Mt. Evans the Long Way

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Yesterday was one of those memorable days we’re all striving for. It was on the top 10 list of all time best rides I’ve ever done. And that means something. At least to me.

I know I can’t come close to expressing how beautiful the loop we did yesterday was. The day almost turned epic. It was epic for Sue, but that was just because of the miles and the elevation/elevation change. And because it was off the scale pretty.

We didn’t start out until 10:30. We drove to Kittredge and started at Mike and Judy Hudson’s new cabin there. Judy is on Bromont’s top 5 favorite people list. Starting this late, I always had a small worry in the back of my mind that the weather was going to catch up with us.

I had some navigation issues, which made the ride a hour longer than it needed to be, but, I don’t regret the miles we rode because of the views. One downer of the ride was stopping to ask directions up by Mount Evans Elk Preserve and nearly getting mugged by a couple retarded/hillbilly/redneck construction workers. I rode down a driveway to ask where the split in a gravel road went and before I said a word, they started verbally attacking me. Something like, “You fuckin’ cycling pricks have a lot of nerve.” I was quite and then just said, you guys don’t even know me, I’ve from Kansas. That didn’t get me anywhere. They both just keep going about my nerve of riding down a private drive and wearing faggy clothing. Whatever. It was kind of funny thinking about it. But, I’ve never encountered such pent up angry without any altercation.

Anyway, we ended up climbing up to Squaw Pass from Upper Bear Mountain Road on gravel. Then the rest of the ride was normal. 103 to Mt. Evans, up to the top, back down to 103 to Evergreeen Parkway and back to Kittredge. It was nearly 90 miles all said and done. It took nearly 6 hours. When we got to the top, we only had a 10.2 mph average, but that was after making a few U-turns and climbing on some super steep gravel for 5 miles. That doesn’t seem so bad considering that the winning average this past year from Idaho Springs up is only 14 mph.

We managed to skirt lots of isolated storms the whole day. We got some rain just before the entrance on the way down, but that was the full extent of it. Sue was pretty dizzy once we got to the top and all the way back down to 103. I think it made her more fearless and was descending much quicker than normal. Big plus for lack of oxygen there.

So, if you have a chance to ride Mt. Evans, I suggest you do it from the Evergreen side. There isn’t a time when you’re not overwhelmed by beauty.

So now I’m sitting in Boulder at Chautauga Dining Hall eating breakfast. I haven’t been here in ages. When I had an apartment here in the 90’s, I used to eat breakfast here all the time. It is great. Outdoor seating on a wrap around porch. It is definitely on my top 5 breakfast experience place list.

We can’t mess around that long this morning. Trudi is flying back from Santa Rosa a little after noon and we heading up to Steamboat Springs.

Towards the top the sheep weren't shy.

Sue digging the views from up high.

Soome goofy German guy, that was spewing American politics at the top took this photo. He was railing about the American taxation system, Warren Buffet and Obama.

Sqaw Pass was a bonus. Sue is collecting passes on this trip.

You would of thought you were in Switzerland riding up the gravel to 103.

Chautauqua dining hall. Awesome breakfast and views.

12 thoughts on “Mt. Evans the Long Way

  1. jim sully

    Groovy Day T, just an addition to the hillbilly barkers…we also have e’m over here SF bay area way….generally in the form of high rollin tech execs-urban cowboy wannabee’s who grouse to no end about bicycle riders slowin e’m down while piloting furd f-350’w dualies on unstriped backroads….
    There once was some rednek hillbilly’s,
    who took it upon themselves to bark at veltmeister Tilly,
    They hemmed and they hawed,
    about the nerve of this lycra clad sod,
    but at the end of the day they were destined for clay,
    Veltmeister Tilly just smiled+rode away…

  2. Sal Ruibal

    That’s some high altitude. Got a huge headache at the top of Mt. Evans way, way back. Cured it with blackberry cobbler and espresso. Never went back. Good for ya, Steve.

  3. Sean YD

    Warren Buffet = Omaha. I tell people I’m from Omaha whenever I’m traveling the world and instantly his name comes up. Better cowboys and log cabins, I guess.

  4. VC Slim

    Call the cops and tell ’em you suspect there’s a meth lab at the end of that driveway.

  5. Old and Slow

    The same thing could easily happen to you in Left Hand or Coal Creek Canyons. A bunch of construction rednecks living way up a canyon are sporadically employed these days, paying $3.50 a gallon to go back and forth spending three hours a day going back and forth when they do have work and probably not all that fond of road cyclists to begin with. These canyons are a lot more crowded now than they were 30 years ago, I wouldn’t want to have to drive up Left Hand on a Saturday Morning myself.

    Those characters you ran into could easily be way upside down on that property too and it’s not exactly liquid right now either.

    What’s more, these self-styled Jim Bridger types living up there often convince themselves that the public road that abuts their property isn’t public any more. Make a long story short I could take you to about a dozen places between where you were and the Wyoming State Line where an encounter like that one is equally likely. Plus one or two where it would be just about guaranteed.

    And you did indeed walk down their driveway.
    There are parts of Gilpin County where I wouldn’t do that unless I was bleeding to death.

    The whole Roosevelt and Arapaho National Forest system is checkerboarded with inholdings and people who own say 85 deeded acres will manage the area as if they own 1500.

    In my limited experience near Steamboat or Crested Butte I would have to assume that it’s just a more friendly environment out there but I never take crossing private land lightly anywhere and I just plain don’t go up roads like that one at all during hunting season.

    Every time a vehicle takes out a cyclist look at what washes up in the comments section of the newspaper article, all sorts of Colorado front range mountain dwellers who think that bikes shouldn’t be on “their” road in the first place.

    One of the reasons that I don’t mountain bike much anymore is because they always had guns when these confrontations happened. In my dotage I’ve gotten into the habit of doing a track stand in someone’s driveway and just waving the canyon traffic on by.

    And you were sporting a legitimate real mc coy UCI rainbow jersey when this went down??? The kind you can’t buy in a store?

    Now that’s a hoot!

  6. Shane Jones

    Yep, those rainbow stripes sure are “faggy”. A couple years ago I had a guy(one of the types you seem to have found) buzz me and when I saw him look in his rearview I flipped him off. He pulled over , started calling me names and told me I should be riding on the sidewalk. Then he started talking about faggy bike shoes and shorts. He finally got back in his truck and left. Dumb. I try not to flip people off anymore tho- it never helps.

  7. Clayton

    I love that ride. I have done it from Denver via that route. The climbing really gets to you. I would say if you are going to go for the 28 miles up via either Idaho Springs or Evergreen. I beg to differ and say it is more beautiful from the Idaho springs side. That is one of the hardest road rides in all of Colorado and has the longest (coldest)last miles around! Bring a jacket or two.

  8. Clayton

    I love that ride. I have done it from Denver via that route. The climbing really gets to you. I would say if you are going to go for the 28 miles up via either Idaho Springs or Evergreen. I beg to differ and say it is more beautiful from the Idaho springs side. That is one of the hardest road rides in all of Colorado and has the longest (coldest)last miles around! Bring a jacket or two. Sorry about the hillbilly’s.


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