What would you do if you had the opportunity to cycle 19 miles up a paved 14er. Would you do it? What if you're a semi-active, new-to-cycling mom in her 30's...would you still do it?!
Well, I had that opportunity and took it. I straight took that bull by the horns.
Pikes Peak and the City of Colorado Springs are running a pilot program in the month of September which allows cyclists to pedal up and down the mountain. In only it's first 11 days, the program has attracted close to 300 cyclists from around the nation. Now like I said, I'm semi-active. (If you're into racing up the mountain, check this out!) I get these bursts of "I'm motivated today" and then bursts of "screw that, where's the beer". So for me to attempt something like this and think there was a small chance in hell I could actually succeed...took a whole lot of motivation...with a bunch of support from my husband, friends and family. It was also my friend Karin's 38th birthday and she thought it would be the perfect present: to ride all 38 miles by bike!
The day was September 11th, 2012. Nothing like today to remember the fallen of 9/11 then by honoring them on top of America's Mountain. After we paid at the toll gate ($12/person or up to 5 car passengers= $40) we parked 2 miles in since we were naive as to where to park, but many folks ride up from Cascade, even Manitou Springs (crazies!). So, we did the best we could and parked at the Crowe Gulch hiking and picnic area. I have no doubt that the first two miles we skipped would have been a killer warmup! After some minor bike tuning (thanks to the random dudes on bikes that had a better pump) we were on our way! Bright yellow aspen greeted us on our first turns into the ride. Miles 3-5 were an amazing warm up with a mix of flat, low grade inclines and some downhill. Then, at mile 6, we cruised downhill into Crystal Reservoir for some photos.
Warning! Colors are more vivid in real life! It is highly recommended to see them in person!
MtnMama strikes a pose at Crystal Reservoir