July – August 2014, ~34 days, 12 hours, Solo, Self-Supported
The highest 58 peaks, ridden to by bike; summited on foot, completely Self-Powered and Self-Supported.
Weaving a path of singletrack, 4×4 tracks, country and dirt roads, the Tour 14er project takes the path less pedaled to gain the base of ALL the Colorado 14ers by bike, then summit those peaks by foot in one enormous self-powered, peak bagging Grand Tour.
My Personal History
The state of Colorado holds 58 named peaks and summits over 14,000′. Summiting all these is a goal of many hikers and peak summiters. Around 2009, I also got the bug and started riding my bike to the trailheads to then hike them afterwards. After a few longer trips where I would string many 14er summits together, I made it a goal of summiting all the 14ers myself. Since I didn’t own a car, I’d use a bike instead. Totally reasonable.
By 2013, I had taken part in the Tour Divide twice, the Colorado Trail race, and had at least started the Arizona Trail Race (I bailed after a day due to sickness). All these events are underground, self-supported mountain bike races, with a Do It Yourself ethic. I decided to model my own Tour 14er after these events, so that future challenges could try this challenge themselves, then compare times. In essence, the challenge became:
Travel to, and ascend ALL Colorado’s Ranked and Named 14,000+ foot peaks by fair means: legally, self-powered, and self-supported.
The fastest known time I could find in my research that was similar to what I knew as a self-supported Tour Divide style was a little over 37 days, so I made it my goal to better that time.
In 2014, I moved from Denver, CO to Boulder after an acrimonious breakup, and fully invested myself into training for this trip. The room I rented was small and cheap and Boulder gave me the playground to practice my trail running, cycling, and climbing. By July, I was ready, and left for an unforgettable trip of whirlwind and flash.
One of the goals of Tour 14er was to trail blaze a competitive precedent for this particular challenge, and invite others to try it themselves. It’s also hoped that people will be generally inspired to try and use bicycles to access more hiking and climbing areas near to where they live, as I do myself.
Challenge my time using the self-supported rules I’ve written. I know you can do better than me.
Not interested in racing, but still want to pursue a self-powered Colorado 14er adventure of your own? I’ve got a guide for that (and that guide is currently free!).