Seven Peaks, Five Days

6/12/13 – 6/17/13

sunset-gt_sawtooth.jpg

The trip’s itinerary was to hit up most all the 14ers in the path between Denver, CO and Alma, CO, taking the I-70 corridor to Breckenridge, and then HW 9 to Alma. Ambitious, as the routes picked weren’t the easiest, or shortest: Bierdtstat from the East Ridge, then over the Sawtooth to Evans, Torreys via Kelso Ridge – and then to Grays, Quandary via the West Ridge – and then a final  push to do Democrat, Lincoln, and Bross. All in five days – all ridden to on a bicycle.

Continue reading…


Double Dare

Waking up at 2:00am on the Sunday of the weekend St. Patrick’s Day festivities in a drinkin’ city seemed a strange way to begin a trip. I needed to go from the North side of Denver, through the South side, without incident. And then far beyond.

Plan: ride the bicycle from the back door to the Barr Trailhead ~90 miles away in Manitou Springs, CO and immediately begin the 13 miles hike up to the summit of Pikes Peak, for a winter ascent of a Colorado 14er, before it ain’t winter no more (mere days away). And of course carry all the gear that’s probably going to be needed. Which is really unrealistic, so just take what’s absolutely necessary. Which probably means, a different pair of shoes.

Then, take a few winks and ride back home, in perhaps a bit more scenic (read: more difficult, mountainous, less boring) route.

Continue reading…


Switchback Magazine #10

Part 1 of an 8,000 word essay by Bryan Schatz (with illustrations by Matthew Burton) on my riding/art/tom-foolery leading up to and through the Tour Divide can be found in the latest issue of Switchback Magazine #10:

Pitch black and frozen in the snow- choked Rockies north of the border, and all Justin Simoni could think of was making it to the cabin.



Continue Reading...

Mountain Playgrounds


evans_top
Mt Evans

map_elevation_profile
Route + Elevation Profile (clockwise) – View on Strava

The idea was certainly simple enough:

The road that travels up to the summit of Colorado Springs’ resident 14er, Pikes Peak (neé heey-otoyoo @ 14,115 feet would be open to bicycle travel for the first time for an extended period: the entire month of September on an exploratory basis. In the recent past, the road has only been open for one day, for a bicycle race up to the top.

This road needed to be ridden to, from Denver and summited, before the end of September came; before the road was again closed to such noble of transportation options.

Continue reading…


Grays/Torreys/Headache

All my bike rides end up on mountain tops

On top of Grays Peak. 

 

This weeks plan was to ride to the Summer Trailhead of Grays/Torreys, hike up both, and ride back, all in one fell swoop. I mean, why not? It’s ~55 miles and 9,000 feet of elevation to the Winter Trailhead, 3 miles of hike-a-biking on the dirt road to the Summer Trailhead and 8 1/4 miles of hiking to both peaks and back – and then that 55 miles back home.

OK, fairly ambitious, I admit – I brought along my sleep kit, just in case.

Continue reading…