I live at the foot of Pikes Peak. I look at it every single day. It is 14,115 ft high. It is monsterous!
Right now it is about 40 degrees below zero on the top.
Until January 1, 2013, Pikes Peak was off limits to cyclists. In 2012, the last section of dirt was paved. Now it is a 19 mile paved climb that gains over 6.000 vertical feet. I raced to the top of Pikes Peak in July, 2012. I started dead last in a gran-fondo group of 300 riders. I arrived at the summit 1 hour and 44 minutes later in 12th place. From 11,000 ft to the summit, the grade is over 10%. There are no trees to offer shelter from sun or wind. You can see for 100 miles in every direction. It's the hardest thing I've ever done on a bike. It is one of my "local rides".
This evening, after dark, I am leading the Mountain Top Cycling Club on a ride to the summit of Pikes Peak. Not in real life, but in a cycling virtual reality. I filmed that race. It is now a 1 hour and 20 minute movie that shows every single switchback on the winding alpine road. The movie directs the riders to pedal at 90-95% of their maximum sustainable effort of 52 consecutive minutes. Normally, a rider would not have the focus, motivation, or self-sicipline to complete such an effort on an indoor bike. But this movie lets you experience passing 288 riders who's body language clearly tells the tale of suffering on the oxygen-deprived steep ascent. It's an incredible challenge, and rightly so. My pain and suffering was top notch during the filming of that movie. I expect my audience to moan in angonly and experience the satisfaction of climbing that mountain, as well. Perhaps some will be inspired to take on the Peak for real, now that we have access to the most exclusive climb in America.
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