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2011 Bob Cook Memorial Mt. Evans Hill Climb
 rschlump member offline
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posted 1/4/2011
at 3:55:25 PM
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Once again I'm adding this event to my "wish list" for the year. If it becomes a reality I'd probably only get a week or less to acclimate to the altitude. Coming from a locale where 900 ft is considered the top of the region it's a long way up to 14XXX ft and a week isn't really enough to make a big difference. But it's better than flying out on a Friday before the event.
www.bicyclerace.com/
So if I ride up this "hill" and actually make it to the top (it's only 28 miles) how does one go about getting down? If personal support vehicles are allowed, is there parking at the top that will accomodate all the racers/riders? What kind of traffic does/would that generate on the mountain road? Or should one just reload water bottles and coast back to the beginning, something that should be quite possible if you like white knuckle decents. Anyone got answers to these questions?

I'm penciled in for now. I'll let you know if it gets changes to ink.
Think it would make a good training ride for the Missouri State Time Trial? (that's just a joke)

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posted 1/4/2011
at 4:12:59 PM
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No personal support vehicles are allowed. Two official support vehicles are assigned to each classification of rider (pros, Cat 2-3, citizen, etc.), and will accompany you up the mountain. But they don't freely offer riders a return trip to the starting line, though it can happen. Nearly all riders just take a break at the top for photos, food, and drink, then turn around and descend the 28 miles. After all, it's ONLY 28 miles. But, yeah, it's a pretty white-knuckled descent. Lousy pavement and no guard rails!!

Acclimation to high altitudes usually takes less than 72 hours, so long as you're up over 8,000 ft. for most of that time. After that, the worst possibilities (headaches, pulmonary embolisms, and such) become much less likely. Lack of oxygen is still a difficulty, of course.

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posted 1/4/2011
at 4:21:27 PM
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So staying in Denver one day (5280 ft) then a room in Leadville (9,000ft) would be ideal for him?

After slowly climbing 28 miles (4-5 hours), why not quickly coast downhill 28 miles in an hour or less?

 Howard member not displaying online status
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posted 1/4/2011
at 4:32:48 PM
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Denver doesn't have enough altitude to do it, but Leadville (10,000 ft.) would be a great idea. There are lots of high-altitude towns further west up I-70 from Idaho Springs with great bike riding routes and bike trails to train on -- Frisco, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, even Vail.

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posted 1/4/2011
at 5:40:41 PM
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Hope you make it this year rschlump, I'll be riding for the third time, and it's a pretty unique event. Howard's right, rides back down aren't that easy to come by but the organizers will haul a bag up to the top so you can have extra gear to put on for the descent. I just took a peek at last year's journal and it looks I took about an hour and a half to descend.

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posted 1/4/2011
at 6:52:20 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies. I kinda figured it would be a ride the bike back to the start kinda thing. I've done the part going down from near Echo Lake to Idaho Springs back in 04 while doing the Triple Bypass.
I'd guess for an old (58 this year) low-lander like me a 3 hour goal would be a GREAT time while 4 is more realistic. The "MO State iTT" is the week afterward so it really would be just a training ride.

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posted 1/4/2011
at 7:36:03 PM
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I'd guess for an old (58 this year) low-lander like me a 3 hour goal would be a GREAT time while 4 is more realistic. The "MO State iTT" is the week afterward so it really would be just a training ride. -- posted by rschlump


Speaking as a lifelong lowlander and flatlander who has climbed Evans, if you're doing the whole 28miles, four would be a fantastic time.

When Howard and Z-man took me up Evans before the 2008 BikeJournal Reunion, we started in the parking lot at the gate--10,000 feet, 14-miles from the top--half the distance you're planning.


This is where we started. It'll be your halfway point.

I anticipated a two-hour ride time, and built-in an extra hour for stopping to catch my breath on the way up, for a total of three. From my ride log,
Mt Evans climb with Howard and Z-man. Climb was 2:06:36 ride time, just over 3 hours total time. Paced myself real well, and the guys were kind enough to go at my pace.
And by "paced myself", I mean stopping at every milepost to catch my breath and let my heart-rate settle.

The descent was a scant 40 minutes. It was very windy that day and I swore I'd get blown off the side of that mountain on the descent. For the most part, the climb is on the inside, the descent on the outside, where a guard rail would be if it had them.

You'll need to watch for cracks and cave-in potholes in the pavement. The marmots burrow under the road, and the road caves in on their burrows.

So Mt Evans Road is not only the highest paved road in North America, it's the highest paved road in need of major repair in North America.

Now, don't let any of that stop you. DO IT!

Climbing Mt. Evans that first time is THE most memorable day of my life, and what it did for my confidence is amazing. Over two years later, every hill I ride is just a speed bump. (Heck, I now climb with a *standard* double and 12-23!)

Plus, after Evans, every ride you'll ever do is downhill from there!

And remember to hike the remaining 130 feet to the summit.

Z-man, brucew & Howard on top of Mt. Evans

Finally, don't forget to get a pic of yourself like this (courtesy of Howard):
post edited on 1/4/2011 at 7:34:50 PM

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posted 1/4/2011
at 10:07:22 PM
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I definitely intend to do this one this year. Having ridden up Mt. Evans 9 times this past season, the race is the next step! Def. Looking forward to it on the new bicycle!

Here's a view from my FIRST time up Mount Evans, last June. Wasn't in the best shape then, but have come a long way since!


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posted 1/5/2011
at 8:35:19 PM
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Wow. I didn't know they had a race up Mt Evans. I thought it was just in American Flyers!

I'm seriously considering riding Mt Evans in June of this year after I get married. Do you really need a triple to do it, or would a low gear of 39*25 or 39*27 suffice?

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posted 1/5/2011
at 10:09:45 PM
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There's nothing too steep on Mt Evans, perhaps a brief stretch of 8% at the most. BJ member Badgerland came out here from Kansas and climbed it on a single speed!

 Howard member not displaying online status
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posted 1/5/2011
at 10:41:48 PM
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Just so you all know, Deadhead raced the Bob Cook Memorial Hill Climb in 2009 and 2010, and finished 5th of 49 in 2009 and 5th of 88 in 2010 in his Citizen's division.

The guy is bona fide.
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