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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello !

Next Friday I will arrive at Denver from where I start my bicycle tour in Colorado (and then few days in Hawaii).
I would be happy to got advice, suggestion about bicycling (and others) in the mountains, in Colorado, etc.
For example:
Should I start the days earlier because of the afternoon rain or it's not so obvious that it would rain every afternoon ?
Could be a problem to refill the bottles, so I should carry more than 2 bottles of water ?
Can I leave my bike outside of a store / shop when I go in ? (in villages, in the mountains I think it couldn't be a problem, and in Denver ?)
Traffic ?
I've read that the road of Pikes peak open at 7:30 am ? Before it I couldn't start the climb ?
When is it ideal to start the climb of Mount Evans ?

Where can I buy energy bars, gels ?
Don't hesitate to write your other experiences, suggestions !

(about bicycling in Hawaii / Big Island too.)

Thanks: Gábor (Hungary, Europe)
 

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Trouble
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Are you camping or just doing day rides? If day, carry 1 liter of water per hour of riding. Assume you will find no water, food or other supplies sources in the mountains.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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When is it ideal to start the climb of Mount Evans ?
After you've trained and when you're rested. :D

I rode Evans a few years ago. The locals I met to ride with took pity on me and we started at Echo Lake, where the gate is. Real Coloradans start 14 miles downhill in Idaho Springs.

Anyway, we started at 8:00. It was pretty windy by the time I made it to the top. T-storms moved in that day after we were back down, about 13:00 as I recall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your experience :)
and can You help me about this:
Can I leave my bike outside of a store / shop when I go in without locking ? (in villages, in the mountains I think it couldn't be a problem, and in Denver ?) or is it enough a simple but great lock ?
How safe is to leave outside the bike after locking it with a simple lock ?
 

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I don't know a lot of specifics about Denver, but I'm pretty sure the correct answer is 'it depends'.

It depends on the area you are in. It depends on how long you are leaving the bike. It depends on the time of day, etc...

As a general rule. LOCK YOUR BIKE. Or bring it inside with you if you can. Most bike theft is an act of convenience. A quick snatch and grab is not possible if there is even a basic lock involved.

If you plan to leave it for a few hours, or over night, there is no lock strong enough to prevent someone from scoping it out, leaving and combing back with the right tools to defeat your security system.

If you are just talking about going into a starbucks for five minutes. Leaving the bike just outside the door is probably ok (again, depending on the area).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK, thank You !
I usually leave my bike only for the time of buying some food in the store (ca. 15 minutes); when I enter a restaurant for example to eat something than I take my bike to such a place where I can see from the chair :)
 

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OK, thank You !
I usually leave my bike only for the time of buying some food in the store (ca. 15 minutes); when I enter a restaurant for example to eat something than I take my bike to such a place where I can see from the chair :)
For the times when you cannot leave you bike where it's visible from a seat in the Restaurent, maybe lock it anyway. Colorado's got nice honest folks living there for the most part, but why take a chance.

Note that when I rode the Bike Tour of Colorado in '99, I cannot recall ever seeing a bike locked, my own included. We were in small to moderate sized towns - Durango, Montrose, Creede, etc... And in general the bikes were at a local school, with around 1200 bikes sitting around, some very expensive. Never heard of a theft. I just left mine leaning against a wall under an overhang at night. Didn't really worry about it to be honest.
 

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OK, thank You !
I usually leave my bike only for the time of buying some food in the store (ca. 15 minutes); when I enter a restaurant for example to eat something than I take my bike to such a place where I can see from the chair :)
For the times when you cannot leave you bike where it's visible from a seat in the Restaurent, maybe lock it anyway. Colorado's got nice honest folks living there for the most part, but why take a chance.

Note that when I rode the Bike Tour of Colorado in '99, I cannot recall ever seeing a bike locked, my own included. We were in small to moderate sized towns - Durango, Montrose, Creede, etc... And in general the bikes were at a local school, with around 1200 bikes sitting around, some very expensive. Never heard of a theft. I just left mine leaning against a wall under an overhang at night. Didn't really worry about it to be honest.

But one bike alone might be a temptation for somebody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks very much:
as I experienced in several countries in Europe (not in busy cities): usually I don't have lock it in small towns, villages. Busy cities are where it's better to lock the bike.
Based on this, I thought that on my tour mayíbe Denver could be a place where it's better to be careful and lock the bike, in mountain-villages (even in Estes Park, Aspen - I hope) I don't have to bother....
 

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In all of my long distance tours I never carried a lock - US or western Europe. Now keep in mind that I had full front and rear panniers with tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag on top of the rear rack and a handlebar bag with my wallet, camera and personal stuff. When I went into decent sized cities I always took a motel room and the bike was kept inside, but going to stores, restaurants, etc it was just left out front while the handlebar bag became a purse. I always figured that the extra weight of all the camping gear on the bike would deter the opportunist thief and the big city thief wasn't getting a chance at my bike.

But Colorado is a touring mecca so there may be professional thieves out there just looking for the opportunity. A light cable lock might be a good idea for those quick stops at stores and restaurants (as well as campgrounds) and always take it inside the motel when you are staying in one.
 

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As far as your other questions:

Energy bars can be found in almost any store in America. Now, some are nothing but glorified candy bars or cookies but they'll do the trick. When I rode across the US in the summer of '85 I kept Fig Newton cookies in my handlebar bag. I lucked out as that was the year they started experimenting with other fruit: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries - so I wasn't sick of the same cookies after two months straight of eating them out of my handlebar bag.

When we rode Mt Evans as part of our cross country trip, we had camped behind the Forest Service office in Idaho Springs, so our start from that town was somewhere between 0800-0930. We ditched our camping gear in the trees near Echo Lake (@10.000' elevation) and rode the last few miles with only out handlebar bags (you might be getting the idea that bag is of extreme importance to me on a bike tour!). IIRC, we spent that night in a campground near Castle Rock so we must have been down off the mountain before 1500.

I normally carry only two full water bottles with one extra one (usually empty) in my rear panniers. Most of Colorado will be well enough developed that you should be able to keep 2-3 bottles filled. A dry camp can be a pain, so I always preferred camping where potable water is available.

As far as traffic is concerned - I try to avoid cities on my tours. Small ones are okay but big ones are a pain. I finished a Rocky Mountain tour in Denver in '88 (we spent two weeks riding from Albuquerque to Denver via Durango, Silverton, Montrose, Aspen, Leadville and back to Idaho Springs/Evergreen) - riding into the city back then wasn't too bad but it was a different airport. Do they have a bike path into/out of that new airport? Denver itself has a nice system of bike paths - not what you might be used to in Europe, but pretty good for a major American city.
 

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It's a hindsight observation, but next time, you might consider the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bicycle Tour.

Colorado Rocky Mountain Bicycle Tour

I have friends who have done this (one just finished it up this weekend). Everyone I've talked to who has done it has raved about it.

I'd love to do this some day, but I'm the opposite of a good climber. I'd do better on the Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Texas bicycle tour. :p

Anyway, this is a fully supported tour, and has a lot of colorado's epic climbs in it, including mount evans. Very little traffic, lots of climbing. No need to carry anything more than tubes, patch kit, and some water.
 
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