Monday, December 14, 2009

new heights

Day 3 of the 2010 Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour
When riding in the mountains it is recommended that you start early enough to be up and off the summit of a high pass before noon to lessen the chance of hitting, or being hit by, inclement weather. I’ll have my lights on for this ride because I will want to get an early start. This day could be epic. You can’t ride any higher than Mt Evans, and this is one I really want to do. The ride from Idaho Springs to Echo Lake is a pretty good climb in itself, gaining 3000 feet in 14 miles, on roads curving through alpine forests.

When we reach Echo Lake we’ll want to stop for pictures. There’s a spectacular park with trails around the lake. Echo Lake Lodge offers souvenirs and cold drinks. And just past the lodge is the fee station for Highway 5, Mt Evans Road. The cost is $3.00 for a bicycle, and that gives you the privilege of another 14 miles of climbing, and about 3500 feet of elevation gain. I had hoped to ride up Evans last June, but was totally unprepared for the sheer magnitude of this ride. Kind of like going to Nepal and thinking, “while I’m there I think I’ll climb Everest”. This time I know what to expect.

After the descent, we’ll head east on Squaw Pass Road going over Juniper Pass and Squaw Pass. I can’t find a lot of information on these passes except that they’re not really passes. At least not the way we will be riding them. Apparently they are mountain passes going north and south, but the road going east and west rides on the ridges of these mountains. Anyway, not too much climbing from Echo Lake, already over 10,000 feet, then down into Golden. There will still be some awesome, challenging rides over the next few days, but if I can ride all the miles on this day, I'll be talking about it for a while.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like quite a trip!
    pity we can't get out to enjoy such amazing scenery.