I've heard you can ride the Pikes Peak Cog Railway up to Mountain View, hike about a mile and be on Barr Trail. That sounds alot easier to me than running all the way to A Frame just to get some altitude training in. So I thought I'd investigate. My half baked plan is to ride up late in the day, run to the top and hitch hike down to Manitou. With this little scheme in mind, I called the Cog Railway operator to discuss my ride options. This conversation ensued:
Me: I'd like to know how late in the afternoon I can take the Cog up to Mountain View.
Operator (with a sweet southern accent): Well, you'll have to give me the day you want to go up and I can tell if you we have seats 'vailable.
Me: OK, how about this Friday?
Operator: What time sir, you have to give me a time.
Me: Well, how late can I take it up half way?
Operator: Well, the last train leaves at 5:20.
Me: OK, so I can take the 5:20 to Mountain View?
Operator: Oh, you wouldn't want to do that.
Me: Why not?
Operator: There's bears up there. There's bears up there and that's when they come out. You'd have to hike down with the bears.
Me: I'll take my chances. Could I take the next earlier train to Mountain View?
Operator: Yes, that's at 4:00, but you wouldn't want to do that either.
Me: Why not?
Operator: Well sir, there's rattlesnakes and all kinds of things at that hour.
Me: Hmmm... sounds pretty dangerous.
Operator: Yes it is.
And so it goes with training for the Pikes Peak Ascent. Dangerous!