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Pikes Peak Highway opening to bikes year-round

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Re: Pikes Peak Highway opening to bikes year-round

Postby justiner » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:58 am

Yeah, 18% is absolutely maddeningly steep, and the PPHW, while steeper than Mt. Evans HW is not at 18% - 8-10% I can fathom. Lickskillet, in Boulder County maxes out at 18%, and it's known as one of the steepest grades on the Front Range -

http://theroadtocat1.com/colorado-climbs/dirt-roads/lickskillet-road/

Here's us racing up the damn thing:



A steeper hill still would be Magnolia in Boulder County, but it again has its grade inflated - it purportedly has "one bike length" of distance that clocks in at 43%, if you really were to take the farthest path inwards of I think, one of the first switchbacks.

Some of the mountain passes in the French Alps max out at around the lower 20% of grades. But it has to be said, it's different at 1,800 meters on Col du Galibier, than it was at 4,000+ meters for Pikes Peak. Us all in Denver basically live at the altitude of Galibier.

...anyways, some ways to get in shape for PPHW would be to take any of those steep roads in Boulder County: Lickskillet, Magnolia, Sugarloaf and Lee Hill. Take your pick of routes from Boulder to Ned and if you can do ~3x repeats, you'll be fine + a heapful of extra up Pikes.
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Re: Pikes Peak Highway opening to bikes year-round

Postby tlongpine » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:35 am

Tory Wells wrote:I'm not so sure that it kicks up to 18-19%. It's just not that steep. I think Jim's posted stat of 10.5% for a max grade is more accurate. But since it stays around that 8-10% grade for so long, that is what makes it so hard.


18% has to be a switchback near the top, but an average grade of ~6% means just about any of Colorado's high mountain passes make a great training ground. Or, you can just loop upper Flagstaff Mtn (13%max/8.5%avg) above Boulder a few times.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Pikes Peak Highway opening to bikes year-round

Postby geojed » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:49 am

You could go do intervals on Canton avenue in Pittsburgh! 37% grade. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canton_Avenue

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Re: Pikes Peak Highway opening to bikes year-round

Postby ezabielski » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:54 am

justiner wrote:Yeah, 18% is absolutely maddeningly steep, and the PPHW, while steeper than Mt. Evans HW is not at 18% - 8-10% I can fathom. Lickskillet, in Boulder County maxes out at 18%, and it's known as one of the steepest grades on the Front Range -

http://theroadtocat1.com/colorado-climbs/dirt-roads/lickskillet-road/

Here's us racing up the damn thing:



A steeper hill still would be Magnolia in Boulder County, but it again has its grade inflated - it purportedly has "one bike length" of distance that clocks in at 43%, if you really were to take the farthest path inwards of I think, one of the first switchbacks.

Some of the mountain passes in the French Alps max out at around the lower 20% of grades. But it has to be said, it's different at 1,800 meters on Col du Galibier, than it was at 4,000+ meters for Pikes Peak. Us all in Denver basically live at the altitude of Galibier.

...anyways, some ways to get in shape for PPHW would be to take any of those steep roads in Boulder County: Lickskillet, Magnolia, Sugarloaf and Lee Hill. Take your pick of routes from Boulder to Ned and if you can do ~3x repeats, you'll be fine + a heapful of extra up Pikes.


I regularly measure on my Garmin over 20% on the paved section of Sunshine canyon.

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Re: Pikes Peak Highway opening to bikes year-round

Postby mtnjim » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:59 pm

Just looked at the Colorado Springs summit webcams and the number of vehicles up there says the road must be open again to cars.

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Re: Pikes Peak Highway opening to bikes year-round

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:38 pm

It's always open to cars (in the daytime), when they can clear the snow. :-s "Open to bikes" doesn't mean "closed to cars", they have to coexist.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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