highway - Colorado Springs Vacation & Tourism Information | Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  5. #5
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    Did it back in 2014. A few things to consider.
    - Drink plenty of water on your way up. The higher the altitude the quicker you dehydrate. Plus CoSprings is a mountain desert environement anyway. If you are not used to the elevation and climate hydration is key.
    - The temps at the top are generally about 30 degrees cooler than in Manitou Springs. You should bring a cool weather jacket for the descent - I wrapped mine around my waist for the ride up - used it for about half the way down. Also long fingered gloves and arm and leg warmers are wise.
    - In the high mountains foul weather can come on quickly - July should not be too bad but you may encounter quck rain shower. Usually they pass through but you may want to schedule a couple of alternate days just in case the weather is supposed to be bad on your first day. You can trust the local weather reports.
    - There is an old gift shop retaurant at the top where you can get basic food - burgers, soup, chips etc. They are going to build a new structure up there to replace the existing one - do no know when construction is supposed to begin.
    - The road up is in good condition, however you do want to bring yoiur usual mini toll and spare tubes etc. There is no support of any kind once you leave Manitou.
    - Also there is a dirt parking lot on the road off HWY 24 that goes up to PP, the parking lot is on your right just after you get on the PP road. This may be a better place for you to park as then you won't have to ride on 24 (not recommended unless very early in the morning). From this parking lot it is about 22 miles to the top.
    - IIRC They will charge you ~ $12.00 to ride up - weekday is probably better - hopefully less tourists

    Let me know if you need any other info. I am local to the area.
    Last edited by pdh777; 07-10-2017 at 10:40 PM.

  6. #6
    wots...uh the deal?
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    In addition to PDH's great info...

    I was out that way in 2013. But, the guy I was with had his fingers turning purple at the gift shop around 11,000', so we turned around.
    Also, he was thinking 30 some miles and brought only two bottles. I threw an extra in my jersey pocket and had to give to him. But the gift shop was nice enough to let us refill for the way down. Highway 24 can get really busy, be careful. Consider having someone drop you off in Cascade or the park entrance. (if the dirt parking lot works, great!)
    The park ranger was nice enough to allow 4 of us to pay one "car fee" and save a couple bucks.
    They will discuss the speed limit on your way down. Watch your speed, have good brake pads and watch your rim temperature on the way down.

    When I ascended Mt Evans, I was trying to keep an eye on the weather. (previous year was a blizzard atop Trial Ridge Road) Being a flatlander, I got tunnel vision and sat on a rock to recover for 3 minutes. Turns out I was around 13,000', so that was not too surprising. Found the top soon after. But that distracted me from seeing the clouds move in and the hail start for the descent. Jacket and armwarmers and a shell can be very useful in those situations.
    martymoose

  7. #7
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    I'm also local and have ridden it several times, I spend a lot of time on the peak and know the road very well.

    From Manitou, you'll have close to 9,000 feet of climbing with much of it at an altitude above what most people are used to. Mileage from Manitou is likely @50 miles RT. Riding up Ute pass to the toll gate can be sketchy due to the traffic, go early. You can also park at the toll gate and ride from there, shorter and less climbing. It's uncomfortably steep for much of it and unrelenting, low gearing will be your friend. Driving up the road, I often see people on road bikes who I can tell will never make it because their bike is geared too high. Mountain bikers can just spin up. I ride 50/34 and 34 in the back, and I wouldn't mind lower. I'm old though.

    There are few places to get water once you get on the toll road. At N Catamount Reservoir (I think you can buy bottled water), Glen Cove and the summit, that's it. Two big bottles is barely enough.

    The descent is awesome, the pavement is pretty good and you can fly. I can be back at my house from the summit in 45 minutes.

    It'll be hot and then cold. If storms roll in, you can get hail/snow, plan accordingly.

    The food at the summit sucks, so don't count on having a nice meal up there. Think cafeteria food. The new summit house isn't even fully funded yet, so it's a good way off.

  8. #8
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    What is the steepest grade & avg?
    He didn't say anything about the descent, maybe he's leaving?
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  9. #9
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    Mid teens max, 6 ish as an average. To put it in perspective, the max on Mt Evans is 6.

    https://www.pjammcycling.com/5.--pikes-peak--co.html

    Climbing Pikes Peak on road bike.

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