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I've signed up for the Bob Cook Memorial but would like to do a trial run. I've heard the road is open, but not sure what to expect for weather as I've never ridden it, and it seems a bit early to be spinning at 14k ft?

Has anyone been to the top yet this year? I plan to ride it in the next couple of weeks but hoped to get some advice on what to wear and prepare for up there. Hate to over dress and over heat, but hate to under dress and feeze. Also wondered if the road is pretty wet and sandy, if there's a lot of traffic, etc.

And while you're at it - I'll also take advice on hiring Sherpas and rigging my water bottle cage with bottled oxygen.

Thanks!
 

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Dirt-Rode said:
I've signed up for the Bob Cook Memorial but would like to do a trial run. I've heard the road is open, but not sure what to expect for weather as I've never ridden it, and it seems a bit early to be spinning at 14k ft?

Has anyone been to the top yet this year? I plan to ride it in the next couple of weeks but hoped to get some advice on what to wear and prepare for up there. Hate to over dress and over heat, but hate to under dress and feeze. Also wondered if the road is pretty wet and sandy, if there's a lot of traffic, etc.

And while you're at it - I'll also take advice on hiring Sherpas and rigging my water bottle cage with bottled oxygen.

Thanks!
could be anything this time of year from snow to rain to hail--even if it's sunny it's gonna be cold at the top so arm and leg warmers and a vest at minimum--long finger gloves might be a good idea also. Go early as the storms usually come in afternoon./
 

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From what I've heard, the road opened today, so not a lot of opportunity to check conditions out earlier. I've ridden it in the past, mid summer, and never been so cold in my life. I wouldn't think of going without booties, full gloves,exta insulation layer, etc, even if you don't need them at bottom or get the rare balmy day up there. I use a camelback pack that will accomodate a few extras for rides like this at both ends of the season.

I've been up on various 13K peaks each of the past few weekends(ski mountaineering), and though we may climb in shorts/tees, we layer up at the top. Cold and windy is the rule. Plan to ski Mt Evans this weekend so I'll check back in with conditions if we make it up there.
 

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better wait awhile..

Late July is the earliest I've ridden it and caught a rare warm day, when it was about 55F at the top. A couple of weeks later it was 38F and with 20-40 mph winds. I'm not sure practicing the real thing is of much value, unless you don't know how low of gear you need. I wouldn't think of going up this time of year, although it is supposed to be hot by the weekend, so maybe the top will be in the forties.

If you go, give us a report.
 

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Speaking of gearing, what do most roadies use when doing mountain rides in Colorado. I am from Kansas and will be in Colorado in July and want to do some road riding, maybe even Mt. Evans. Currently I am have 53/39 front and 11-23 rear. Are most roadies now going to compact set-ups now on their new road bikes?
 

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black cross said:
Speaking of gearing, what do most roadies use when doing mountain rides in Colorado. I am from Kansas and will be in Colorado in July and want to do some road riding, maybe even Mt. Evans. Currently I am have 53/39 front and 11-23 rear. Are most roadies now going to compact set-ups now on their new road bikes?
I'm a fairly experienced mountain biker, and I ride a considerable amount. I recently bought my first road bike, which had a 39/25 lowest gear combination. I find myself really struggling (like cadence of about 60) to get up the 7-8% steady grades around Boulder. I'm going to a compact double soon. I think the super pros will still run std cranksets, but most the "average enthusiasts" that I know are running compacts.
 

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I've been riding all the Colo passes for the past few years with a std crank(53/39) and a 12/27 in back. There have been some times that I needed to stand at the steeper grades, and in general probably mashed more than I should, but in general it worked fine. I just went to a compact on my new bike and left the 12/27 in back. :) Cush. Looking forward to Evans this year, even though it'll kick my a** no matter what gears I have. BTW, I'm a 55yo wannabe. :D
 

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My previous bike had a 39/26 and I needed another gear. The only choice I had was to buy a new bike (right?) with a compact crank. The new bike has a low of 34/25. I use the 25 on occassion for the real steeps around here. I've also found that I use a cadence is typically higher and that my bad knee feels better - most likely not a concidence.
 

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black cross said:
Speaking of gearing, what do most roadies use when doing mountain rides in Colorado. I am from Kansas and will be in Colorado in July and want to do some road riding, maybe even Mt. Evans. Currently I am have 53/39 front and 11-23 rear. Are most roadies now going to compact set-ups now on their new road bikes?
Evans isn't all that steep compared to some CO climbs, but it is long and the altitude will get to you above 10k most likely.
 

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There have been a lot of nay-sayers in this thread, and in the spirit of proving each wrong, we rode up to the summit of Mt. Evans today (Sunday, June 4). As proof, I'm attaching pictures. The weather could not have been more perfect. It was about 90 in Denver today, and probably around mid-40's at the summit. Winds over 13,000 feet were strong as usual, probably blowing around 20 mph from the west.

Just above treeline



somewhere over 12,000 feet



there are still some large snowdrifts



Eyestrain and Co. at Summit Lake



Eyestrain & Co. at the summit



GPS shot showing 14,100+ feet



Can't ride Mt. Evans without seeing the mountain goats



There were probably as many cyclists as vehicles on the road today.
 

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most roadies???

Questions like this get asked all the time, with the poster mentioning nothing about his age, weight or riding ability. I used nothing lower than a 39/21 around Kansas City, until 10 speed came out in 2000 (when I was 47). I used an 11-23 the first season, but the 11 was pretty worthless for me, so I switched to a 12-25.

When I moved to Denver in July of 2003, I was certain I'd need a triple, and built a climbing bike with a 53/39/30 and the same 12-25. Worked great. I later switched to a little lower 28T little ring, but didn't find the 28/25 (same as a 39/35) necessary very often. Younger riders can certainly get by without such low gears, but the nice thing about having them is having the option to slow down and put out less power if you chose or never having to stand unless you want to. I like having the lower gears, even though I'm only hauling 135 lbs (plus bike) up the mountain.

I've didn't ride Evans the first year, but I've ridden it twice a year for the last two seasons and plan to do the same this year.

Note that others found just what I predicted. When it's around 90 in Denver, it may be in the forties at the top of Evans. If you start at Idaho Spring, like the races does, see how you feel when you reach Echo Lake. At that point, you're close to half way along the 28 mile route. There are steeper sections yet to come. I know some riders chose to drive to Echo lake and only ride Evans. That's a lot shorter and far easier.
 

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Thanks for the post, great pics, and congrats. Evans is always an achievement no matter how many times you've done it. Weatherwise, you never know when you'll hit a nice window, or when you'll get nailed by a summer blizzard. Just be prepared is the most important thing.

I've only ridden from Echo Lake myself, looking forward to doing the whole enchilada this season, from either Bergen Park or Idaho Springs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the posts (and pics) folks. I still haven't made it up there but have done Trail Ridge twice in the mean time. I respect all the comments on weather. Trail Ridge doesn't go near as high, but the first time I got caught in some brutal wind - 40-50MPH by my guess. Second time the weather was great and made it feel like a different ride. The elevation didn't seem to bother me, but I did think it was odd to see purple unicorns and naked ladies prancing across the alpine tundra.

I plan to do Evans next weekend. And per the gearing question - I'm also riding a standard crank with a 12/25. I've nearly bent my shifters a few times pushing for another gear but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger???
 

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if you're a strong rider a 25 will do. If not, well, go from there. Really, colorado isn't steep. These hills are old. Nothing like the Cascades, or Alps. Sure we've got a few pitches that will spank you but in general not so bad. Then again, road pitches are determined by engineers and managed by switchbacks. So its all up to them anyway...

as said before, weather comes in fast and often in the mid/early afternoon. So hit it really early. Ride any of the climbs out here and bring extra clothing. Ride Evans and don't be shocked if you get snowed on even in Aug.
 

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Nice!

I rode Mt. Evans from Bergen Park last weekend, and had perfect conditions. By 9:00AM the temperature was already 56 degrees at the summit, and I would guess the high that day (Sunday) at the top was > 60 with very little wind.

I hope the conditions are as good for the Bob Cook riders.
 

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Eyestrain said:
GPS shot showing 14,100+ feet

You need more gear on your handlebars! :D

J/K... great post and dang-it... I really miss CO. I'd done Mt. Evans about a half dozen times as a junior and was about 40lbs lighter than I am now, and managed with a 39-23 low gear. 14-yrs later, I need O2 tanks and a motor (livin' in NYC sucks for more reasons than one).

All y'all that have a chance to ride Evans... do it and have fun! :thumbsup:
 
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