| Mt. Evans from Echo Lake (bike)
Mt. Evans (via bicycle)
Summit Elevation: 14264
Elevation Gain: 4000
Trip Distance: 29 miles
Round trip time: 4 hours (including an hour on summit)
4WD Required: No
Scenery Factor (scale of 1 to 10): 8 … saw LOTS of wildlife today!
Exhaustion Factor (scale of 1 to 10): 8 … but this was the easiest time for me of all the times I've cycled Evans
Got a later start than we wanted to, but Samantha and I left Denver around 6:30am and headed up to Evans. We were only doing the bike ride from Echo Lake instead of from Idaho Springs, so this late start wasn't terrible. Saw a bunch of longhorned sheep just before the Idaho Springs tunnel, never seen them this far East before on I70! I had completely forgotten that the Triple Bypass was going on on this day until I read rockymountainhigh69's facebook message about it; maybe we passed you! Saw a plethora of riders coming down towards Idaho Springs as we headed towards Echo Lake.
We got to Echo Lake about 8:15 and geared up.
Got on the trail around 8:30 and rode right on past the pay station, they didn't even yell at me or ask me if I planned on paying this time, which was nice as I had no intentions of paying. Call me cheap if you will!
The first 3 miles of the road are still in pretty good shape as they are below timberline, and the road actually did seem like it was in better shape than last year. Had to stop at 1.5 miles as a snake scared the shit out of me as I rode about 6" from it and saw it at the last second (I'm terrified of snakes). I think it was a baby rattler, but I have a hard time convincing myself that they can live at 10,000 feet, but maybe I'm wrong.
Anyways, above tree line, per usual, the road gets bumpy and you have to watch out for potholes. The bumps aren't so bad when you go up, but coming down they're rough. You can just feel your wheels getting un-true (the bumps are every 15 feet or so), even my Ksyriums!
Saw a group of deer crossing the road at about 4 miles. Changed clothes in the middle of the road about 5 miles as the insulated shirt and long ski socks were just too much for me.
9 miles in you get the break at summit lake, but this part just sucks because the road is so destroyed. Anyways, from here it is equally about as steep but the altitude affects you a bit more. At about 13,500 I made a new friend…
Switchbacked quite a few times and made it to the summit in 2:06 of riding time, averaging around 6.5mph or so. Atop the mountain it was cold per usual and we got ego kicks from the several people in awe of the cyclists atop the mountain. This is always the best part of the Evans ride We stayed atop Evans for an hour or so then headed down.
The ride down sucks, I've done this ride several times and each time I detest the ride down. Those bumps in the road just kill me and I ride my brakes most of the time. We stopped around the 11 mile (down) mark (3 miles from Echo Lake) and took a break and stripped some layers.
The last 3 miles fly as the road is better, thought I'd try to top my max speed of 48mph but just wasn't feeling it today, I maxed out at 45 … not even close, Bryan. Oh well, better luck next time