2012 Colorado Ride - Day Six (May 25th)

Parker, CO to Colorado Springs, CO

The prior day, the Weston’s and I had made plans to ride to Pike’s Peak, which was located about 40 miles south near Colorado Springs.  Unfortunately, when we awoke, the sky was very overcast and the day’s forecast called for very windy conditions to develop later in the day.  A quick phone call to the Pike’s Peak Visitors Center determined that the road to the peak was currently going to be open, despite some fog along the way, but they would be re-evaluating conditions during the day.  We decided to head out and see what it was like once we arrived in Colorado Springs.

The ride to Colorado Springs along Highway 83 was pleasant, although the temperature dropped to 41 degrees as we pass through some higher elevations along the way.  The temperatures climbed back into the upper 50s by the time we reached Colorado Springs and we found conditions improving by the time we reached the entrance to the 17-mile long Pike’s Peak Highway.

As we started out climb, I quickly realized I had made a mistake when we left home.  I had opted to leave my tank bag behind at the Weston’s, and with it, my compact point-and-shoot camera that I was wearing around my neck as I ride.  Not having that camera meant that I missed a lot of photographic opportunities along the road up to the summit.  On the other hand, the road was challenging to ride, especially as it climbed and we encountered more and more tight switchbacks (and very slow moving automobile traffic).

To our surprise, the road to the summit was completely paved (in times past, the upper section of the road was unpaved).  By the time we reached the summit (14,110 feet), the temperature had dropped to 32 degrees and the winds were blowing about 35 to 40 mph.

We went into the Summit Visitor Center and warmed up for a bit, and paused to take some photos of the view and the famous cog railroad, before making the trip back down.  Along the way, we stopped a couple of time to take some additional photos.

The trip to the summit of Pike’s Peak was exhilarating, and is a trip I would recommend to anyone who is visiting the Colorado Springs area.