2005-06-27

Bike up Rampart Range



Balancing Rock - About 100' from where Rampart Range Road Begins


Uphill - Both Ways


Not for Low Clearance Vehicles


Plaque For Rampart Range Road


Blooming wild Cactus


GOG Rocks


View across Southern Part of GOG, to downtown Colorado Springs


Leaving behind GOG


View North East over a Fence


Shooting Range 2 Miles


Cracked Rocks


Pikes Peak - From Rampart Range Road


Made it to the Gun Range - right about 8,000'


Microwave and Cell Tower along The Road


Unusual view of the Scar


Rocks and Strata on the side of the Road


Cheyenne Mountain Through the Rocks


GOG - The Jogger is Closer Than She Appears


GOG Tour in Progress

I want to hike up Pikes Peak again this summer. This time I want to do it from the Barr Trail side. A much longer hike.

So I decided to start with a bike ride. I had gone for an hour bike ride around my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago. And while there are some hills in the area, it is obviously not as much of a challenge compared to hiking up a 14,000' mountain.

I want to do some training hiking up the scar. But I read they were closing at least some of the hiking in Glen Erye on the weekend. So I wanted a bike challenge.

I chose to bike up Rampart Range Road. I'd driven it once. It took a while to drive, especially since I didn't have a high clearance vehicle.

I remembered it being a lot uphill. It was different on a bike. I realized that it was all uphill except for about 2 spots where about 1/20 of a mile wasn't uphill. So it was a big work out.

I didn't know how far I would get. I had driven as far as the gun range. I didn't know if I could make it that far.

I drove down through the Garden of the Gods to where Rampart Range Road starts. I parked right near balancing rock - near the south exit to Garden of the Gods. It was about 6380' altitude according to my GPS.

I stopped a number of times to take pictures. I also pulled over just about every time a car passed. If I was off to the side, the driver didn't have to worry about my swerving in front of them. And I could keep and eye on the drivers. I was pleasantly surprise by all the friendly people. Many people waved - including a bunch of much younger people. Nice :)

It was a cloudy day. It looked like the rain might come down at some point. I figured it wouldn't take me long to get down if things started looking real threatening. But the rain mostly passed to the south. For about 5 minutes I was misted on. But the lighting stay far away. So I kept going. And going.

My legs were cramping up as I got higher and higher. But I could hear the gun range. I figured that was a good spot to aim for. It was a good workout. The gun range turns out just a few feet below 8,000'. So I rode a short distance further to pass 8,000'.

The GPS said I had gone 4.6 miles. But it missed most of the switchbacks. The GPS I have needs to be kept horizontal to keep a lock. That doesn't happen when it is in my pants pocket. But I figured out to put in my pick shirt back pocket for the ride down.

I think it took about 2 hours to go up. I figured it would take a lot less time to get down. I was able to let my myself go pretty fast going down. But it still took a long time. The washboard of the road made it hard to go too fast. And it was a real workout of different muscles fighting the road on the way down. It took about a half hour to get down.

The GPS seemed to have kept a good lock on the way down. It said I broke 24mph. Ooops - the road speed limit was 20! ;-) LOL

It says I traveled 11.4 miles at the end. Subtracting from the beginning - that means it was 6.8 linear miles down. That means 6.8 miles up over 1,500' vertical when I went up. Over 13.5 miles. That will do to start. I figured I'd be really tired and sore the day after. I'm a little more sore today, but not too bad.

I hope the weather is nice enough to hike up the scar later this week.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That's a lot of miles!